Online Collection

35mm b&w negative of President Kennedy's funeral cortege en route to the Capitol

Object Number: 2017.062.0001.0005
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 two military officers walking side-by-side in President Kennedy's funeral procession. Both men are in dress uniform. The man in the forefront in the dark cap is an Army General and the man walking next to him in the white cap is a Navy Admiral. The lower half of the image shows the crowd of mourners that turned out for President Kennedy’s funeral procession; three women in Navy uniform stand in the second row behind a group of children and two of them are saluting. A man is perched in the tree on the right-hand side of the image.

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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