ow and then, we hear of someone discovering something unexpectedly valuable at a yard sale. It may be a collectible comic book or a baseball card. Perhaps an original copy of the United States Constitution hiding behind an Elvis picture. That might be a stretch. A man in Texas, on the other hand, is trying to figure out how a 60-year-old unpublished photo of President John F. Kennedy was found in a thrift store.
George Rebeles purchased a Bachman-Turner Overdrive CD at the Souls Harbor Goodwill Store in Ferris, a little town about 20 miles southeast of Dallas. He opened the case about a month later and discovered an authentic black-and-white Polaroid photo of President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas, with the date 11-22-63 inscribed on the back. That was the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
President John F. Kennedy and his political advisers were planning the next presidential campaign by the fall of 1963. Although he had not publicly declared his candidature, it was evident that President Kennedy intended to run, and he appeared to be optimistic about his chances for re-election.
The president flew west at the end of September, addressing in nine different states in less than a week. The purpose of the trip was to highlight natural resources and conservation activities. Nonetheless, JFK used it to test out issues for his 1964 presidential campaign, such as education, national security, and international peace.
A month later, the president delivered speeches to Democratic conventions in Boston and Philadelphia. Then, on November 12, he convened the first crucial political planning session for the next election year. JFK underlined the importance of winning Florida and Texas throughout the conference and discussed his plans to visit both states in the next two weeks.
The presidential party left the hotel in a motorcade and traveled to Carswell Air Force Base for the thirteen-minute flight to Dallas. When President and Mrs. Kennedy arrived at Love Field, they quickly disembarked and headed towards a fence where a mob of well-wishers had gathered and spent several minutes shaking hands.
The first lady was presented with a bouquet of red roses, which she carried to the waiting limousine. As the Kennedys entered and sat behind them, Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie, were already ensconced in the open convertible. The plastic bubble top had been removed because it was no longer pouring. Another automobile in the procession was filled by Vice President and Mrs. Johnson.
The procession left the airport and went through downtown Dallas to the Trade Mart, where the President was due to address at a luncheon.]
Crowds of people lined the streets, waving at the Kennedys. Around 12:30 p.m., the automobile exited Main Street near Dealey Plaza. When it passed the Texas School Book Depository, gunshots rang out in the plaza.
Bullets hit the president’s neck and head, causing him to lean over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The governor was wounded in the back.
George Rebeles stated that he was visiting Ferris’ Souls Harbor Thrift Store when he decided to purchase Bachman Turner Overdrive’s The Anthology on CD.
Rebels claims he didn’t open the CD case until about a month after purchasing it, when he spotted an object inside that turned out to be a Polaroid snapshot.
In the photograph, JFK was riding in his motorcade in Dallas. “11-22-63,” the date inscribed on the back of the photo, was the day of Kennedy’s assassination.
According to Farris Rookstool III, a former FBI analyst, and Kennedy historian, the photo appears to have been taken as the procession left Love Field, which is quite far from the site of the killing.
The National Archives and Records Administration released nearly 13,000 documents related to the Kennedy assassination in December 2022, acting on an executive order from President Joe Biden.
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