“Howdy, Mr. President! "

A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK

The year was 1963, and by late November events of dramatic consequence had already occurred:

  • In August, Martin Luther King, Jr., had energized the civil rights rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., with his "I have a dream" speech.
  • In June, President Kennedy had publicly called segregation “morally wrong” following the anti-integration stand made by Governor George Wallace at the University of Alabama.
  • Two young English rock bands, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, were about to tip into worldwide celebrity.
  • Nuclear warhead testing was ongoing in advance of a partial test ban treaty signed during the summer by the United States, Russia, and England.
  • President Kennedy had visited West Berlin in June and charmed the Germans with his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.
  • The first-class postage stamp was raised to a nickel in January, and the U.S. Postal Service had just that year introduced the Zip code.
  • The U.S. population stood at 190 million, the nation’s unemployment was at 5.5%, and Federal debt was $310 billion.


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