The Secret Service had tagged the vehicles indicating their
position in the Dallas motorcade; the president's car was supposed to be number 7, with
the photographer's car directly in front (number 6), as usual, but last minute
changes caused JFK's car to be moved to the number 2 position, and the
photographer/press vehicles were moved farther back in the motorcade.
News photographer Thomas Dillard: "We lost our position out at the
airport.I understood we were supposed
to have been quite a bit closer [to the President].We were assigned as the prime photographic car which, as you
probably know, normally a truck precedes the President on these things and
certain representatives of the photographic press ride with the truck.In this case, as you know, we didn't have
any and this car that I was in was to take any photographs which was of
spot-news nature...and the whole parade, the whole trip to town, I could only
distinguish the President's car on very few occasions in high rises in the
ground, when we got on hills.It was
difficult because the people in the cars ahead of me were sitting on the backs
of cars which pretty well covered the President's car for me.We had a very, very poor view of the
President's car at any time from the time the parade started."
told Richard Trask: "The sad thing news-wise was the custom always was
that a selected group of press people - photographers - were to ride a flat-bed
truck in front of the President. That was standard procedure in all
presidential parades. I was one of the selected photographers. I was the head
man at my paper and a pretty good photographer...It was understood the flatbed
was going to be there. But at the last moment it was canceled. We bounced
around and ended up on one of those Chevrolet convertibles."
Watch as the two secret service men assigned to protect president
Kennedy's motorcade are ordered to stand down just minutes before
entering Dealey Plaza.