Abraham Lincoln was the first president to use photography to document his presidency and distribute those images to the public. During Lincoln’s campaign to be president in 1860, Matthew Brady took many of the pictures of President Lincoln using daguerreotype technology. Over 100 years later, on November 22, 1963, Cecil Stoughton captured a picture of Lyndon Johnson being sworn into office on Air Force One after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas. The shots were fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee at the Book Depository, and charged him with the president’s assassination. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president that day. Oswald never made it to court, because Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald when they were transferring him from jail.
Who was the first American president to be photographed while in office? What photographic process was used?
President Abraham Lincoln had a photograph taken standing with his left hand on a stack of books. Why did he do this?
What types of photographs do presidents' photographers take and show to the public?
- Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre invented the daguerreotype process in France.
- American photographers quickly capitalized on the daguerreotype process, which was capable of capturing a "truthful likeness" of the subject being photographed.
- Cecil Stoughton took over 8,000 photographs of the Kennedy family from Kennedy's Inauguration until his assassination on November 22, 1963.
- Cecil Stoughton was also the presidential photographer for the first two years of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Abraham Lincoln Noun
(1809-1865) 16th American president.
James K. Polk Noun
(1795-1849) 11th American president.
John F. Kennedy Noun
(1917-1963) 35th president of the United States.
art and science of producing still or moving images using the chemical reaction of light on a sensitive surface, such as film or an electronic sensor.
sitting president Noun
incumbent president or president who is currently in office.