Local Photographer's Son Shares Pictures of President Kennedy at Eglin AFB

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On May 4th, 1962, local photographer Arturo Mennillo captured images of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Eglin Air Force Base.

Kennedy was on base to observe a manned weapons firepower demonstration.

Mennillo's son Tony still has all 62 photos his father took that day.

"I am proud of the fact that I am able to share and bring back these old memories,” said Tony Mennillo, of Arturo’s Studio. “We have done that with three books major books. We are fortunate that we have these images and go back and show history."

These pictures have become a part of the Mennillo's life, even after the day they were taken.

"In my lifetime, and my dad's lifetime, the FBI has shown up twice, and they wanted to take a look at all my dad's photos that day,” said Mennillo. “Basically what they were looking for commonalities in the crowd of people that might have been watching Kennedy through the years, as he visited one place to another."

Only 12 out of Mennillo's 62 pictures of President Kennedy have ever been shown to the public.

Arturo Mennillo's last wish was to give the photos to someone who would appreciate their historical significance.

Tony Mennillo intends to honor that last wish.

“This collection needs to go to someone who can see it and appreciate it, share it,” said Mennillo.

Although President Kennedy was a frequent visitor to South Florida, the Eglin Air Force Base trip is believed to be his only visit to the Florida panhandle while he was President.