Army Drum Used in President John F. Kennedy's Funeral

Americans old enough to remember November 1963, and the horror of the assassination of President Kennedy, no doubt recall the relentless cadence sounded by MSG Vincent Battista, on this drum, as they watched the funeral procession make its way to Arlington Cemetery on national television. Part of the Army National Collection, the instrument is of eighteenth century rope-tension pattern, made of traditional materials for the Army Band by the famed craftsman, the late Charles Soistman of Baltimore. The black crepe, exposing the hand-painted national arms on the shell, is part of the ritual associated with military funerals. The drum is currently on loan to the Smithsonian Institution for an exhibit.

Additional Information on the State Funeral of President John F. Kennedy:
The Last Salute Civil and Military Funerals, 1921-1969 [PDF 40.5MB]
by B. C. Mossman, M. Warner Stark