It was great to read in the news this month [September 2009] that a statue of JFK is being erected in Fort Worth, Texas, the city where JFK spent his last night and where he gave his last speech.
Fort Worth OKs funding for Kennedy statue
Star Telegram, September 9, 2009
A plan at least two decades old to install a statue of President John F. Kennedy near the place where he gave his final public address is nearing completion. The Fort Worth City Council approved a plan last month to give $250,000 to an affiliate of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., which promotes downtown and is raising money for the Kennedy statue and other improvements in General Worth Square. Farris Rookstool III, who championed setting aside a Fort Worth site for the 8-foot statue, said he is happy that someone is stepping forward for the city. "I’ve always referred to the park project as the JFK Field of Dreams," he said. "If you would build it, people would come. People sometimes forget about the Fort Worth leg of the Kennedy trip, Rookstool said. The Sixth Floor Museum has become a tourist attraction, and there is a chance that marking the spot of Kennedy’s last public speech might draw people to Fort Worth, Rookstool said. "It was his last happy moment," he said. "Ted Kennedy loved the idea," Rookstool said. "It was honoring his brother’s life".
JFK gave two speeches in Fort Worth that morning of November 22, 1963 - the first to a crowd of thousands in a parking lot across the street from his hotel, and the second to a crowd of hundreds inside the hotel ballroom.
Both speeches have gone down in history for their JFK witticisms.
In the first, JFK made the crowd laugh when he answered the question "Where is Jackie?" by saying:
"Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself. It takes longer, but, of course, she looks better than we do when she does it".
And in the second speech he said:
"I'm the man who accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. And I'm getting that same sensation as I travel around Texas. Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear."
As the world knows, the outfit Jackie chose to wear that day was the pink suit and pillbox hat. It was seen first by the crowd in the hotel ballroom where she joined JFK at the head table as he gave his speech.
Then it was seen by the crowd outside the hotel as she and JFK left for the motorcade to Fort Worth airport to board Air Force One for the 13-minute flight to Dallas.
In the following articles, describing how the JFK statue in Fort Worth came into being and the reminisces of a JFK aide who was in Fort Worth that day preparing for JFK's visit, I've inserted links and photos at pertinent places (scanned from websites denoted at bottom of page).
It must be somewhat of a comfort that the people of Fort Worth made JFK feel loved and happy while he was there. And now, with the statue, it's a place where people can pay homage to his memory. ~ Jackie Jura
November 8, 2012
The JFK Tribute in Fort Worth Unveiled and Dedicated
8 feet = height of JFK sculpture
110 feet = length of granite wall in the plaza
2,000 square feet = size of JFK Tribute plaza
February 27, 2012
Fort Worth Breaks Ground For Downtown Kennedy Memorial
The project will include an 8-foot tall bronze sculpture of Kennedy and a marble water feature.
It will be lit at night and provide a recessed, circular area
intended to educate people about JFK’s positive message.
THE HOURS BEFORE DALLAS: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1963
A Recollection by President Kennedy's Fort Worth Advance Man
by Jeb Byrne, Prologue Magazine, Summer 2000
A misting rain was falling in the morning when I went out to the parking lot to check on arrangements for the President's public appearance. On the roofs of nearby buildings, policemen in slickers were outlined against the gray sky. Despite the rain, the crowd continued to swell. The waiting spectators, many of them men in work clothes, quietly watched the technicians adjusting the public address system on the flatbed truck that would serve as the President's platform.
At 8:45 a.m., President Kennedy, Congressman Wright at his side, strode out of the hotel, neither of them wearing raincoats. Flanking them were Vice President Johnson and Senator Yarborough, with Governor Connally a few steps behind, all three wearing raincoats against the drizzle. Mrs. Kennedy had remained behind in the Kennedys' suite.
"There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth," President Kennedy began when he mounted the platform, "and I appreciate your being here this morning. Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself. It takes longer, but, of course, she looks better than we do when she does it. . . . We appreciate your welcome."
