FILM Archives Makes Available Rarely Seen JFK Footage

Kinescope of 1961 Orange Bowl recently uncovered by FILM Archives, one of the nation's leading stock footage libraries, shows President Elect meeting crowd, enjoying Game on eve of Camelot.

New York, NY, October 28, 2010 --( Hard to imagine a President of the United States shaking hands with fans and watching a football game like almost any attendee, but that was just the case on January 2, 1961 when President Elect Kennedy decided to take in the Orange Bowl game pitting JFK's own Navy against Missouri.

While footage of JFK attending the game was captured by newsreel cameras of the day, the 90 seconds of material now available from FILM Archives, one of the industry's top suppliers of vintage and contemporary stock footage, was originally aired as part of the TV coverage of the Orange Bowl game. The broadcast shows Kennedy entering the stadium, moving happily through the crowd, stopping to chat and shake hands before taking his seat. Kennedy's security is quite sparse, with only one sunglasses wearing Secret Service agent in close proximity to the President-Elect. During the three other segments of the coverage, Kennedy is seen watching the game in sunglasses and keeping the famed Kennedy hair in place. Kennedy is also seen from the back, showing him seated in the midst of the Orange Bowl crowd with no extraordinary protection. A final shot has the soon to be President flashing the famed Kennedy smile.

FILM Archives came across the kinescope while going through boxes of film that have been in its possession for the last ten years. The footage is actually a production of the U.S. Navy. The 16mm print was found in a can marked “United States Navy – Bureau of Aeronautics”, and marked “Navy Missouri-Orange Bowl Game KN-9615 Unclassified”.

According to FILM Archives President Mark Trost, “Since Navy played in the game, the service felt it would be a good idea to take a kinsecope of the event (which Missouri won 21-14) and cut it down to a fast-paced 30 minutes, showing all the plays and action and just a few cutaways to the crowd. Outside of the game itself, the President Elect gets most of the non-football coverage, although the Orange Bowl Queen and Debbie Reynolds come in a close second.”

Trost adds that while clips of Kennedy at the game have been available from newsreels of the day, he adds, “I think this is the most footage of the President I've ever seen from that event. Previously we did find a few quick seconds of Kennedy at the Orange Bowl in color from a Miami tourist film of the time. But this is certainly the most footage of Kennedy from the day.”

The footage can be viewed at the FILM Archives web site (along with thousands of other vintage and contemporary film clips) by entering the key words Kennedy Orange Bowl.

The footage is also available for licensing. Interested parties may contact FILM Archives at for details.

FILM Archives, Inc.
Mark Trost