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tv   American Artifacts John F. Kennedys Life in Photos  CSPAN  January 13, 2021 9:37pm-10:17pm EST

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one-of-a-kind artifacts. that tell the story of the first half century of aviation. and at 8 pm, on the presidency, a look back to january 16th, 1991. as president george h. w. bush, announces the bombing of iraq. and the start of the persian gulf war, followed by his state of the union address. exploring the american story, watch american history tv, this weekend. on c-span 3. >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums and historic sites around the country. former president john fitzgerald candidate was born on may 29th, 1917. to mark the centennial of his birth, this smithsonian american art museum collected dozens of images of chronicle the lights of the 45th president. >> my name is larry schiller, of the smithsonian american art
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museum. it allowed me to be, a guest curator of this exhibit on jfk. i was a photographer myself, starting in the fifties. and i photographed a lot of politicians, i started with richard nixon. governor brown in california. and then of course, john f. kennedy, many of the events he was president. and tragically i was in dallas. when he was assassinated. >> yes. >> why the exhibit in this are position, at this time? it's the centennial of his birth. hundred years ago, on may 29th, he was born. how do you put in exhibit like this together? where do you start? well, first you start with a few researchers. and we collected actually, 34,000 photographs of jfk and his family. it took about six months and it became the basis of a very important book.
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that we published, with harper collins. and from those 34,000 pictures and the 400 and some of pictures of the book, we were able to select 77 photographs that we felt told the story of jfk and his life and times. jfk, was a modern president. john f. kennedy was one that saw america's place in the world. he was a man who understood history he had served in world war ii he understood the issues of civil rights. he understood many of the conflicts that were starting around the world. so he was a man with a vision and this exhibit, kind of addresses the issue of jfk's vision for america. this exhibit, is a little bit more than just john f. kennedy's presidency. it's a story of his life, and his times.
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pictures from the family scrapbook here, kind of very interesting. because, here is just a kid with his father in the background on the beach. just like any other kid. ramping around, little did we know, he might be the president of the united states. this is their father there, that is what the cars look the light in those days. with the kids on the running board. but his jfk, dead out in the world himself, very few people knew that he loved dogs. when he went off to college, he had a couple. he got in trouble a few times, his dollars were not allowed inside the dormitories. but the family traveled a lot, kennedy got a lot of experience. here they are in the vatican. they were a catholic family. but, this is a family portrait. very interesting. his father was ambassador, and
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his mother really kept everybody in tow. jfk, when he went away to college, to harvard with graduation picture there ... and one of the dances. he served in the armed forces, of course, a lot of us know that he was very much involved in saving lives. he was part of a crew, on p.t. 1:09. that vehicle capsized in the war, he heard is back a little bit, which played ten for years in years. but he was considered by many to be one of the many war heroes who served in the armed forces. but out of this armed forces, when his father was ambassador to great britain, he was looking around for a job. and his father wrote a letter to william randolph hearst and said, my son knows a lot about history. maybe you could find a job for
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him as what we would call today as a public reporter. so he went off to san francisco, and reported on the formation of the united nations. he wrote a column that he read a couple days. a serviceman's view of the world i think was one of the titles. that started to show, not only is writing ability but his understanding of where america was, and what's the vision for this country should be. it wasn't long before the early fifties, that he met this young lady. jacqueline. this is one of those photo booth shots, it is blown up. but it was very small, you used to pay two cents in those days, or a nickel. and that is one of the early portraits of them. of course, jack and jackie's strolling down the street -- without kennedy in d.c..