He went on to speak about the country's defense and the part that Fort Worth, home of such major defense contractors as General Dynamics and Bell Helicopter, played in protecting national security. He touched on the nation's space effort. The President's delivery was warm and direct. Americans, he said, must be willing to bear the burdens of world leadership. "I know one place where they are," he told his wet audience. "Here in this rain, in Fort Worth, in the United States. We are going forward." There was prolonged applause from the eight thousand or so people in the parking lot.
The President reentered the hotel and, after stopping for some conversations along the way, proceeded to the grand ballroom. As prearranged, the breakfasters were on their coffee when the President walked through the kitchen and down the aisle to the head table to vigorous applause. I watched from the kitchen doorway. At one point the President beckoned Agent Duncan to the head table and told him to ask Mrs. Kennedy to come down to the ballroom. He also told Duncan to ask the orchestra to play "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You" when she arrived in the ballroom. Agents Mike Howard and Clint Hill escorted Mrs. Kennedy down from the Kennedys' suite. Lovely in a pink suit, which later would become one of the symbols of the day, she came into the kitchen as Raymond Buck was introducing those at the head table. She waited. Then, with a grand gesture, Buck swung the attention of the audience to the kitchen entrance. Mrs. Kennedy stepped into the room to a tumultuous welcome and joined her husband as the orchestra complied with the President's musical request. Buck presented the Texas hat and boots to the President. Kennedy thanked him and, to no one's surprise, did not put on the hat — nor, of course, the boots. He began his address lightly, referring to the frequent rising for applause during the introductions. "I know why everyone in Fort Worth is so thin, having gotten up and down about nine times. This is what you do every morning..."
He paid tribute to his wife: "Two years ago, I introduced myself in Paris by saying that I was the man who had accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. I am getting somewhat the same sensation as I travel around Texas. Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear."
The President's prepared remarks were directed to the country's defense posture. The parking lot talk had been a foretaste of what was to come. He enlarged upon Fort Worth's contribution to air defense: World War II bombers, combat helicopters, the new TFX planes. It was a speech written for a Texas chamber of commerce, and it was enthusiastically received. The President came up the aisle with his wife. Their young and vibrant faces flashed smiles. Hands reached out to the President and he grasped them. The Kennedys went back into the security-cleared kitchen and through a rear door to the elevators.
As the crowd moved toward the exits, craggy Congressman Albert Thomas of Houston, whose big day had been Thursday in his home city, shook my hand. "Wonderful," he said. "Congratulations on what you fellows did here." I felt a glow of architectonic achievement. But Congressman Thomas had something in his other hand. He handed me a hatcheck and a quarter and asked if I would mind going through the crowd to get his hat on the other side of the ballroom and meet him in the front of the hotel where the motorcade cars were drawn up. He had missed his assigned transportation once earlier in the trip and was determined not to do so again. A trifle deflated, I went after his hat. He need not have worried. The motorcade would not leave for nearly an hour.
When the Kennedys had returned to their suite shortly after 10 a.m., a rare occurrence for usually tightly scheduled presidential trips ensued: Time off. It wouldn't do for the presidential party to arrive in Dallas too early. During this hiatus, according to later accounts, President Kennedy telephoned former Vice President John Nance Garner at his home in Ulvade, Texas, to wish him a happy ninety-fifth birthday. Garner had served with President Franklin D. Roosevelt during FDR's first two terms. The Kennedys also spent time looking at the art exhibit that had been mounted in their suite especially for their visit but which they had overlooked during their midnight arrival in the hotel. The exhibit included, among other original works, a Van Gogh, a Monet, and a Picasso. The presidential couple telephoned one of the exhibit's organizers, Mrs. Ruth Carter Johnson, whose name they found on a special exhibit catalog in the suite. They thanked her and her associates for their thoughtfulness.
During this waiting period, the President's attention apparently was directed by aides to a nasty advertisement in the day's Dallas Morning News. The ad, paid for by right-wing extremists, accused the President of disloyalty to the country through softness on communism. According to William Manchester's detailed chronicle of the Texas trip in his Death of a President (1967, p. 121), Kennedy mused out loud at this point about how easy it would be to assassinate a traveling President.
