The grainy images show John F Kennedy riding in an open sedan car, greeting animated crowds, escorted by police motorcycles.
The scene was filmed in 1963 and somehow mysteriously recalls the famous images of his murder a few months later.
An unreleased film has appeared, taken five months before his murder, and in New Ross, a town in County Wexford, south-east Ireland, where Kennedy made a pilgrimage to his great-grandfather’s family property.
Peggy Walsh, an amateur videographer and local resident, recorded the June 27 visit on a 20-minute color film. The images remained in a drawer, much forgotten, for more than four decades.
His modest Kennedy documentation contrasts with that of another amateur filmmaker, Abraham Zapruder, who, on November 22, 1963, recorded the politician riding in an open car passing by cheering crowds in Dallas, Texas and shooting him. . It became, without a doubt, the most famous film of the 20th century.
Walsh, now 98, and his daughter Ann Larkin recently accepted an offer from another New Ross resident, Paddy Breen, to turn his film into a DVD.
“It’s been almost 50 years in a drawer with no one approaching it,” Larkin said. “Having it now and having it so good is fantastic. When you see the crowd around him, the freedom and kindness he had, it was really like coming home. ”
It has been donated to the Kennedy Book and Research Archive of the New Ross Library, a branch of Kennedy’s annual summer school, which holds talks and events in the city of Wexford in September.
Willie Keilthy, the president of the summer school, thanked Walsh and Larkin for preserving and donating the film. It will be shown to the public for the first time in an outdoor screening on September 2nd.
Kennedy described his visit in 1963 as a return to immigration. “It took 115 years to make this journey, 6,000 miles and three generations,” he said in a speech at the dock.
The site is marked by a statue and an “emigrant flame,” which flashes inside a metal sculpture dedicated to the diaspora. He was lit by a torch drawn from the eternal flame by his grave in Arlington, Virginia.