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ethel was married to his brother, robert kennedy. i photographed quite a bit. i did a lot of campaign photography with them. but, you know, there are these iconic images that, we will remember that will take us through history. here, jfk, in 53 is, getting married to jackie. pictures from the getty images collections. here is one of the most famous life magazine pictures, when caroline was born, in 1958, this was taken by a fine fine photographer named ed clark. it's one of those iconic images. life magazine, and many publications covered the candidacies quite a bit. over here, we can see in the early years, the photographs from the golden age of a photojournalism. that was before television
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really became the communicator of the world. these are the magazines that were published than. these are actual copies of the magazines, and newspapers. the new york times, the spring field republican. and books that jfk wrote himself, why england slept, in his most famous book. and profiles in courage. you are not only seeing the history in jfk, but you're seeing how his image was communicated to the world at large. and the photographs here on the wall, and this exhibit, are printed the exact same way they would have been printed in the sixties. 11 by 14 in size, silver shelton prints, we use the same technology as the sixties. so when you see this exhibit, you are seeing the photographs, as you would have if you had lived in the sixties. and have picked up a magazine, it would've been just like you
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would see here at the american art museum. all these magazines and newspapers you are saying, you are probably saying to yourself how did they collect them? how did they keep them for 50 or 60 years? believe it or, not they were all obtained on ebay. ebay is probably the biggest archive in the world. we built an entire archive of jfk, as he was seen around the world, just by spending about a week on ebay. all around the world purchasing these historic works. they are not expensive. three dollars and ten cents. but of course you have to pay the postage. on this wall over here, you see this young man starting to run for congress. just kind of sitting there, the
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poster for those days, a portrait at his mother and father taken in 1946 when he gets elected to congress. the family had some money. a little more than some. his father hired not only the best photographers in the world to photograph jfk and john f. kennedy and his older brother, but also they hired advertising agencies to properly promote the image of the kennedy family, and jfk as he started to run for political office. the composition of this picture is not only the product of the photographer, but also the product of a smart advertising guy. that poster is part of the mad men era. as we were to later say, jfk was the first president in a great flannel suit. but a natural public speaker he
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was. in this photograph, from life magazine shows with the technology of the day was. it's not these fine video cameras that could be such clarity. here we are shooting and natural light, virtually. here, jfk is under the spotlight. his father once said to him, you appeal to women, you will get yourself elected. there is a joke about this picture because you see about 200 women lined up to meet jfk in massachusetts. and there is a joke about that picture, you know, did someone say you better be on crutches or you will get a little more sympathy? he would go out into the field for the first year of campaigning, and being a congressman he went into his district. he went into the docks here. he's being shown around, and
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here, jfk and bobby kennedy are here working side by side. they have a very special -- bond. there was a lot of controversy when jfk becomes president because he appoints his brother as attorney general, with not a lot of experience. but bobby stood up to the task. he begins to understand the weight of the issues around the world. jfk knew he was going to run for president in, 60 hope to get the nomination from the democratic party, and he traveled widely in the united states. this picture from a photographer, you photographed over a number of years, is interesting, you see jfk at a moment where he has to make some strong decisions.
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over on the swirl here, it's one of many, many pictures that were on the cover of life magazine. he was actually a sports photographer. a famous boxing photographer. nobody could figure out why he got this assignment, but this is one of the many pictures that and it up on the cover of life magazine. taken in 1953, it is really a beautiful picture, and it shows the spirit of jfk. of course and 57, prior to him running for president, the great photographer, who had more like magazine covers than any other photographer drink life magazine's many, many years as a leading publication of the world, a beautiful portrait. but this is in essence, the early years of jfk, and it
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moment we will get into the tougher years where he becomes a politician, a world leader, and someone who sets the stage, sets the foundation for american foreign policy and a modern america. in 1960, one jfk decided he was going to run for the president of the united states, his father gave him an airplane and they called it the caroline, which was the name of his daughter. here, jack makes this picture of jfk leaving on his first campaign trip around the united states. he hit almost every single state. here was this young member of congress, a catholic going out there, out everywhere with his wife and family. of course, jacqueline kennedy was one of the greatest assets any politician could have. not only was she really lovable and huggable, but she related
