New Kensington native Eddie Adams, left, covers action in South Vietnam in 1965 for The Associated Press. Behind him is photographer George Sweers of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
By Christina Gilbert Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eddie Adams, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and photojournalist, is being remembered this weekend with the Eddie Adams Day Photography Festival. This will be its second year.
Born in New Kensington in 1933, Adams won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his famous capture on camera of a South Vietnamese police chief executing a Viet Cong prisoner on a Saigon street during the Vietnam War. He continued to mark his legacy with noteworthy portraits of celebrities and politicians and his coverage of 13 wars until his death in 2004.
Dan Henderson, president of the New Kensington Camera Club, which is sponsoring the Eddie Adams Day event, said he is looking forward to a large turnout.
Similar to last year, local photographers have entered portraits and human interest photos inspired by Adams to be displayed in the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum throughout June. Admission to the museum, at 224 E. Seventh Ave., Tarentum, is $5 and free to members.
Eddie Adams Day will be celebrated at the museum on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The festival will feature guest speakers Alyssa Adams, Adams' widow and deputy photo editor at TV Guide, and Hal Buell, the Associated Press' Saigon bureau chief when Adams took his "Saigon Execution" photograph in 1968.
"An Unlikely Weapon," the 2009 documentary detailing Adams' life, will be screened at 1 p.m. at the museum.
Mr. Buell will speak at a dinner at the Clarion Hotel in New Kensington at 6 p.m. Saturday. Fee is $25 (tickets must be purchased in advance).
This year's event will have a few additions from last year. There will be a clay bust at the museum in the likeness of Eddie Adams that was carved and donated to the club by Pittsburgh-based sculptor Ben Jacobs. Also, limited-edition Eddie Adams Day commemorative coins designed by Mr. Henderson will be available for purchase for $10 each during show hours.
Mr. Henderson said the New Kensington Camera Club will use the event's proceeds to buy a Pennsylvania Historical Marker in 2014 for Adams.
"This is about a man of the people, a U.S. Marine, a Korean War veteran, a photographer who with the snap of a camera shutter changed the world, an unlikely weapon indeed," he said.