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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Howard Brodie. Diagrammatic view of courtroom used in the Ruby v. Texas trial in Dallas, Texas, 1964. Crayon on white paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (018.00.00)
LC-DIG-ds-04020 © Estate of Howard Brodie
Gift of Howard Brodie

Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald's Assassin

Just days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended for the crime. As Oswald was being moved from the Dallas police station, Jack Ruby (Jacob Leon Rubenstein) shot him on live television. Howard Brodie, having worked for two decades as a newspaper illustrator, called an army buddy who was a CBS executive to offer his services in covering a trial that forbade filming. He became one of the first courtroom illustrators to work for television. This drawing of the empty courtroom depicts the names and positions of the defendant, defense attorneys, judge, district attorney, assistant district attorneys, bailiff, court reporter, jury, and even the spittoon.