On Nov. 8 Fort Worth officials will dedicate a tributre to President John F. Kennedy to commemorate his visit to the city on Nov. 22, 1963, when he made two speeches prior to his fateful trip to Dallas.
A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony is scheduled at 9 a.m. Nov. 8 at the corner of Main and Eighth streets. Mayor Betsy Price, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, former House Speaker Jim Wright, who was there that day, and others are scheduled to speak.
Area officials emphasize that the bronze statute at the center of a circular plaza near where he spoke will commemorate Kennedy’s themes that day – international leadership, the space race and science, a strong defense and a sound economy – that were the hallmarks of his visit. Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald later that day in Dallas.
In 2009, the city council authorized an agreement with Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc. for improvements to General Worth Square Park, including the JFK Tribute.
Kennedy gave two speeches that day.
The first was delivered to a crowd that had been gathering for hours while a formal address was delivered to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in the Hotel Texas, now the Downtown Hilton. Most of the speeches can be seen on YouTube by Googling “Kennedy Fort Worth visit.”
An 8-foot-tall cast-bronze sculpture of President Kennedy by Texas sculptor Lawrence Ludtke has been installed as part of the tribute funded by private sources. An interpretive exhibit tells the story of Kennedy’s visit.