Most Americans know well the story of November 22, 1963 and much of what they know begins with gun shots in Dallas.
The story of the President’s last days before the assassination is lesser known although it sets the stage for the tragedy that awaited the President in Dallas.
Kennedy was making a political trip to Dallas and had arrived in San Antonio to huge crowds and public events from there he went to Ft. Worth where, the night before the assassination, he and Mrs. Kennedy spent the night at the Hotel Texas.
On the morning of November 22nd 1963, a large crowd had gathered outside the President’s hotel and the Kennedy went outside to speak. It was a gray cool rainy November morning and the President began by saying, “There are no faint hearts in Ft. Worth.” That quote and the history of Kennedy’s morning in Ft. Worth are now reflected in a new memorial that opened last year on the spot where the President delivered that speech.
Today, the plaza where the speech was given is a lot different but the hotel looks much the same except now it’s known as the Hilton, Ft. Worth and the significance of the Kennedy’s stay is not lost on the staff. Each staff member undergoes training on the history of the presidential visit so they can explain to guests just what happened and where.
After speaking at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast the Kennedy’s flew to Dallas and Love Field where the President was to speak at a luncheon. The sky had cleared and the sun was shining and the decision was made to not use the top on the presidential limousine.
The motorcade wound through Dallas by cheering crowds and as they neared the final few miles of the trip, the line of cars turned left on Elm into Dealey Plaza, and history.
This half hour television news special looks at what happened leading up to that moment and what happened in the moments after gunfire shattered the calm in Dallas. You’ll hear from those who were there including, the only bystander hurt in the assassination, two of the trauma surgeons who tried desperately to save the President, and the Dallas Police Detective who handcuffed Lee Harvey Oswald. Their stories bring a first person account of that day to life in a riveting way.