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to people in a very, human way. eventually, when jfk goes to france, he cracks this remark, i will paraphrase. i'm just a guy going along with jackie, she's really the star. but he went out on the campaign trail, seeking the nomination of the democratic party. and you know, he wants everywhere. and there was nothing holier than thou about his campaign. he would go out into the appalachian mountains. he could stand on trucks. a week from cars here in massachusetts in july of 1960. he is campaigning. and the eventual campaign led in july to the democratic national convention, which took place in los angeles, california. ralph was a photographer there, and i was also working for life
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magazine, but they assigned me to who they thought would be the winner eventually for president. i was assigned to photograph richard nixon. but he makes this wonderful photograph. and of course, the strategy of getting that nomination was no easy task. hank walker, one of the life photographers here made this iconic image of robert and jfk in a hotel room, kind of deciding who they would offer the vice presidency tail. and of course, lyndon johnson eventually becomes running mate to jfk. a surprise to a lot of people. i have seen this picture published in parts of the world where they are discussing the -- cuban missile crisis. or they are discussing armament. this is a hotel room in vienna where they are meeting with khrushchev. but in fact, it was 1950, the
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democratic national convention. it wasn't long before he secured that nomination, and really have to go out on the road to prove himself. of course, in california he is up there with a governor pat brown. here he is preparing some notes for a democratic rally. and of course, the wonderful thing about the kennedy's is that they never pushed photographers or writers away. they didn't care how they were photographed, they don't care whether the tie was fixed or if the coat was on. they knew that if they made themselves accessible to the media than they would be published, and of course it was a groundswell. there was no question about it that the media coverage of jfk with the first time that we had ever seen anything like it. here at a airport, campaigning
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in texas, there is a plane that is wearing the engine. jfk gets a little bit upset that lyndon johnson is kind of hollering, turn the engine off. but he carried around with him a lot of the -- of this book called profiles of courage, used to autograph them, throw them out to the audience. the publisher obviously sold lots of versions of that version of the book. it wasn't until he had to come to head to head with richard nixon, who the republicans nominated. of course, richard nixon everyone thought would win the election. but what's really turned the tide in a really unique way were these first televised debates between the candidates. america never seen anything like that before. in the first debate here in october, jackie is very, very nervous, and she is off by the corner, kind of looking out,
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trying to figure out, to make sure that her husband is going to do the right thing. it was a very, very, interesting october when the debate started. if you would've listened to the debates on radio, nixon was the clear winner. his voice was convincing. he spoke very, very well. but if you watched it on television as tens of millions of americans did, you saw a very nervous return accent. you saw a man sweating. touching. yet you saw president john f. kennedy poised, relaxed, articulate, and of course, many writers, including the great writer, norman miller, who wrote this incredible piece in esquire called superman comes to the supermarket. the television debates really placed jfk on the road to victory. the election was as you know on
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november 8th. this is bobby and ethel casting their vote, and of course, i was in los angeles at the ambassador hotel with nixon. so this is a picture that i made of the election votes coming in state by state, you see in the old days it was done by chalk. it wasn't electronic as we have today on television. so five minutes later, erase it and put another one. the kennedy family that night was in -- of course, they were very, very nervous. here jfk and his brother. ethel. here is this interesting picture that we saw on the wall taken by hank walker. election night, the electoral vote was very, very close. nobody. new at 3:00 in the morning jfk
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needed 11 more electoral votes. and a lot of people felt he wasn't going to get it. over in the port, this is where the media was. all of a sudden, at 3:00 in the morning, richard nixon decides to go on television. even though he had not lost the election yet. this is the media watching it, and of course i was assigned to photograph nixon, was with him at 3:00 in the morning as he went to the podium at the ambassador hotel, and conceded the election to jfk before he had actually won it. that was an extraordinary move on nixon's part. but for hours later, the boston globe announces his presidency, and this is a wonderful picture taken by henry to mauve, a very,
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very fine photographer. as the early morning newspapers arrived at election campaign headquarters. by midday, the election had been decided. john f. kennedy became the first catholic president of the united states, he rallied his entire family here for this group picture. his brother in law, peter, an entertainer and actor, peter, his inner brother, robert kennedy, one of his sisters, his mother and father, and ethel, jim kennedy's husband over there, smith, this is kind of a interesting little moment. then of course there is jackie looking up at her husband. wonderful, wonderful picture taken by paul of life magazine.
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in january of course there is the integration. it's interesting snowy day, and jfk and the family decided to walk from the white house to than operation. paul shots are of life made that picture. of course rather than showing a picture of john f. k making the, speech that was that great moment when jfk said, for me to paraphrase, ask not with your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. it was incredible call for action. that night the festivities continued. here we are in that evening and one of the many malls with jfk in his tuxedo, and jackie, it was really in occasion to be remembered. he was young, handsome.
