It has been a very busy month for me both here at Special Collections and life outside of work. One thing that I can share with both work and life is being surrounded by John F. Kennedy photographs, documentaries, etc. Since last I posted I have been working on the Morris K. Udall collection to update materials to digitize and put online. While going through the new material to digitize, I came across a section that had a folder with all the photographs of Mo with President Kennedy. This Udall collection has been a jackpot for me since my undergraduate was in history and I also have a deep appreciation for the presidents (even the bad ones). What made this finding most exciting for me is the fact that I found it earlier this month, which happens to be the month of his assassination and 50 years after the incident.
I don’t know about all of you but since this month began, my television has had so much Kennedy programing and it has been hard to not sit and watch all of it. Then I come into work and have actual photographs that were taken by the famous photographer during the Kennedy administration Cecil W. Stoughton, which makes me feel like I have a closer connection to the President. A fun fact for those who may not know this but Cecil Stoughton was the only photographer on the plane back to D.C after the assassination, and the iconic photograph of LBJ being sworn in can be credited to Stoughton.
Moving along from Morris Udall and Cecil Stoughton, I would like to include Stewart Udall who was appointed by the President as Secretary of the Interior. Archivist Maurita Baldock, who is my supervisor here, was interviewed last week by a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star that did a piece on some of the materials we have on JFK in our collection. In the Stu Udall collection, there is a folder labeled President Kennedy (Death and Aftermath) which contains the invitations to the mass, letters from people offering their condolences and also notes Stewart Udall wrote to himself on a plane en route to Japan the day of the assasination which was ordered to turn back once the news broke about the President. The notes he wrote to himself really moved me because it makes you feel like you are sitting on this plane full of thought as to why this would happen and what the future would hold with Lyndon B. Johnson as the new President. This folder is such a treasure here to have because no documentary or book can give you the actual invitation or notes that Stewart wrote on that very day.
Since this post could go on forever I would like to let everyone know that I have been currently assigned to work on a display case with all these materials. So, if anyone would like to see these items in person come on in and view them. I am hoping to be done with the cases no later than next Wednesday so stay tuned!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
p.s: I had more images but I would rather people come in to see them! =)