McMahon lived in Lake Forest, but traveled the world to cover events that would be recognized as key moments in American and world history. McMahon went on assignment for Life and Look Magazines, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Sports Illustrated, to name a few. Those assignments included the Emmet Till trial in Alabama, the March from Selma to Montgomery, the Chicago 8 Conspiracy Trial, the Watergate hearings, and the first walk on the moon (drawn from inside NASA's Mission Control).
|Deerfield Elementary School gymnasium, November 1959, by Franklin McMahon. Artist's caption: "Deerfield citizens signal opposition to the racially integrated housing proposal." (LCDM 2010.17.6)|
|Drawing titled "Lives 12 feet from Project," by Franklin McMahon, November 24, 1959. Artist's caption: "There were several meetings on both sides...Including a visit by Eleanor Roosevelt, supporting the subdivision." (LCDM 2010.17.11)|
|"Therefore, I Shall Resign..." President Richard Nixon on television at the Shrimp Walk Restaurant in Highwood, Illinois, by Franklin McMahon, August 8, 1974. (LCDM 2010.17.4)|
McMahon produced 8,000 to 9,000 drawings in his career. He was an eyewitness to history, and his artworks evoke the emotions of those times.