The JFK assassination is one of those moments in history that just stands out. Obviously, not in a great way. But like other events such as 9/11, it’s one of those “Where were you when…” moments that everyone remembers. At least, everyone who was alive at the time.
The image above is the last known professional photograph of US President John F Kenny still alive during his assassination on November 22nd, 1963, only a few weeks away from 60 years ago. Now, this and other photographs are up for auction.
The image at the top of this post is believed to be the last professional photo of JFK while he was still alive, after being shot with the first bullet, and subsequently killed by Lee Harvey Oswald – or the gunman on the grassy knoll.
It was found amongst a collection of photographs in a garage by a gentleman (who wishes to remain anonymous) in Vernon Hills, Illinois while sifting through the family’s garage after his father died.
The photos were contained in a binder, which he believes to have been his mother’s. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, he initially believed it to be an old school project until he opened it up and started to look through it, seeing “near-perfect condition” black and white photos of the presidential assassination.
The gentleman’s mother was a fan of JFK and also worked for Sigma Delta Chi (now the Society of Professional Journalists). The binder contains a collection of photographs created by Associated Press photographers and submitted for awards consideration in 1963.
As well as images leading up to the assassination, the collection includes photographs created in the immediate aftermath and the next few days. In the collection is the work of James W. Altgens, otherwise known as Ike Altgens, who captured an image of JFK slumping over in the car, clutching his throat, shortly after being shot.
Also in the set of photographs are images of Secret Service agent Clint Hill on the back of the presidential limousine as the vehicle makes its getaway moments after the shooting. Photos from Associated Press photographer Bob Jackson also show Lee Harvey Oswald after being shot and killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
The collection is up for auction at Christie’s. It contains 26 silver gelatin prints in various sizes, with most of them being 14×11″. With these being prints from the original negatives, they’re said to be very desirable amongst collectors. The auction is expected to fetch between $10,000-15,000.
[via Chicago Sun-Times]