60 years later: What JFK did in Houston on last full day of his life

Kennedy and his entourage spent more than six hours in Houston on Nov. 21, 1963

21 November 1963 Trip to Texas: Houston: Arrival at Houston International Airport Please credit "Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston" (KPRC)

Wednesday marks the 60th anniversary of one of America’s biggest tragedies and noteworthy events, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

But before Kennedy arrived in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, he spent part of the last full day of his life in Houston.

After spending more than two hours of his day on Nov. 21, 1963 riding a motorcade through the streets of San Antonio and then dedicating the Aerospace Medical Health Center in a ceremony at Brooks Air Force Base, the Kennedys and their entourage then flew to Houston for the remainder of that day.

When he arrived in Houston, roughly 75,000 people lined the streets to see his motorcade ride from the airport to the Rice Hotel.

Kennedy didn’t stay the night at the hotel, but had a room available there to hold meetings and partake in refreshments.

According to this YouTube report recanting his more than six hours spent in Houston, Kennedy made an appearance at a banquet held by the League of United Latin American Citizens.

It wasn’t originally planned, but Kennedy decided to attend and speak there after hearing in his room at the Rice Hotel that, according to a poll, he would lose the state of the Texas in the upcoming 1964 presidential election to Barry Goldwater.

First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis addressed the audience in Spanish as well.

From there, Kennedy went on to his main purpose for being Houston, and that was being the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for Congressman Albert Thomas at the Houston Coliseum.

Later that night, Kennedy and his entourage flew to Fort Worth, where they spent what turned out to be the final night of his life.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.