Film of JFK assassination to be digitally restored

One of the three primary films of the assassination of President Kennedy is being restored, its owners said Friday, the 39th anniversary of his death.

The "Muchmore film," as it is known, will be remastered with digital technology that will stabilize it and restore scratched and damaged images, Associated Press Television News said in London.

Separately, the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas said it had acquired new photographs and film, including footage of the presidential motorcade not previously shown to the public.

The APTN film was taken by Marie Muchmore as the president's motorcade turned onto Houston Street in Dallas.

It shows the last, fatal shot to the head and a woman who came to be known as the "babushka lady" filming near the president's car. She never was conclusively identified nor was her film ever retrieved.

Muchmore's film, originally acquired by United Press International, is now part of the library of APTN, which commissioned the restoration. It will be released in January for inclusion in productions timed for the 40th anniversary.

"If a program maker is using scratched, washed-out images, then viewers aren't going to be giving their full concentration, so we think it's a way of helping to tell the story," said Christopher O'Hearn, the head of content development for APTN.

The Sixth Floor Museum, meanwhile, said it had acquired footage by Jackie Tindel that shows Kennedy's motorcade before the assassination.

Maureen Hughes-Thompson also donated well-known film taken by her late husband, Robert Hughes, showing the motorcade in Dealey Plaza and the assassination scene afterward. Movement can be seen in the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, from where Lee Harvey Oswald fired a rifle at the motorcade.

Among 20 photographs donated by Jay Skaggs are two that show police Lt. Carl Day carrying a rifle from the book depository after the assassination. The museum said the photos were the only known color photographs of the event.

Also Friday, National Public Radio and CNN were airing two sets of taped radio communications the day of the assassination. One was between the White House and a plane over the Pacific carrying Cabinet officers, the other between Washington and officials returning to the capital with Lyndon Johnson, who was sworn in as president aboard Air Force One.

"This is the situation room," went one White House transmission on Nov. 22, 1963. "The president is dead. He died about 35 minutes ago."

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