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Inside assassin's wallet: Never-seen-before pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald's personal items go on display
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- Oswald's billfold contained photos of his family, military IDs, library card and card of Communist organization
- Exhibit marks 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas November 22, 1963
By Snejana Farberov
PUBLISHED: 18:09 EST, 11 April 2013 | UPDATED: 18:24 EST, 11 April 2013
When Lee Harvey Oswald left his Dallas home on the morning of November 22, 1963, and headed to the Texas School Book Depository, he packed light, bringing along little more than a wallet with ID cards and photos of his family.
Just hours later, the obscure 24-year-old Communist sympathizer would alter the course of American history, firing three deadly shots at President John F. Kennedy as his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza.
Oswald was arrested about an hour after the assassination for the murder of the president and the deadly shooting of a police officer. Two days later, Oswald himself was shot and killed before live television cameras.
Infamous garb: Lee Harvey Oswald, seen in a photo of his arrest, was wearing this brown button-down shirt when he was collared and charged in the death of President John F. Kennedy
Historic billfold: At top left is the wallet Oswald was carrying when he was arrested containing photos, ID cards and a Fair Play for Cuba Committee card. Some of the items were stained by chemicals used for fingerprinting
Wrapped in mystery: The blanket used by Oswald to conceal his rifle at a friend's house in Dallas
Capturing tragedy: The historical artifacts from that dramatic day also include the Bell & Howell 8 mm movie camera used by Abraham Zapruder, the only eyewitness to capture the entire assassination on film
As part of a new exhibit called Three Shots Were Fired marking the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, the Newseum in Washington DC put on display several never-before-seen artifacts from that fateful day in November, including personal items that were in Oswald's possession on the day of his arrest.
Wanted man: Police tracked down Oswald less than two after after he shot dead President Kennedy and a Dallas police officer
the assassin’s few belongings was a long-sleeve shirt he was wearing
when he was taken into custody shortly after 1.30pm in Dallas.
Also on display is the jacket belonging to Oswald that police believe he discarded at a gas station after shooting dead police officer J. D. Tippit.
Perhaps some of the most fascinating items in the exhibit, which opens to the public Friday, are the contents of the gunman's wallet.
His billfold confiscated by police and later stored at the National Archives contained his selective service and Social Security cards, several military IDs, and pictures of himself in his Marine uniform, his wife, Marina, and their daughter, June.
Oswald also had on him a card identifying him as a member of the pro-Communist activist group Fair Play for Cuba Committee and a Dallas library card.
Some of the items were stained by blood-red chemicals used for fingerprinting.
Also among the items in the exhibit on loan from the National Archives is the blanket the former sharpshooter with the U.S. Marine Corps used to hide his rifle in the garage of a family friend near Dallas.
Final moments: President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy ride with secret agents in an open car motorcade shortly before the president was assassinated
Tragic site: Oswald fired three deadly shots from the Texas School Book Depository building as Kennedy's motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza in Dallas
A United Press International
bulletin, which also could be seen at the Newseum, broke the news that the
president had been shot shortly after 12.10pm on November 22, 1963.
Minutes later, CBS anchor Walter Cronkite began four days of unprecedented television coverage, including the unforgettable moment when he reported to the nation that Kennedy was dead.
The historical artifacts from that dramatic day also include the Bell & Howell 8 mm movie camera used by Abraham Zapruder, the only eyewitness to capture the entire assassination on film.
Incognito: John and Jackie Kennedy sit unrecognized in an Oregon diner during an early presidential campaign stop in the fall of 1959
Creating Camelot: Also on display at the Newseum are photographs taken by Jacques Lowe documenting the Kennedy presidency, like the iconic image of the first family on the left and a photo of the 35th president from 1959 that was later used by his widow on his memorial card
Visitors to the Newseum will be able to see the typewriter America's 35th president used aboard Air Force One' radio logs recorded by Dallas police on the day of the assassination; Jacqueline Kennedy's personal schedule for November 21-22, and a the revolver used by the Secret Service agent who climbed atop Kennedy's limousine after the shooting.
The Newseum’s Three Shots Were Fired show will run through January 5, 2014 along with a photo exhibit called Creating Camelot and a documentary about Kennedy’s 1,000-day presidency.