Son discovers film reel given to him by father features JFK speech

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 5:33 PM

DALLAS — Alex Vickers of Dallas got a film reel from his dad when he was 10 years old.

Back then, he didn’t know what was on the reel, but today he does and it turns out the frames revealed history.

“I asked him about it and I said, 'Hey dad, can I have this?' Vickers said. "He said, 'It was filmed on your birthday, so why don't you keep it for your birthday? It was pretty awesome. Most certainly it wasn't my birthday and it wasn't wrapped up, but it definitely was a birthday gift.”

The film was shot November 15, 1963 and captured President John F. Kennedy's remarks in New York City at the AFL-CIO convention, seven days before he was assassinated in Dallas. A copy of the speech was sent to Vickers' dad, John, who was a labor leader for the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union in Dallas.

“It was the struggle of the working man versus the big corporation," Vickers said. "That's what he fought for his entire life. It echoes some of the things he taught me like respect, treat everyone with respect, civil rights, treat everyone equally.”

Vickers went to a company to digitize the video. He’s hoping others use it for documentary purposes. He admits he's entertaining several offers, but hopes one day to donate the film and maybe keep it in Dallas.

“I'm going to find a good home for it," he said. "I’m Texan. I’m from Dallas. We will reach out to the Sixth Floor Museum, but I will find a good home for it.”

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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