6 March

The Zapruder film is a silent, colour motion picture sequence shot by private citizen Abraham Zapruder with a home-movie camera, as U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on 22 November, 1963, thereby unexpectedly capturing the President’s assassination.

On this day in 1975, the ABC late-night television show Good Night America (hosted by Geraldo Rivera), assassination researchers Robert Groden and Dick Gregory presented the first-ever network television showing of the Zapruder home movie. The public’s response and outrage to that television showing quickly led to the forming of the Hart-Schweiker investigation, contributed to the Church Committee Investigation on Intelligence Activities by the United States, and resulted in the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation.

Although it is not the only film of the shooting, it has been called the most complete, giving a relatively clear view from a somewhat elevated position on the side from which the president’s head wound is visible. It was an important part of the Warren Commission hearings and all subsequent investigations of the assassination, and is one of the most studied pieces of film in history. Of greatest notoriety is the film’s capture of the fatal shot to President Kennedy’s head when his presidential limousine was almost exactly in front of, and slightly below, Zapruder’s position.