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November 21, 1963: President Kennedy in San Antonio

November 30, 2009

Last September, we posted an entry about John F. Kennedy’s visit to the Alamo in 1960 as part of his presidential campaign. This visit, however, was not Kennedy’s only visit to San Antonio; rather, he and his wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, were in the Alamo City on November 21, 1963, the day before he was assassinated in Dallas.

President John F. Kennedy in San Antonio. (SCElicson.09.003)

President John F. Kennedy in San Antonio. (SCElicson.09.003)

A photographic negative in the DRT Library’s Joseph Elicson Photograph Collection, above, captures one moment of the President’s time in San Antonio. It shows him sitting in an open Lincoln convertible next to First Lady Jackie Kennedy, just as he was the following day in Dallas. The image also shows then-Governor John Connally, barely visible, in front of the First Lady and his wife, Nellie Connally, in front of the president. Significantly, in Dallas the two reversed positions, and Gov. Connally was wounded by one of the bullets that hit President Kennedy. Research by former DRT Library intern Amy Canon revealed that the the Elicson photograph was taken in front of the Beneficial Finance & Thrift Co. Consulting a 1963 city directory, Canon discovered that the company was located at 202 Broadway in San Antonio.

A map of President Kennedy's motorcade route through San Antonio, printed in the Express-News on November 20, 1963.

A map of President Kennedy's motorcade route through San Antonio, printed in the Express-News on November 20, 1963.

San Antonio was the first stop of a planned two-day, five-city tour of Texas, which was held in preparation for Kennedy’s 1964 presidential campaign. While in the city, the President spoke at the dedication of four buildings in the complex that housed the United States Air Force Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base. According to the Handbook of Texas and other sources, Kennedy’s speech at this event was his final official act as president. On November 20, 1963, the San Antonio Express-News reported on the festivities occurring the next day at Brooks. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m., with President Kennedy scheduled to arrive at 2:25 p.m. “An open house at the aerospace school will begin at 11 a.m.,” the newspaper article stated. “Guided tours will begin at noon, and visitors may expect to see such facilities as the high-altitude simulation chambers, space suits and the gravity-simulating centrifuge. At 1 p.m., the Air Force Band of the West, from Lackland, will begin a band concert.” Furthermore, the article described the scene of the dedication, stating that “on either side of the speaker’s platform will be the shell of an X15 [aircraft] and a model of the X20 Dynasoar spacecraft.”

[Aerial view of the Aerospace Medical Division]

An aerial photograph of the Aerospace Medical Division, circa 1970.

That He May Live: USAF Aerospace Medical Center

The front cover of a pamphlet describing activities conducted at the Aerospace Medical Center, circa 1961.

For Further Research [updated February 10, 2012]:

An audio recording and transcript of the speech given by President Kennedy at Brooks Air Force Base are available through the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum website. The website also provides contextual information about the president’s 1963 trip to Texas and his assassination in Dallas, and users can see archival footage of President Kennedy in San Antonio as part of the nineteen-minute film “The Last Two Days.”

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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48 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Veselis permalink
    March 15, 2010 9:05 pm

    Hello.

    I have two 8 x 11, glossy pictures that were taken at Kelly Air Force Base the day that JFK and Mrs. Kennedy came out of their plane there. As far as I can tell, they are official Air Force photos. They are candid shots! these were taken the day before he was killed.

    Thanks.

    Judy Veselis

  2. David Lifton permalink
    May 23, 2010 7:32 pm

    Hi Judy Veselis:

    I would love to see the two pictures you are referring to. Could you please contact me at [information removed by blog administrator], or leave me a phone message at [information removed by blog administrator]. Thanks. David Lifton

  3. drtlibrary permalink*
    June 25, 2010 12:08 pm

    Mr. Lifton, I will forward your information to Ms. Veselis so she can contact you at her discretion.

  4. carl koch permalink
    January 24, 2011 9:42 am

    Mr. Lifton,
    Hello I have a 8X11 photo and the negative of JFK in what looks to be a review of the troops while he was at Brooks Airforce Base. Please feel free to get back with me in someway. Carl Koch

  5. drtlibrary permalink*
    January 24, 2011 5:01 pm

    Mr. Koch, Thank you for the information about your photograph of President Kennedy. I will forward your information to Mr. Lifton so he can contact you at his discretion.

  6. Ned Coleman permalink
    May 3, 2011 6:35 pm

    In this article the following statement is made: “On November 20, 1986, the San Antonio Express-News reported on the festivities occurring the next day at Brooks.” I assume that this should read “1963″ rather than “1986″. Perhaps this article was written in 1986 and the writer confused the years in this reference.

  7. drtlibrary permalink*
    May 10, 2011 4:17 pm

    Mr. Coleman, Thank you for the observation! We checked the original Express-News article quoted in the blog post; “1986″ was a typo and should have been “1963.” The error has now been corrected.

  8. richard hernandez permalink
    November 23, 2011 4:57 pm

    I remember standing along Roosevelt st with my school st. Cecilia’s Catholic school. as we were waiting for the Presidential motorcade, i noticed a man holding a rifle standing atop the train testle where the motorcade passed under driving south on Roosevelt st. The man appeared to have been a police officer ; i could see what appeared to be his police hat on his head. As the President’s motorcade passed we held up a sign that read “President and Mrs. Kennedy St. Cecilia’s loves you” . the president’s limo slowed and he sort of stood and waved at the students and catholic nuns as the motorcade drove away. i wish that i could find someone with photo’s of this tucked away somewhere.

  9. K Kircher permalink
    January 29, 2012 1:23 pm

    Where would one find archived photos of President Kennedy as he appeared with crowds at the speech he gave at the Alamo?

    Appreciate any reply.

  10. drtlibrary permalink*
    February 9, 2012 6:16 pm

    Cursory research seems to indicate that President Kennedy did not speak at the Alamo during his visit to San Antonio in 1963. However, while campaigning as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1960, then-Senator Kennedy gave an eight-minute speech in front of the Alamo on September 12 during a two-hour stop in San Antonio.

    The DRT Library’s vertical file on Kennedy contains several newspaper articles that document his 1960 visit and speech; many are also accompanied by pictures of the Senator, the event, and the crowds that gathered in Alamo Plaza. Better-quality copies of these images and pictures that weren’t published in 1960 may be available through the photo archives of the San Antonio Express-News and San Antonio Light newspapers. The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Special Collections department maintains large photo collections for both newspapers; see http://lib.utsa.edu/collections/category/photograph-collections and http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utsa/00306/utsa-00306.html for more information.

  11. drtlibrary permalink*
    February 10, 2012 3:37 pm

    The text of the speech Kennedy gave in front of the Alamo on September 12, 1960 is available online through the American Presidency Project.

    Later that day, Kennedy spoke before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, addressing the concerns of many Protestants who “questioned the ability of a Roman Catholic President to make important national decisions independently of the influence of his church.” Footage and a transcription of that speech is available online through the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

  12. donald clayton permalink
    March 7, 2012 8:58 pm

    Your map of the motorcade route for President Kennedy’s visit in 1963, courtesy of the San Antonio Express-News, is interesting as it refers to Lackland Air Force Base (USAF) as “Kelly AFB” even though the base was officially named for Frank Dorwin Lackland in 1942, 21 years earlier.

    Conspiracy theorists would certainly see this uninformed presentation by an experienced and professional news organization as a signal or a sign. As an organization much more familiar with why Texans do as they do, I wonder if you have an explanation for the publishing of map information that was so blatantly rooted in the distant past.

  13. drtlibrary permalink*
    March 14, 2012 12:00 pm

    Mr. Clayton, By consulting a 1964 road map of Bexar County, I was able to confirm that the Express-News map correctly identified Kelly Air Force Base. Lackland AFB is located immediately to the west of Kelly and appears to have been simply omitted from the map of President Kennedy’s motorcade route through San Antonio.

  14. Msgt Lamar H. Terry, Jr. Retired permalink
    July 11, 2012 2:32 pm

    I was in the Air Force at Kelly AFB working in Transit Alert Section when Air Force 1 arrived.
    I directed Air Force 1 where to park. Then I took a place on the side of the stairs where President John F. Kennedy deplaned. When the motorcade came back from San Antonio we sent Airforce 1 off later the same day.I felt this was a great honor. Something I would never forget. The next day I had great sorrow hearing the news of the President being shot in Dallas while I was shopping at Lackland AFB Commissary.

  15. July 14, 2012 4:03 pm

    Judy Veselis
    I would love to see the 2 pictures that were taken at Kelly AFB on 11/21/63 of JFK and Mrs. Kennedy deplaning from Airforce 1. I would like to see if I were in those pictures. I was in the Air Force assigned to the transit alert section at Kelly when Air Force 1 arrived. I directed the aircraft where to park. Then I stood a short distance from the stairs when JFK and wife deplaned.
    Air Force 1 landed and departed from Kelly AFB with President Kennedy and his wife on 11/21/1963. I have seen numerous web sites stating that Air Force 1 landed at San Antonio International. That is not true.

  16. dayna permalink
    July 16, 2012 11:59 am

    Not sure if anyone will see this- but I recently found a photo of JFK and his wife at what looks to be Kelly Airforce base from the stamp on the back- its a candid shot as well- but I was wondering if anyone might be able to give me more information
    thanks

  17. Aldo Mariotto permalink
    August 29, 2012 6:44 am

    Lamar H. Terry, Jr. MSGT/USAF
    I have found extremely interesting your post.
    I am writing a book about the day before JFK assassination. I would be grateful to you if you could write to me your feelings about that day, send an your photo to me (if you agree it can be published next year) and confirm that JFK landed and departed from Kelly. It is generally accepted that JFK landed in S. Antonio International and departed from Kelly (after that 3 airplanes were moved from SAI to Kelly).

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Dr. Aldo Mariotto, M.D.

  18. September 1, 2012 1:32 pm

    Mr. Aldo Mariotto, I received your request and I will Reply in the next few weeks. Thanks, Lamar Terry

  19. Randy Owen permalink
    September 17, 2012 4:04 pm

    Gentlemen, FYI, it’s not just “generally accepted” JFK landed at SA International. It’s a fact. You can clearly see the name of the airport (at the very least the word “International” in the film footage taken by Thomas Akins that day, seen in the documentary “The Last Two Days.”
    Looking forward to reading you book, Dr. Mariotto, when it’s published!

    Randy Owen

  20. Lamar Terry, MSgt, USAF/RET permalink
    September 17, 2012 9:31 pm

    Ms. Judy Veselis, I received your e-mail (about the 2 pictures of JFK at Kelly A F B) but as of yet I have not received them. Would you please be as kind to try to send me copies of the pictures? Thanks in advance, Lamar Terry

  21. Lamar Terry, MSgt, USAF/RET permalink
    September 17, 2012 9:57 pm

    Mr. Donald Clayton, Above you commented about the map of the motorcade route for President Kennedy’s visit in 1963 should have been Lackland AFB not Kelly AFB. In 1963 Kelly AFB butted up to Lackland AFB. Kelly AFB was an Air Force Depot (different command) and Lackland AFB was in Air Training Command. They were two seperate bases. I was in San Antonio Last year and to my surprise part of old Kelly is now part of Lackland AFB.

  22. Frank Romo permalink
    September 22, 2012 12:21 am

    It doesn’t make any sense that JFK landed at Kelly AFB then had the motorcade go to the SA International Airport, and return to Kelly AFB. I’m sure it’ll show he landed at SA International then proceeded his route. Check the log with Air Trafic Control at the airport, that’ll clear it up.

  23. Lamar H. Terry Msgt. Usaf/Ret. permalink
    September 27, 2012 9:43 pm

    Randy Owens I disagree with you. JFK in Air Force one Landed at Kelly AFB and Departed from Kelly AFB on November 21 1963. As I said above I was there. I have nothing to gain to make the statements above. I just hate to see the wrong information that has been put out about President John F. Kennedy. I am sure the U. S. Air Force has records somewhere to prove that JFK landed/departed from Kelly AFB. Frank Romo could it be that the map of the motorcade from SA International was used from the 1960 visit of JFK? Read Ned Colemans writeup above about a mistake being made. It would be very nice if drtlibrary were to check with the USAF about JFK arriving/departing from Kelly AFB on 11/21/1963.
    Mr. Aldo Mariotto I have tried to contact you and as yet have not heard from you.

  24. Frank Romo permalink
    September 28, 2012 2:13 pm

    MSGT Terry, I mean no disrespect but why would the plane land at Kelly then have the motorcade rush over to the SA International Airport, then proceed south on Broadway through the downtown area towards Brooks AFB. My high school was located on S St. Mary’s, (that’s about half-ways) the motorcade drove past the school onto Brooks AFB, then onto Kelly AFB, departing San Antonio. It appears the Kennedy’s landed at the SA International then Air Force One proceeded to Kelly, the film clearly shows the airport in the background.
    It just doesn’t make sense for the motorcade to make that kind of loop just to start at 410 & Broadway, coming from Kelly. I’ve inquired with the UTSA Archives to gather up the route taken 9/12/1960 as well as the route on 11/21/1963. I’ll drop you a line upon the results, just trying to get my head around this discrepancy.

  25. Randy Owen permalink
    September 29, 2012 6:23 am

    No disrespect, either, MSGT Terry. I’ve been researching the assassination for over 40 years. Live coverage on NBC that day played film footage of the San Antonio and Houston visits from the day before. In that footage, it clearly shows AF1 arrived at SA International. Color footage used in the documentary “The Last Two Days” also has a beautiful shot of the airport. It’s SA International. The documentary is available on various websites including the John F. Kennedy Library website. Perhaps you are remembering the 1960 visit. Memories are tricky things. In my experience, there are several examples. Nellie Connally in her book mentioned the arrival of AF1 and described the colors of the plane as red and white. It wasn’t. It was blue and white. She was mistaken. With the documentation (films, newspapers, books, etc.), I have to conclude he arrived at SA International. Again, no disrespect. (By the way, it’s Owen, without the “s” on the end.)

  26. Lamar Terry, MSgt. USAF/Ret. permalink
    September 29, 2012 10:44 am

    Mr. Frank Romo, I understand what you are saying with no disrespect but the motorcade started at Kelly AFB. When you saw the motorcade passing your school could it have been on the return route going to Brooks AFB and back to Kelly AFB to depart? It is a fact I was at Kelly AFB when JFK arrived and departed. JFK arrived and left on Air Force 1 from Kelly AFB. I say the route map is wrong showing JFK arriving at San Antonio International Airport. People do makes mistakes, Example:- I read an article stating “The President was set to land at San Antonio’s Bergstrom Air Force Base at 1:30 on Thursday Afternoon” 11/21/1963. Bergstrom AFB (is closed now) was located in Austin, Texas. Maybe someone will research the archives (if they were kept) of Kelly AFB or the US Air Force. I will not benefit if the record is or is not corrected. All I want is to set the record straight for JFK and history.
    Mr. Romo thanks for the search with UTSA and looking forward to hearing from you.

  27. Lamar Terry, MSgt. USAF/Ret. permalink
    October 1, 2012 11:21 am

    No disrespect to you either, Randy Owen. Air Force 1 arrived at Kelly AFB on 11/21/1963 and President J. F. Kennedy deplaned from the exit (door) forward of the wing. The film shows him deplane from the exit (door) behind the wing. Maybe that film is from the 1960 arrival. In your researching maybe you would like to research of Kelly AFB or USAF records of airplanes arriving/departing from Kelly on 11/21/1963. Randy my mind is not tricky. I was not thinking of the 1960 visit. In 1960 I was stationed in Georgia. As you said above mistakes were made. Read my reply above about a mistake in the book “THE PASSAGE OF POWER” by Robert Caro. I was working on the flight line at Kelly AFB when JFK ARRIVED and DEPARTED. I was a member of the ground crew of receiving and departing Air Force 1. This is a fact. It would not make sense for Air Force1 to land at San Antonio International and deplane JFK. Then take off and land at KellyAFB to pick up Persident Kennedy. As I said before I have no gain and do not want cerdit for setting history straight. Sorry for the S on your last name.