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he understood the responsibilities but little did he know about the first tough hundred days he would have in american politics. now, we are going to tom into the presidential years. these are the years from 1961 through the tragic day in dallas texas. you know, jfk was really a family man. here in october 63, just before his tragic death, he's walking jon jean and yet, over here, he's dressed with jackie. they brought culture into the white house. she was a person who, understood the arts. understood the role that it played in american culture. and when they went to france on a diplomatic trip, jackie
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convinced governments -- the mona lisa to come to the united states and was extraordinary. it was one of the art exchanges of the century. and jerry 63, jackie kennedy, with abby roe, photographer made this fine picture, -- here jackie, views the plans for the redevelopment of the lafayette square part of the museum. she helped raise funds and supported all the way back from 1958, this museum and all the other cultural locations in washington. tragically, you know, this is a very unique very rarely seen photograph. what is different about it? she is wearing the same suit that she was wearing the day
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that her husband lost his life in dallas. but, any time the kids had nothing to do, they were in the white house. and they had the full run of the place. here -- analysis in jfk's office, an oval office. in 1962, john john was playing around on the carpet. above is a picture taken in -- also and 62. and this is teddies kids, robert kennedy's kids. jfk's kids. and this is of golf cart that they had, so they would run around the compound. and have a lot of fun. one of these pictures wound up being on the cover of -- magazines. here is a very famous picture taken a july 1963. this is a young 16-year-old kid, by the name of bill clinton.
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little did he know, -- the rose garden, and he was there with the american legions boys nation, form. and he had this opportunity, of course, that becomes a very famous photograph that clinton uses when he himself runs not only for governor of arkansas, but also for presidents of the united states. above that picture, taken in 1960 tune, by a friend of mine. bill bibi. he was a photographer at that time, working for the los angeles times. kennedy would spend a lot of time with his brother in law, and his sister in malibu california. just outside of l.a.. and, every once in a while, unannounced, jfk would run out into the serve to get a little bit of that warm california water. and little by little, the public would realize the
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president is out there. and bill b be rushed around, and waited with a suit and tie, kicked off his shoes, and went out in the surf and made this memorable picture in august of 1962. the president surrounded by the crowd of supporters, out there on malibu beach. the picture was nominate for pulitzer prize. it ran front page i think in every -- in the world. of course gerald ford, years later, would exploit the same thing. he loved going swimming and being photographed by photographers. there are several photographers who have made this picture of jfk, leaning over his reading desk. which behind is regular desk. a lot of people feel that he was leaning over to read the newspapers, as some of you know, he had back problems. he wore a back brace quite a bit. this posture position of his, who is very helpful
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straightening out his back. at the same time, reading the newspaper. before jfk, propping the most -- franklin roosevelt, who was always in a wheelchair. he never wanted to be photographed in a wheelchair. where, jfk, who have back problems, did not mind being photographed. no matter whether he was able to run down the street, or you could even move. like this picture here, of him being hoisted into the airplane because he cannot climb steps very well. even though he could walk down them. jfk was never afraid of being photographed. he wanted to be known as being human. that he was no different than anybody else. and that was something quite extraordinary, about the kennedy's. so now, we are getting into jfk's 100 days and political
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years. one of the things that came about was the day of pigs. when the invasion of cuba which was supported by the united states in the cia. which led to what we would've called the cuban missile crisis. in which castro allowed missiles that could, hit it almost any target in the united states, nuclear missiles, to be housed and made operational. in cuba. of course, this is a picture of castro and crews jeff -- i never met castro. but it did meet khrushchev a couple of occasions, as a photographer. here is a picture of castro visiting moscow, prior of 61 to the cuban missile crisis. when america discovered is that russia had placed intercontinental missiles on the island of cuba, jfk went in front of the united nations in september of 61 and said that
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we had to meet with the challenges of our age. and put in effect, policies that dealt with berlin, the wall germany, laos, south vietnam and so forth. but america was introduced actually for the first time very seriously to the atomic bomb because there were missiles so close to the u.s.. this is a picture i made of los angeles, of school kids, being taught about the effects of the bomb, and how they had to run into the halls and protect themselves. to me, it shows you this dr. recoveries risk situation, that we were all being educated to the effect of. nuclear weapons, not in japan, or in some other place in the world. but right here at home. it's 62, kennedy made the speech concerning the soviet missiles, and cuba to the