This was followed by a quick visit to the suite by Vice President Johnson to introduce his sister and her husband to the President. Then, before the Kennedys departed for the motorcade, the President is said to have reiterated on the telephone to aide Lawrence F. O'Brien the importance of getting Senator Yarborough to ride in the same car with the Vice President. The refusal of Senator Yarborough to ride with the Vice President earlier in the trip, except in the motorcade from Carswell Air Force Base to the Hotel Texas under the cover of darkness, had focused press attention on the rift in the Texas Democratic Party, with Yarborough on one side and Vice President Johnson and Governor Connally on the other. The liberal Yarborough and the conservative Connally had little use for each other. The friction between Yarborough and Johnson appears to have been more complicated, perhaps caused by a clash over the exercise of prerogatives of two leading politicians of the same party in the same state and by Yarborough's perception that Johnson was too closely allied with Connally. But I leave that analysis to the students of Texas politics of the 1960s.
My principal concern after the chamber of commerce breakfast on November 22 was the loading of the motorcade. I was hoping that the process would go smoothly but was apprehensive that it would not. I had not been privy, of course, to the activities in the presidential suite after the breakfast, including the President's final, peremptory telephone order to O'Brien to seat Yarborough and Johnson in the same car. But it was obvious that this maneuver had high priority to discourage negative stories on the political feuding, which was dominating news coverage of the trip. So, after the breakfast event, the recovery mission for Congressman Thomas's hat, and conversations with Secret Service agents and lingering breakfast guests, I went out to the front of the hotel, where the cars for the motorcade were placed.
"Welcome Mr. President" read the lettering on a side of the marquee of the hotel. Two open convertibles, one for the President and the other for the Vice President, were parked at the curb; other vehicles lined up behind them. I stood to one side, arms folded, smoking, waiting. Governor Connally and his wife emerged from the hotel. David and Marjorie Belew were on the sidewalk, and David introduced me to the governor. "I've heard about your work here in Fort Worth," Connally said. "You did a good job, I understand." There was no mention of the two unfulfilled requests from Austin. I thanked him. Soon O'Brien and Yarborough came out of the hotel. O'Brien stood nervously by the Vice President's car. Yarborough, with him for a time, wandered away, then returned and entered the car. However, he perched on the back of the rear seat on the driver's side, and his occupancy seemed tentative. At this point O'Brien beckoned to me and asked me to seat the Vice President in the car when he came out of the hotel, adding "You can do it easier than I can." He muttered something further about his need to interact frequently with the Vice President in Washington. My job in the nation's capital did not ordinarily include such high-level associations.
A Secret Service agent from the Washington detail came back from the President's car escorting Nellie Connally, the governor's wife. There was no room for her in the President's car, which was a five-passenger model, the same as the Vice President's car. The President and Mrs. Kennedy and Governor Connally would ride in the rear seat of the President's car. The driver and agent Roy Kellerman would be up front. So there was no place for Mrs. Connally. But the Vice President's car was now reserved for the Johnsons, Yarborough, and, of course, Johnson's Secret Service agent and driver. The senator showed signs of relinquishing his seat to the lady. O'Brien, his face working, quickly moved in. To accommodate larger occupancy of the car, he ushered Mrs. Connally into the middle of the front seat. The Vice President and Mrs. Johnson came out of the hotel and approached the motorcade. O'Brien stepped back as Mrs. Johnson entered the car, and I stepped forward. "Here is your seat, Mr. Johnson," I said cheerfully. He stared down at me while he struggled into a coat held by Secret Service agent Rufus Youngblood. The Vice President climbed into the car. The deed was done.
Up ahead, the Kennedys and Governor Connally settled into their white convertible, which, Agent Howard recalls, had been borrowed by the Secret Service from professional golfer Ben Hogan. There were waves and cheers from the onlookers.
