As the old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words and for Chris Johnson, owner of the negatives, he has 190 that depict a very iconic day from our nations past. "This collection is very poignant especially since so many of the photographs have never been viewed by anyone," said Johnson, as he looked through his collection.
They're also special because they show various phases
throughout the day of John F. Kennedy's funeral and there's one in particular that stands out from the rest. "this particular photo is the negative that we
have," said Johnson, as he pointed to an image of a young boy saluting.
It's the photo of three year old John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father, an image many Americans recall very well, and a day that will not be easily forgotten. "It just shocked me when I found out that was in there and then thought about the fact that the camera was standing across from that salute when it took place," said Johnson. "It just kind of gave me goosebumps." So how did these extraordinary historical photos make their way all the way to Rapid City South Dakota?
"I have an affinity for historical items and so people know that and they bring in all types of historic things for me to look at and this one was one that really caught my eye," said Johnson. He also said that the photographer of the negatives also had a small part in
how they ended up here.
"when he died his photographic collection was given to his girlfriend." That girlfriend later moved to Rapid City, from there the rest is history just like the images.
"This represents a snapshot in time no pun intended of the way things were in the united states and it was a very important time in our history ,so they are not just old photographs they are important," said Johnson.
An important piece of history that he plans on holding onto for now. "I'm not so sure I want to find a new home for these but we want to find the right way to share them with Americans and hopefully we can do that," said Johnson, and until he figures out how he wants to share them they'll stay locked up safe and sound continuing to preserve one of this nations most iconic days.