Title [John F. Kennedy]
Number 51201
Size 19” X 15.5”, affixed to 16” X 20”
Date June 26, 1963
Place Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
Category Presidential
Price $6,750.00
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Immediately before President Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech at Berlin City Hall in 1963, his solemn visit to the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie is captured by award-winning UPI photographer James K.W. Atherton in this oversize, original signed photograph. Photo measures 19” X 15.5”.
Sepia-toned Photograph Signed, “James K.W. Atherton”, image size 19” X 15.5”, affixed to 16” X 20” heavy board, signed along the left margin of the mounting. Berlin, noon, Wednesday, June 26, 1963, President Kennedy stands on the platform at Checkpoint Charlie and looks at the dilapidated landscape across the Berlin Wall as his entourage stands below, their eyes and cameras fixed on him. Light silvering along the lower edge of the photograph and minor wear along the edges of the heavy board. In fine condition with a dark, clear Atherton signature. In the June 27, 1963 New York Times, this photograph was printed with the caption, “A VIEW OVER THE WALL: President Kennedy gets his first look into East Berlin across the wall erected by East Germans. Earlier, his plan to look across at the Brandenburg Gate was blocked by cloths hung in the gate’s arches.” Following Kennedy’s visit to Checkpoint Charlie, he delivered the speech now seen as a turning point in the Cold War, a speech that boosted the morale of the West Germans and gave a strong defiant message to the Soviet Union. “…There are many people in the world who really don’t understand…what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere ‘we can work with the Communists.’ Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it’s true that Communism is an evil system but it permits us to make economic progress. Let them come to Berlin… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Award-winning veteran news photographer, James K.W. Atherton was a staff news photographer in Washington, D.C. for over 40 years. For 20 years, he was a staffer for the wires at United Press International (UPI), covering every U.S. President from Harry Truman to Richard Nixon as well as the major events of the day, such as the McCarthy hearings, the 1963 March on Washington, John Kennedy’s funeral, and the first seven space launches. In 1970 he became a staff photographer and picture editor for The Washington Post. Following his award-winning photo coverage of the Watergate hearings, he continued to cover Capitol Hill through the Iran-Contra hearings. He retired in 1990.
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