The motorcade to Carswell began. Riding in a Secret Service car, Howard was pleased to see Tarrant County's "Mounted Posse" out in force to supplement police on foot. Rain had canceled the planned presence of these deputies on horseback along the incoming route the night before. There was, Howard recalls, an unscheduled stop by the presidential cavalcade along the way. In the northwest suburb of River Oaks, the line of cars paused while the President spoke to some nuns and a group of school children.
Ross Wilder, my helper from GSA's Dallas office, and I drove to Carswell by a different route to arrive at the air base before the motorcade did. The departure committee, formerly the welcoming committee, was already in place by prearrangement. It did its duty.
Thousands of people behind the barricades raised their voices as the presidential jet took off for Dallas at 11:25 a.m., about thirteen minutes away. Members of the departure committee, faces smiling, sought me out and shook my hand. I experienced a surge of euphoria, which I would recognize later as the common feeling of advance men watching a President's plane take to the air after a successful "stop" with no untoward incidents.
We drove back to the Hotel Texas, and I made a reservation for a commercial flight home. Jerry Bruno, who had made the pre-advance of the Texas trip, telephoned from Washington, and Moyers called from Austin. Each wanted to know how the morning had gone. I told them it went well. After giving these assurances, I sat down at my portable typewriter and wrote a one-page final report on JFK's Fort Worth visit. Then I lay down for a nap. I dozed off.
Suddenly, there was a furious knocking on the door. "Turn on your radio," Ross Wilder's voice shouted. "Your boss is shot. Turn on your radio." I switched on the hotel radio and let him in. Bulletin followed bulletin. A voice said that two priests emerging from a Dallas hospital room had confirmed that President Kennedy was dead. We sat in stunned silence. After a while I packed up my belongings and advance-related papers. Secret Service agents Duncan, Hall and Howard were gone, racing down the thruway in a sheriff's car to join their fellow agents in Dallas. Rubley was already there. He had driven to Dallas and had been in the motorcade there. I had lost track of Harnett. There was nothing for me to do in Fort Worth. Ross Wilder drove me to Love Field in Dallas for the flight home. I had a middle seat in the plane. My sobs would not stop. Passengers on either side began to show alarm. Finally, I told them: "You will have to put up with this. I was in Texas for the President."
~ end quoting Recollection by President Kennedy's Fort Worth Advance Man ~
update: JFK LAST FULL DAY IN TEXAS
Photo: JFK Last Public Address, Fort Worth & JFK Library Photos: Fort Worth
JFK statue in front of statehouse reopened, AP, Aug 27, 2009
A statue of President John F. Kennedy at the Massachusetts Statehouse that has been off limits to tourists since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is being reopened to the public as a tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. The state announced today that visitors will be able to view the statue in front of the west wing of the Statehouse between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays through Sept. 4. The statue will also be included on guided Statehouse tours. Visitors must still clear security inside the building and park rangers will be on hand to supervise. A number of entrances to the Statehouse were closed for security reasons after Sept. 11, 2001, and visitors were no longer allowed to roam freely on the lawns in front of the capitol.
