Filming Kennedy: Home Movies from Dallas

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George Reid

George Reid
George Reid Collection

"Everybody just looked as happy as they could be. . . . There was a mob out there to see him."

George Reid
April 24, 1996
Oral History Collection/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

A longtime Democrat, George Reid volunteered during Senator John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960. As he remembered in his 1996 oral history, “We were just crazy about Kennedy and what he was doing, and his appearance, and the way he appealed to younger people.”

When Reid learned that the president would be visiting Dallas on November 22, 1963, he made plans to go to Love Field airport for his arrival. Although Air Force One would not land until 11:40 a.m., Reid arrived hours earlier to find a choice place to stand. “When I got there,” he recalled, “the president’s car was sitting there, and I got a kind of close-up view of the car. And I thought, well, I’m going to stay right here because they’re probably going to get off the plane and come right over here to the car.” Reid filmed the gathering crowd, Dallas Mayor Earl Cabell, U.S. Attorney Barefoot Sanders, and a brief glimpse of Vice President Lyndon Johnson.

Then, trembling with excitement, Reid captured the Kennedys disembarking from their plane. Unfortunately, Reid ran out of film before the Kennedys got close to him, and the motorcade left the airport before he could reload his camera. Nevertheless, he did get a good view of the Kennedys and recalls that they both “looked young and healthy.”

Reid was sitting in his car in a long procession of vehicles waiting to exit Love Field when he learned of the shooting on his radio.

As an admirer of President Kennedy, he was profoundly impacted by the assassination. On Sunday, November 24, he visited Dealey Plaza with his family, capturing on film the flowers and memorial tributes left in memory of President Kennedy. He remembered, People were just bawling and hugging each other, you know. It was an emotional scene that day.” He returned to the plaza many times in the years following, recording the site on film.