“Howdy, Mr. President! "

A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK

A Texas-Sized Welcome

Hotel Texas "Parking Lot" Speech
Friday, November 22, 8:50 a.m.

A crowd, dressed for the chilly, wet weather and estimated at 5,000, gathered in front of the Hotel Texas. The President joined Vice President Johnson, Governor Connally, Senator Yarborough, Congressman Wright, Chamber President Buck, State Senator Kennard, and others in the parking lot just south of the hotel entrance. Approaching the platform, the President veered off to mingle with the crowd. Returning to the flatbed truck placed in position as a temporary stage, Vice President Johnson introduced President Kennedy as “Our able, beloved, and fearless leader!” Smiling over the rain soaked crowd, Kennedy declared, “There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth!” He apologized for Mrs. Kennedy's absence – “she’s organizing herself; it takes longer!” Following his brief remarks extolling Fort Worth’s booming defense economy, Kennedy greeted mounted sheriff deputies as he re-entered the hotel. Executed flawlessly in less than 20 minutes, the “parking lot” appearance had been quickly arranged by party officials to give the President exposure to “the people of Fort Worth.”

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