DALLAS HATE-JFK AD & JFK'S ASSASSINATION PREMONITION & JFK & JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY
watch Fort Worth unveils 8-ft bronze JFK statue in plaza
Wife of sculptor at JFK statue unveiling says it's lifelike
(almost as if JFK is taking a step into the crowd)
watch Tribute to JFK's Triumphant Visit to Fort Worth
November 21, 1963-2012
JFK STATUE FORT WORTH WORTHY
JFK'S LAST FULL DAY IN TEXAS
watch JFK Tribute to Triumphant Morning in Fort Worth YouTube (The JFK Tribute tells the Fort Worth story of that fateful day and communicate those grand themes to new generations through a beautiful work of art, an on-site display and via the internet. To learn more, visit www.jfktribute.com)
The JFK Tribute in Fort Worth unveiled and dedicated November 8, 2012
8 feet = height of JFK sculpture; 110 feet = length of granite wall in the plaza; 2,000 square feet = size of JFK Tribute plaza
watch Fort Worth Unveils Kennedy Statue (at the site of Kennedy address), NBC, Nov 9, 2012
"There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth". That is how President John F. Kennedy greeted a crowd of supporters who had gathered on a rainy Fort Worth fall day, the morning of November 22, 1963. The people who were there had no way of knowing ahead of time the president would address them - it happened without warning. The same could be said for what happened later that day in Dallas as well. "It's unfortunate that so much of the memory, the memory of President John F. Kennedy, relates to his death. But really the life of John F. Kennedy is what inspires people today. And this tribute is a marvelous example of how you can pay tribute to a President" said Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum, in reference to the unveiling of the JFK Tribute Thursday. The JFK Tribute is a public memorial in Fort Worth's General Worth Square, at 8th and Main Streets, just north of the Fort Worth Convention Center and located in the shadow of the Fort Worth Hilton Hotel, formerly the Hotel Texas, where President Kennedy spent his last night. It has taken a long time for the tribute to become a reality. It was opened nearly 49 years to the day of the event it commemorates, and more than a decade after the effort to create such a place started to gain momentum. The tribute features a marble wall, with large photographs taken of the president that day, famous quotes from his speeches etched into the stone and a larger than life bronze statue of Kennedy, his right arm extended as if to shake hands with visitors to the site.
On the tribute's accompanying website, jfktribute.com, it is written that the site is "structured to offer a place for both contemplation and education, for today and the future." Among the many to address the crowd that gathered for the tribute's opening was Fort Worth native and Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders. Sanders said that he was not in attendance at JFK's impromptu rally the morning of November 22, 1963. Instead, Sanders said he was sitting in his segregated elementary school just a mile away, having seen the president arrive the night before. "You see, for me, John F. Kennedy was not just a president. John F. Kennedy was hope. The personification of hope", Sanders said. "When Air Force One landed out at Carswell Air Force Base we in Fort Worth, people like me saw hope set down in my hometown." At long last that hope has returned to Fort Worth. And the plan is for it to stay here for years to come.
Wife of sculptor at JFK statue unveiling, Star, Nov 8, 2012
Erika Ludtke sat in the front row waiting patiently to see the work of her artist husband, the late Lawrence Ludtke, during Thursday's dedication of the JFK Tribute in downtown Fort Worth. When 16 yards of deep blue velvet drape were removed from the 8-foot sculpture of John F. Kennedy, she wept quietly as Amy Bacon, a historian who is publishing a biography of her husband, put an arm around her and smiled. The crowd of several hundred people erupted into applause. Ludtke's statue is the centerpiece of the JFK Tribute, which also include photographs and a water wall, at the site at 8th and Main streets across from the old Hotel Texas, now a Hilton, where President Kennedy spent his last night. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Kennedy spoke to a crowd of thousands at the site before making his fateful trip to Dallas. Mayor Betsy Price called the JFK Tribute "a lasting landmark" and an important link to Fort Worth's past and future. "This isn't about the tragedy of Dallas", she said. "This is about his life.... "This is more than a beautiful sculpture, granite walls and striking photos," Gandy said. "This is an opportunity to tell stories right here on Main Street, stories that if remembered will inspire generations of leaders to persevere though hardship, make sacrifices to achieve their goals and set lofty ambitions for their future. It will stand in this public place long after we are gone and echo President Kennedy's vision for the future".
Former Speaker of the House Jim Wright spoke about the joy that Kennedy and the First Lady brought to Fort Worth that morning, but the pain the nation suffered when Kennedy was slain in a motorcade in downtown Dallas a few hours later. "So let us this morning be inspired by what has happened in the past and what lies ahead in the future," Wright said. "He was in inspiration to all. This tribute is a marvelous presentation"... Following the unveiling, people crowded around the statue, waiting for a turn to take their picture next to it, including the 51-member Texas Boys choir, which sang Thursday. A Texas Boys Choir also sang at Kennedy's visit 49 years ago. Erika Ludtke, too, stood in the crowd and waited her turn for a picture by the statue. "I didn't think it would ever be here," Ludtke said, adding that the last time she saw the statue was more than two years ago at the foundry in Santa Fe, where it was bronzed. Lawrence Ludtke died in 2007. This would be the last public unveiling of one her husband's works. Ludtke, who lives in Houston, said her husband's sculptures are so life-like, it was almost as if Kennedy was taking a step forward into the crowd.
