POLITICS
11/22/2013 08:09 am ET Updated Nov 22, 2013

JFK's Assassination Video Was Kept From The Public For 12 Years. Here's What We Saw When It Aired.

(WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO ABOVE.)

Abraham Zapruder made the short trip from his house to Dealey Plaza in Dallas exactly 50 years ago on Friday, hoping to use his newfangled 8mm camera to film President John F. Kennedy as his motorcade passed through town. What the women's sportswear designer captured instead would be the tragic death of a man whom he admired, playing out on 486 frames over the course of just under 27 seconds.

The clip above would come to shape the ensuing evaluation and controversy over Kennedy's untimely death. While it wasn't the only recording of the episode, the Zapruder film was used as a centerpiece of the Warren Commission, an investigation mounted by President Lyndon B. Johnson to determine the details of his predecessor's killing. Using the film and a trove of other evidence and testimony, officials determined in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in the assassination.

But even after the controversial conclusion, the complete version of the Zapruder film remained shielded from the public for another 11 years, until 1975, when it aired live on ABC's Good Night America, then hosted by Geraldo Rivera:

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