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See rare and never-published images of the President in 1963, including the fateful morning of Nov. 22

By Steven James Snyder
November 21, 2013 01:20 PM
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November 22, 1963
Credit: Arthur Rickerby/Life

As the nation prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, it is worth remembering that we are not just mourning a death but also celebrating a remarkable life.

Our friends at LIFE recently discovered in their archives a series of rare and never-published photographs of President Kennedy in the autumn of 1963, some taken the day of Kennedy’s assassination and others snapped in the weeks and months that preceded the murder.

They are portraits of a leader at the peak of his powers, and a lasting tribute to a presidency that was flourishing prior to Dealey Plaza.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1963:

SEPTEMBER 25, 1963:

SEPTEMBER 28, 1963:

SEPTEMBER, 1963:

SEPTEMBER 28, 1963:

NOVEMBER 22, 1963: