Gary Mack, Curator at The Sixth Floor Museum
at Dealey Plaza, is calling it "the best home movie known to exist of the Kennedy arrival in Dallas on November 22, 1963" that he has ever seen. For the first time, color film and new glimpses of President and Mrs. Kennedy arriving on Air Force One on that fateful day is being released for public viewing.
On November 22, 1963, local television stations were broadcasting live coverage of the Kennedy arrival at Dallas Love Field airport. At that time, media outlets nationwide were primarily using only black & white video and movie cameras. Except for one White House photographer, whose brief film remained unreleased for years, the only color images of President Kennedy in Dallas were made by amateurs filming their personal views of the First Family. There were many, perhaps 100 or more, cameras at Love Field and along the motorcade route that day. The vast majority have never been seen by the public, including amateur film shot by William Ward Warren of Dallas.
Mr. Warren, now 61, was 15 at the time of the assassination. Students were given the day off of school for the presidential visit, so he decided to take his camera to capture the arrival at Love Field. Warren lives in North Texas with his wife and children and owns a freight brokerage business.
"My dad operated a furniture store adjacent to the airport, and so that morning on his way to work, he dropped me off at the airport to see [President Kennedy] come in," Warren said. "I was very excited. It had rained the night before and cleared off that next day, which was an interesting event, and it was a very positive day. It was cool and yet the sun was shining bright, and there was lots of excitement."
Warren has donated this 8mm color home movie to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
"Viewing this footage makes you feel as though you're standing next to Warren as he's filming it on that very day," Mack said. "Many believe their images captured on November 22, 1963 aren't important because they don't show the assassination. The Sixth Floor Museum's interest is preservation and hoping the images may help answer questions about the Kennedy visit in its entirety, not just the assassination."