  28. Frank Romo permalink
    October 1, 2012 2:11 pm

    MSGT Terry, I went to the link posted below, and it clearly shows JFK and his entourage deplaning at the San Antonio International Airport. You stated before it could’ve been from his 1st visit, in 1960. Well, I have to say US Congressman Henry B. Gonzales wasn’t elected to the Congress until 1961. In frame 57 sec it clearly shows him deplaning behind Mrs. Kennedy, and in frame 1:04 it also shows him with his daughter and son (the now US Congressman) Charlie Gonzales in the foreground, with Mrs. Kennedy in the background. If it had been 1960 like you state Henry B. Gonzales wouldn’t have been allowed on that plane as a citizen.

    This film clip clearly shows the SA International Airport sign and the students from Alamo Heights School linning the route on Broadway which is just south of the airport by approximately 3 miles. It also shows the parade route going down W bound on Houston St., passing by the Gunter Hotel clearly on the right side of the route, which corresponds with the parade route shown in the map. My high school is approximately 2 miles from the immediate downtown area, which the motorcade passed by enroute to Brooks AFB approximately 4 miles from that location.

    Hopefully this’ll give you a little more to look at. I’m not disputing what you said, I’m just clearly showing you what’s on film as to JFK’s last day before being assassinated.

  29. Frank Romo permalink
    October 1, 2012 5:47 pm

    MSGT Terry, did you have a chance to view the film? You sent me a response meant to Randy Owen, mix up I guess, anyway, I submitted this film clip showing the JFK motorcade deplaning at the SA International Airport. Can’t miss the signage on the terminal, Mrs. JFK deplaning from the aircraft as you stated from the exit door behind the wing, Read the following paragraph….

    Along with the president is Mrs. Kennedy, she wasn’t on the 1st trip he made to Texas, she had suffered her miscarrage in the 1960 trip. So, that explains alot of the events, it really makes sense if you look at the facts.

    Arrive at the SA International Airport, travel south through the city on the way to Brooks AFB, then over to Kelly AFB and depart, where Air Force One met them (this is where you were located) at Kelly AFB, to ferry them over to their next stop. That’s not far fetched in the way of proceedure, is it?

    As I pointed out about Congressman Gonzales; he wouldn’t have been on that plane in the 1960 visit, he was still a civillian. The motorcade route showing the students from Alamo Heights waving to him along Broadway, which is approximately 3 miles south of the SA International Airport. Along with the rest of the route showing the motrocade going through the downtown area proceeding southbound to Brooks AFB, then over to Kelly AFB as is shown in the map on this site.

    I admire your tenacity in what you observed but I also know what I observed, he passed in front of me and I photographed the motorcade traveling southbound on S. St. Mary’s to Brooks AFB. I can’t dispute the film clip, it clearly shows the arrival at the SA Imternational Airport. If you can’t accept the footage of this, along with the explanation, I guess we’ll agree to disagree. I did my part in finding that film clip, and giving you more details, now, show me your facts, to show otherwise. I don’t want this to be a pi@#ing match, that’s not my intent, just to clarify some of the events of this visit.

  30. Frank Romo permalink
    October 2, 2012 5:44 pm

    This is the information sent to me for my asking; this comes from the archives of the San Antonio Express and the UTSA Library. Hopefully, this puts to rest any questions as to when JFK arrived in San Antonio for both of his visits. I’m sure it had stirred up enough distain from parties stating otherwise, this is the actual itinerary, as researched by the archives section of the San Antonio Library, just the facts.

    Hello Frank Romo,

    You asked:
    JFK’s two visits to San Antonio Tx
    Parade route for 9/121960
    Parade route for 11/21/1963
    Any photos or information concerning both presidential visits.

