“Howdy, Mr. President! "

A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK

JFK's Arrival in Dallas

Arrival at Dallas Love Field
Friday, November 22, 11:37 a.m.

The President glanced from the window of Air Force One at the huge crowd awaiting his arrival at Love Field. He remarked to his assistant Ken O’Donnell, “… it looks like everything in Texas is going to be fine for us.” Preceded by Mrs. Kennedy, the President emerged from Air Force One, seemingly larger than life, to another group of cheering, screaming supporters, approximately 2,000 strong, gathered behind the fence line. Although scurrilous political flyers placed on Dallas streets the day before and a paid political right-wing advertisement in the Dallas Morning News had appeared that morning, there were few signs of anti-Kennedy sentiment in the Love Field crowd. A reception line of Dallas dignitaries, including Mayor and Mrs. Earle Cabell, waited at the bottom of the stairs with a bouquet of red roses for Jackie.

Dallas Motorcade Leaves Love Field
Friday, November 22, 11:50 a.m.

The President and his wife spent almost 15 minutes mingling with the excited Love Field crowd before climbing into the back seat of their convertible limousine, joining Governor and Mrs. Connally who occupied the jump seats. The dark blue Lincoln Continental, license plate GG 300, with the President’s seal inside both doors, had been flown in from Washington, D.C., on a C-130 cargo plane specifically for the motorcades in San Antonio on the day before and in Dallas. The President’s personal driver, Bill Greer, was at the wheel. The rain had cleared and the temperature was in the 60s so, by a standing order issued by JFK himself, the car’s bubble top was not installed over its occupants in order to give the people of Dallas a more intimate view of the President and his party.

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