Credit: Jeff Anastasio / KENS 5
As it approached noon in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Tommy Smith, a 14-year-old who skipped school to see President Kennedy pushed his way through the crowds to get a front row seat to history. As the motorcade turned the corner, Tommy raised his camera to snap a photo of the smiling president and first lady in bright pink. In an instant, the crowds dispersed to the sounds of sirens coming from all directions. By the time Tommy walked into the front door of his home the reality sunk in that he was one of the few who saw the president just two minutes before the fatal shot was fired.
Moved to do something, anything - Tommy walked to his back bedroom and wrote a simple, yet poignant sympathy card to the first lady. Decades later, history came back to life as Tommy's card was included in a 2010 book titled "Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation" written by historian Ellen Fitzpatrick.
His card was one of the 250 published in the book out of the 15,000 letters to Jackie that remain at the Kennedy Library.