- Historic Sites
The Day Kennedy Was Shot
A routine chore for JFK’s official photographer became the most important assignment of his career. Much of his moving pictorial record appears here for the first time.
November 1988 | Volume 39, Issue 7
The next few days blur in Stoughton’s memory. “I was going all day Friday, Friday night, and shooting pictures at four o’clock in the morning. I went back home, changed clothes, and went back to the White House to cover Johnson’s official meetings. Then came the lying in state in the East Room and the Capitol and the funeral. When we got to St. Matthew’s on Monday, I was on the steps as they were carrying the casket. I could reach out and touch the flag, and I nearly collapsed at that point. But then I carried on, went to the cemetery, and shot everything there that I could. I must have been going just on nerves.”
Stoughton stayed on at the White House until the summer of 1965. He later transferred to a Pentagon job, where he remained until his retirement from the Army in April 1967. He then became the chief photographer for the National Park Service. Stoughton retired from his long government career in April 1973 and now lives in Florida. Regarding his nearly anonymous contribution to recording presidential history on film, Stoughton commented, “The President knows I took them; I know I took them; my wife knows I took them. I guess that’s enough credit.”