    Answer:
    The September 12, 1960 edition of the San Antonio Express says this, “Kennedy, accompanied by his vice-presidential running mate, U.S. Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, are scheduled to touch down at International Airport at 2:20 p.m. Monday. At 2:30 p.m., h« will proceed to the Alamo in a motorcade along Broadway, east on E. Houston and south on Alamo Plaza to the speaker’s stand, deliver a 30-minule speech, attend a brief Menger Hotel reception and return to the airport to leave for Houston at 4:25 p.m.”

    The November 21, 1963 edition of the San Antonio Express lists this itinerary:

    • Arrive 1:30 p.m. at International Airport, leaving that point at 1:40 p.m.

    • Motorcade via Loop 410 In Broadway St., down Broadway to Houston St., turn west on Houston St. to St. Mary’s

    St., south on St. Mary’s to Loop 13, turning east on the loop to Brooks AFB, arriving at 2:25 p.m.

    • Make dedication speech at Aerospace Medicine Center at 2:40 p.m., then leave for Kelly AFB at 3:05 p.m. Arrive

    Kelly 3:25 p.m. and take off for Houston for Rep. Albert Thomas’ dinner.

    To send a reply, please visit: http://ask.mysapl.org/reply.php?iid=411&p=1&qid=136720&access=06ba14296ba44d1d68f54c25fabc7905

    San Antonio Public Library
    (210) 207-2500

  31. Randy Owen permalink
    October 3, 2012 11:45 am

    Thanks for getting and posting this information, Frank. I would also point out that in the film clip from “The Last Two Days,” made by Navy photographer Thomas Atkins, you can even see Air Force One’s reflection in the windows of the San Antonio International Airport. Thanks, again, Frank.

  32. Frank Romo permalink
    October 3, 2012 2:58 pm

    You’re welcome Randy, take care.

  33. November 4, 2012 1:11 am

    Mr. Romo,
    Thank you. My mother now 85 years old at that time was the President of “The Womens Power League” here in San Antonio, Texas. Her chapter at the time had rented the “gunther Hotel for this special occassion, the arrivial of ” The President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade down houston street. Not mention another event they were to have. She has a very visiable and clear photograph of the President and the Firstlady passing right by the gunther hotel. A photographer that she had hired for there club or thher chapter took photos for the chapter and my mother that day. We are trying to get it authenticated now but dont know who to take it to.

    Thanks
    Maria Travieso
    Nov. 4,2012

  34. Frank Romo permalink
    November 7, 2012 12:35 pm

    Hello Maria, received your message and the only thing I can do is recommend contacting the San Antonio Public Library, 210-207-2500. They might be able to help you in getting the photo authenticated, it would be great to have it posted on this page if possible. Also, I went to school with a Gloria Travieso, any relation?

    Thank you,
    Frank Romo

  35. Rick permalink
    March 8, 2013 7:20 pm

    I was a fifth grade student at Bonham Elementary School when we were all told that the President would be driving past and we would be allowed to stand along the sidewalk to see him go by. During that time, most folks had black and white TV and because of this, as I waited to see the President on that day, I was looking for someone with black/dark hair.
    I almost missed seeing President Kennedy because of this. When I did see him, I was shocked at how Red his hair was in the bright sunshine. His motorcade drove swiftly by our school so I only caught about a 5-second glimpse of him as he headed toward Brooks AFB. The next day we learned of his assassination during recess and were all dismissed from school.

  36. Sammy Miller permalink
    October 15, 2013 6:48 pm

    As I was one of the SAPD motorcycle officers who rode alongside President Kennedy’s vehicle for the motorcade on the 21st of November, 1963, I can assure you, unless there was a double, he, and Mrs. Kennedy, deplaned at San Antonio International Airport and left from Kelly AFB. It is my understanding that AF 1 was to be transferred from SAIA to KAFB during the motorcade. Although I am not sure, I seem to recall a radio transmission during the motorcade indicating the transfer was complete.

  37. Randy Owen permalink
    October 30, 2013 8:57 pm

    Thanks for your contribution, Sammy. What do you remember when you heard the news the next day? And when Oswald was shot two days later?

