Daily News photog recalls the picture that moved a nation

By: David Noack

In the blink of a camera’s eye, Dan Farrell captured a piece of history. On Nov. 25, 1963, Farrell, then a 32-year-old photographer for the New York Daily News was in the nation’s capital for the funeral of President John F. Kennedy. The photo he snapped ? which is now in great demand ? was of a 3-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr., saluting his father’s passing caisson.
The picture took up most of the front page of the paper on Nov. 26, 1963, and was distributed via The Associated Press, which Farrell says never gave him credit for the photo.
Following the July 16 disappearance of JFK Jr.’s plane en route to Martha’s Vineyard, Farrell’s photo once again appeared in hundreds of newspapers.
After taking pictures of the funeral procession from the Capitol Rotunda to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Farrell, along with dozens of other photographers, were on a flatbed truck snapping photos.
His assignment editor then asked if he wanted to stand outside the cathedral and see what he could find. He was using a 1000 F-Hasselblad camera that had a makeshift 300 mm lens.
“I got the camera and went down to the church, and I got there before they came out of the church. The coffin came out first, followed by Mrs. [Jacqueline] Kennedy and the two children and other Kennedy family members. At this point, they were just standing in front of the church with Mrs. Kennedy, and she bent down to John and [told him to] salute,” says Farrell, now 68, who lives in Oceanside, N.Y.
Farrell was already looking through the camera equipped with the telephoto lens and could read her lips and knew what was about to happen.
“That’s how I knew that this was going to come down,” notes Farrell, who retired three years ago from the paper.
He admits that if he wasn’t already looking through the camera lens, he would not have gotten the picture, which has appeared in hundreds of newspapers since word of the disappearance of
his wife,and his sister-in-law, spread over the weekend of July 17-18.
?(Editor & Publisher Web Site:http:www.mediainfo.com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher July 24, 1999) [Caption]

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