This is a 24-minute black-and-white film produced by the United States Secret Service in Dallas, Texas, in late 1963, very shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
This silent film contains various re-enactments which were conducted inside and outside the Texas School Book Depository Building (the building from where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President Kennedy on November 22, 1963).
The route of the President’s motorcade is reconstructed and put on film, from both inside a Lincoln Continental convertible and from the point-of-view of Oswald on the sixth floor of the Book Depository.
Oswald’s probable movements after he shot JFK are also retraced near the end of this film, although the Secret Service agent performing the re-enactment is walking ridiculously slow (no doubt much slower than Oswald himself was moving on the day of the assassination).
This rarely-seen Secret Service film is very similar in nature to another assassination re-enactment film that was produced on May 24, 1964, by the FBI and the Warren Commission, which goes into even greater detail with respect to reconstructing the shooting of President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally.
SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration.
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States Department of the Treasury.
The US Secret Service has two distinct areas of responsibility: Treasury roles, covering missions such as prevention and investigation of counterfeiting of US currency and US treasury bonds notes and investigation of major fraud. Protective roles, ensuring the safety of current and former national leaders and their families, such as the President, past Presidents, Vice Presidents, presidential candidates, foreign embassies (per an agreement with the US State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) Office of Foreign Missions (OFM)), etc.
The Secret Service’s initial responsibility was to investigate crimes related to the Treasury and then evolved into the United States’ first domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Many of the agency’s missions were later taken over by subsequent agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The United States Secret Service Uniformed Division (UD) assists in protection duties. Established in 1922 as the White House Police Force, this organization was fully integrated into the Secret Service in 1930. With more than 1,300 officers as of 2010, the Uniformed Division is responsible for security at the White House Complex; the vice president’s residence; the Department of the Treasury (as part of the White House Complex); and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C., area. Uniformed Division officers carry out their protective responsibilities through a network of fixed security posts, foot, bicycle, vehicular and motorcycle patrols.
Officers are responsible for providing additional support to the Secret Service’s protective mission through the following special support programs:
The Countersniper Support Unit (CS): Created in 1971, the CS unit’s purpose is to provide specialized protective support to defend against long-range threats to Secret Service protectees. Today CS is an operational element of the Presidential Protective Division.
The Canine Explosives Detection Unit (K-9): Created in 1976, the mission of the K-9 unit is to provide skilled and specialized explosives detection support to protective efforts involving Secret Service protectees.
The Emergency Response Team (ERT): Formed in 1992, ERT’s primary mission is to provide tactical response to unlawful intrusions and other protective challenges related to the White House and its grounds. ERT personnel receive specialized, advanced training and must maintain a high level of physical and operational proficiency.
Magnetometers: The Secret Service began relying on magnetometer (metal detector) support by Uniformed Division officers to augment its protective efforts away from the White House following the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. The Magnetometer Support Unit’s mission is to ensure that all persons entering secure areas occupied by Secret Service protectees are unarmed.