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nation. this is a picture taken by life magazine. and it was not long after that, about six months later, that kennedy and the world is faced with the effects of the berlin wall. kennedy went to germany, and of course, in june of 1963, he made his very famous speech there. that, he supported germany, he supported the unified germany. and that america was not going to stand around and allow this to happen. he did start to negotiate an arm act, with the soviet union. he met with christian, i believe in indiana. this picture, of khrushchev and jack kyky -- was taken prior to the summer of 84. humorous, but also shows jackie, a great asset to jfk, was truly
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an ambassador to the world. early in 61, when president kennedy gave his speech about that we are going to have to be the russians, and put the first man on the moon, this is a photograph by bob -- of jfk and being educated to the different types of propellant units and missiles that we carry man into space. but not by 1963, jfk had to kind of start to prepare for reelection campaigns. in 64. and the south, and texas was becoming an area, even though lyndon johnson was his vice president, politicians felt that he had to renew his support. so, the trip was planned to fort worth, and dallas. and this picture of jackie, and jfk arriving -- shows really the warm reception
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they received. as they rode through this motorcade, in dallas, and entered in area in which we call daily plaza, three shots rang out. before we knew it, the president had some forward in his limousine, the secret service had ordered the car to be rushed to the hospital. this picture, taken by an unknown photographer, transmitted by associated press, gives you the feeling of the urgency of the moment. it was not long after walter cronkite, probably the best known newscaster on telecast -- worldwide, had to announce not only to america to the world at large that jfk, not only had been shot, but his life had been lost and he had succumbed to the bullet that had entered his head, and hard-line
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hospital. a memorial sprung up, in new york city photograph. of jfk, placed in the store window, is really a reminder that, you could not move without seeing some memory of jfk, and of course a few days later, there was this incredible funeral, procession in washington d.c. on november 25th, after jfk's body was brought back to washington. jackie kennedy herself, had shaped the funeral arrangements. very much -- after abraham lincoln's very own, with a black veil. and her two children, by her side. walked arlington national cemetary, where jfk was buried and in eternal flame was lit over the place where he was
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buried. a lot of people know, i was in dallas also when jeff taylor killed. but i did not put any of my own photographs here in the exhibition. but, here is a picture i made of lee harvey oswald, that tragic day. very famous iconic image of mine, of the gun that oswald are used to shoot shift. as a working journalist, i resent a lot of these events. but i feel that this exhibit would serve a better purpose showing the work of my colleagues, rather than some lesser pictures that i have made. as i look around the walls here, i remember the four months they went into putting this exhibit together, all of these photographs by photographers i knew, i traveled with. i had breakfast, were dinner with. it was quite an experience, looking back at history and
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remembering those moments. some of them, hard struggles to get a picture that looks very easy to take. crowds of photographers, funding that, you will fly on the wall of many instances ... -- looking for the decisive moment. these are pictures of the leading photographers of the golden age of photojournalism. i'm very proud that they all allowed me to kind of, dip into their archives, and finding images that tell the story of john f. kennedy, and his vision for america. you can watch this, and other
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american artifacts programs anytime, by visiting our website, c-span.org slash history. weeknights this month, we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span 3. thursday night, a look at george h. w. bush. we look back 30 years, to january 16th, 1991. when president bush announced from the oval office, the start of the persian gulf war. named operation desert storm, military action -- as the opening salvo on the effort to drive saddam hussein out of neighboring kuwait. which iraq invaded, several months earlier. that is at 8 pm eastern. and enjoy american history tv, every weekend, on c-span 3. >> american history tv, on c-span 3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story, every weekend. coming up this weekend, as the nation prepares for the
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inauguration of joe biden, saturday at 10 pm eastern, we will look at past inaugurations, of president john kennedy, richard nixon, harry truman, dwight eisenhower, and franklin roosevelt. sunday, at 2 pm eastern, historian mark pugh talks about the 1945 battle of you will jima, and the island strategic importance to both the american and japanese forces during world war ii
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he talks about the bay of pigs, he made missile crisis and other covert operations during jfk's three years in the white house. >> and this introductory course we are continuing our historical survey of american intelligence under each presidential administration. now we have come to the presidency of john f. kennedy january 1960, won until november 1963 kennedy was a former naval officers so something to do with intelligence, he was also a big fan of the james bond novels. i pictured him with his brother, , kennedy because they had

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