  38. Sammy Miller permalink
    October 31, 2013 11:24 am

    As my days off were Friday and Saturday, I was off the day of the event. As I remember it, I had slept later than usual, woke up and went outside to do some work around the house. I recall hearing the phone ring several times, but did not go in to answer it. Finished up what I was doing and as I went back inside, the phone rang again and I answered. It was my wife advising me what had happened in Dallas. As I was young back then and not really into politics, this telephone call regarding the event stunned me knowing I had just shaken hands with President and Mrs. Kennedy the day before as they was getting ready to board AF 1 at Kelly AFB. Of course, I immediately started watching and listening to all the news reports. I can’t really describe my feelings from back then. I’m sure it was one of sorrow mixed with a selfish “thank goodness it did not happen here”. I believe I called my partner, who had ridden the opposite side of the President’s limo, and we discussed various aspects of the day before. One thing does stand out in my mind and that was the sincerity in President Kennedy’s face as he shook our hands and thanked us. That I will never forget. Regarding Oswald, I’m pretty sure I probably thought “good”.

  39. JONATHAN GONNELLO permalink
    November 13, 2013 10:49 pm

    My grandfather was an honor guard at brooks air force base on 11-21-1963 for JFK’s arrival. I am trying to get a good picture of him(hopefully with JFK-as they shook hands) to frame for his 86th birthday coming up in January. I have been looking for the last year and have yet to find any. Please contact me if anyone could help me make this memorable gift possible. thank you in advance

  40. Antonia Kilpatrick permalink
    November 19, 2013 10:16 pm

    I was a 4th grader at Columbia Heights Elementary in the South side of San Antonio on 11-21-1963. Not far from Kelly AFB and Brooks AFB. President Kennedy’s motorcade made an unscheduled (it seems) stop at our school. He was riding in a blue convertible. He never got out of his car, he just smiled and waived at all the children. We were also given JFK souvenir coins. I lost my coin, but I sure wish I had to prove he was really there.

  41. November 26, 2013 2:50 pm

    As I understand it JFK, the Governor with the Vice President and their wifes were living Dallas and headed for Bergstrom AFB, then proceed from there by helicopter to Johnson’s Ranch where they planned to rest overnite before preceeding with his campaign. I’ve heard this several times. Can this be documented.

  42. diane coady permalink
    November 27, 2013 5:34 pm

    You might enjoy watching the National Geographic documentary JFK The Final Hours. It traces the last twenty-four hours of Kennedy’s life as he traveled though Texas, and will answer your questions. Kennedy visited San Antonio, Houston, Ft. Worth and Dallas. After lunch at the Dallas Trade Mart he
    was to leave for Austin, then later, the Johnson Ranch. He and Jackie planned to return to Washington in time for John-John’s birthday on Monday, Nov. 25.

  43. Frank Romo permalink
    November 28, 2013 4:54 pm

    Porter, as written in USA Today October 28 2013-Rick Jarvis wrote about JFK’s the final Days; The President and Vice President and Governor and wives were supposed to depart from Dallas after that visit, arrive in Austin Texas, spend the night at LBJ’s ranch and speak the following day in Austin to help the Democratic Party.

    That, of course wasn’t to be since the assassination changed history, hopefully that answered your question.

  44. Douglas L Hatcher permalink
    February 9, 2014 7:32 pm

    I was honor guard November 21, 1962 at Brooks AFB, Texas when President Kennedy arrived…
    A day and an honor that I will never forget.
    Douglas Hatcher, MSgt USAF Retired.

  45. diane coady permalink
    February 10, 2014 11:39 am

    Dear Mr. Hatcher,
    Did you intend to say November 21, 1963? I am a researcher for the National Geographic documentary produced last year about John Kennedy’s visit to Brooks AFB. I am interested in knowing if you knew Charles Gannello and if you have any photos of the honor guard?
    Thank you. diane Coady

  46. Douglas L Hatcher permalink
    February 10, 2014 8:05 pm

    Yes, that is a mistake it was 1963. Unfortunately I did not know Charles Gannello. I’m only able to recall two names, George Cornish and Andy Hart, Andy is deceased.
    I do not have any photos of the honor guard…. Wish I did.

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