Online Collection

35mm b&w negative of car taking Caroline and John Kennedy, Jr., to the Capitol

Object Number: 2017.062.0004.0003
Category: Photographs
Photographer: Donald Hughes
Type of Object: Negative (b&w)
Dimensions: 15/16 × 1 7/16 in. (2.4 × 3.7 cm)
Medium: Film
Original 35mm black and white negative of the procession taking President Kennedy's casket to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state on Sunday, November 24, 1963, taken by Donald Hughes, who was a high school yearbook photographer.

Image shows a black vehicle from the side. The front passenger door's window is rolled up showing a reflection of tree limbs. In the lower right corner of this window, John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s face is visible peeking above the door frame. The rear passenger door's window is rolled three-quarters of the way down and two passengers are visible in profile seated in the backseat. Seated on the viewer's left is Lady Bird Johnson, with Caroline Kennedy next to her on the far side.

Faces of individual mourners in the crowd are visible through the open windows of the vehicle. A crowd of mourners can be seen in the middle ground of the image past the hood of the car; children stand in the front row, many people hold cameras and are taking pictures. Two men are perched in the upper branches of trees in the background

President Kennedy's casket lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol for almost twenty-four hours, from Sunday, November 24, 1963, until the morning of Monday, November 25, 1963, when the casket was taken to St. Matthew's Cathedral for the funeral Mass and later to Arlington National Cemetery.

These images are not available online larger than a thumbnail to protect the copyright of their creator(s). For a more detailed examination of this item, please schedule an appointment in the Museum’s Reading Room.
Curator's Notes

Included in the Museum's temporary exhibit, "Mourning a President," about the funeral and mourning rites for President John F. Kennedy, this item will be on display on the Museum's seventh floor from November 17, 2017 to February 19, 2018. -- Lindsey Richardson, Curator of Collections

Seventeen-year-old Maryland high school student Donald Hughes took a series of black and white photographs of the Kennedy funeral procession from the White House to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Sunday, November 24, 1963. Although Hughes was a yearbook photographer for his high school, he was not "on assignment" that Sunday and does not recall any of his funeral images ending up in the 1964 yearbook. In fact, Hughes' photographs were largely unseen until they were featured online by The New York Times in 2013. Hughes recorded an oral history with The Sixth Floor Museum in 2017. -- Stephen Fagin, Curator

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