Thursday, April 11, 2013

Newseum displays rarely seen JFK, Oswald artifacts


Fig. 1 – Oswald's arrest shirt on display. [WTOP]

WASHINGTON - For one of the most tragic and dissected events in American history, it's hard to believe artifacts from the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy exist that have never been seen.

Yet, the Newseum is set to unveil some of these items.

"They're items from the National Archives collection which relate to Lee Harvey Oswald," the man arrested for the murder of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit, and later charged with the JFK murder, says Carrie Christoffersen, director and curator of collections for the Newseum.

Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby two days after the JFK assassination.

In "Three Shots Were Fired," the Newseum displays images and artifacts focusing on the intense news coverage of the killing. "In this case we have a jacket that belonged to Lee Harvey Oswald that was part of the trail of evidence that led to his arrest. It was found behind a gas station," Christoffersen says while pointing to an off-white jacket.

Also on display is a brown shirt Oswald was wearing when he was arrested at the Dallas Theater.

The display contains Oswald's nondescript brown wallet, which contains items many of us would carry, says Christoffersen.

Fig. 2 – Oswald's gray jacket, billfold and contents. [WTOP]

"Pictures of his wife, his Social Security card, but coupled with that are his Fair Play for Cuba card [and] some addresses that relate to the Soviet Embassy," he says.

Rarely displayed items also in the exhibit include "The camera Abraham Zapruder used to shoot those 26 seconds of the most famous home movie on the planet," says Christoffersen.

The Newseum's JFK exhibits, which come in the 50th anniversary of his death, include "Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacque Lowe" and a Newseum produced film, "A Thousand Days."

The JFK exhibit opens to the public Friday, Apr. 12.