LIFE magazine has released rare and unpublished photographs of former president John F Kennedy’s funeral, in 1963, and at Arlington Cemetery. These shots were taken just days after the president’s assassination in Dallas.
Among the distinguished mourners photographed was the third President of Ireland Eamon DeValera, German President Heinrich Luebke, French President General Charles de Gaulle, Germany's Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, and French Premier Maurice Couve de Murville. British mourners included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and the Leader of the Opposition, Harold Wilson.
On November 25 1963, an estimated 800,000 Americans lined the streets to watch JFK’s coffin on its way towards St Matthew's Cathedral in central Washington.
LIFE magazine reported the scene as JFK’s casket lay in state for two days. The report read “A woman knelt and gently kissed the flag...A little girl’s hand tenderly fumbled under the flag to reach closer. Thus, in a privacy open to all the world, John F. Kennedy’s wife and daughter touched at a barrier that no mortal ever can pass again.”
Between 1964 and 1966, an estimated 16 million people visited his grave.