from the archives #1

president clinton

President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore and Tipper Gore speak about health care reform in Independence, Missouri on July 30, 1994.

Ten years ago, before I became a freelance photographer in Kansas City, I was a newspaper photographer for eight years. People often ask me what was my most memorable assignment. It is a difficult question to answer and it started me thinking. . . some people in my life have not been with me for my entire 18 year photography career. Many of the photos I made have never been seen by some people. So I decided to start a new post on my blog entitled “From the Archives.” I plan to dig through years of photographs and negatives and occasionally post an old photo with the story behind that image. An old photo. . . a “new” old photo.

The first “new” old photo is an image I made of President Bill Clinton on July 30, 1994 at the Independence Square in Independence, Missouri. President Clinton, Hillary, Vice-President Gore and Tipper were in town to promote their Health Security Express or universal health care reform to the American people. I was stringing for Reuters news service at the time so I was allowed to meet up and travel with the White House press corps from Kansas City International Airport. I rode in a van at the end of the president’s motorcade from KCI to Independence. We rolled down I-29 which had been closed for our arrival, through red lights and stop signs all the way to Independence Square. I was ushered quickly into position onto a set of risers just to the right of the podium. All the other local media was set up in front of the podium. When the president and his guests arrived on stage, I panicked because I could not see their faces, only the backs of their heads. Just before the president spoke, Willie Nelson sang the National Anthem, and the group turned toward me to applaud him. I made several frames but this image was the only one where everyone’s face is visible.

-scott weaver

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