Online Collection

Charles L. Bronson slide #2

Object Number: 2017.015.0004.0001
Category: Photographs
Photographer: Charles L. Bronson
Type of Object: Slide
Dimensions: 2 × 2 in. (5.1 × 5.1 cm)
Medium: Film
Description
Original 35mm color slide taken by Charles L. Bronson while standing on a pedestal in Dealey Plaza at the southwest corner of Main and Houston streets. This is the second of three still photographs taken on November 22, 1963; Bronson took two additional images in Dealey Plaza the following day.

The image shows President John F. Kennedy's motorcade making the turn at Main Street onto Houston Street surrounded by crowds of people on Friday, November 22, 1963. A police officer in a bright yellow jacket is visible in the lower left section; he has his back to the motorcade vehicles and arms wide as if he is holding the crowds back. Visible in the low center of the image, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy is seated in the backseat of the presidential limousine wearing her bright pink suit and hat. The Dallas County Criminal Courts Building occupies the foreground on the left half of the image, and the Dallas County Records Building is also visible near the center of the image.

Slide copyrighted Charles L. Bronson 1978.
Curator's Notes

Forty-five-year-old Charles Bronson, chief engineer of Varel Manufacturing in Dallas, brought two cameras to Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963: a Leica Model III for still photographs and a Keystone Olympic K-25 for color home movies. He and his wife, Frances, stood atop a concrete pedestal at the southwest corner of Main and Houston streets.  Bronson had had a lifelong dream to see a president and was eager to capture images of President Kennedy during his visit to Dallas.
 
Bronson's Leica, purchased in 1938, was the oldest known camera used in Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination. It was loaded with daylight Kodachrome film. Two of his three still images were made just after taking a brief film sequence of the presidential parade on Main Street, approaching the turn onto Houston. Switching quickly to his Leica, he took two slides showing the Kennedy limousine approaching and then making the turn from Main Street onto Houston Street. He then switched back to his Olympic home movie camera for a sequence showing the presidential parade on Houston, approaching the turn onto Elm Street.  - Stephen Fagin, Curator

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