Fort Worth Breaks Ground For Downtown Kennedy Memorial, CBS, Feb 27, 2012
...On that cold morning, JFK spoke of volunteerism, the space race and leadership. Many waited hours in the rain to hear his words. “We were grateful to have the President of the United States in our city,” said former U.S. Speaker of the House Jim Wright who was there that morning. “It was though all of our dreams and hopes were coming to fruition at one time.” Wright, along with former Fort Worth mayor Bob Bolen and current mayor Betsy Price, took part in Monday’s groundbreaking. Now, nearly 5 decades later, the spot of Kennedy’s last speech will become the site of a memorial. Private donations made up most of the $2 million project. The City of Fort Worth is using natural gas well revenues to improve the infrastructure around the site. Its hoped the project will be completed in early Fall of 2012.
Reader Chris is from Texas and remembers where he was when he heard JFK had been shot
JFK getting a fitting tribute in Fort Worth, Star-Telegram, Jan 29, 2011
Every day when I step out of the elevator onto the third floor of the Star-Telegram, and each time I enter my office, I'm reminded of John F. Kennedy. Hanging above my desk is a framed over-sized reproduction of the Star-Telegram morning edition's front page of November 22, 1963, which once hung in the Press Club of Fort Worth. It shows the smiling president and first lady emerging from Air Force One after landing at Carswell Air Force Base the night before. Above that photo is a picture of the lighted skyline of downtown -- the special Christmas lighting having been turned on early for the occasion -- with the banner headline: "WELCOME, MR. PRESIDENT!" The sub-headline declares: "JFK Lands Amid Roar of Cheers," followed by, "Crowd Lines Route to Town; 10,000 Welcome President." On the third-floor wall near the elevator is a Star-Telegram photo picturing the hatless president addressing the crowd that gathered in the rain before sunrise that glorious morning. Shown with him in the parking lot across the street from Hotel Texas (now the Hilton) are Gov. John Connally, Sen. Ralph Yarborough and state Sen. Don Kennard. Fort Worth was where the president spent his last night, made his last two speeches, was served his last meal and perhaps heard his last prayer. That short time in Cowtown showed a vibrant young president full of life, enjoying the Texas hospitality some in Washington feared he would not receive in the Lone Star State.
Then it was time for the short flight to Dallas where a large enthusiastic crowd also awaited him. Unfortunately, so did a lone gunman on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. In Fort Worth that morning, a smiling Kennedy told the mostly labor crowd, "There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth". Sadly, there would be faint hearts here when it came to memorializing the assassinated president. Cities nationwide were finding ways to honor Kennedy by naming schools, streets, parks and public buildings for him. Early in 1964, a group of Fort Worth women pushed to have the city acquire the parking lot and turn it into a public square named for Kennedy. When that effort failed, the women saw another opportunity since the county had passed a bond issue to build a new convention center downtown. The group acquired more than 10,000 signatures on a petition to name the center for the slain president, but county commissioners rejected the idea, insisting the building carry the county's name. After added pressure, the commissioners voted 3-2 to name the convention center theater for Kennedy, although they never placed his name on the outside of the building. They mounted a small bronze plaque inside (and basically out of sight) near the box office that proclaimed it the John F. Kennedy Theater. The theater was razed in 2000 to make way for an expanded convention center. The city eventually acquired the parking lot and turned it into a public square, but it snubbed Kennedy again by naming it for General Williams Jenkins Worth, the city's namesake.
Since 1999, plans have been under way for a Kennedy memorial on that site, complete with an 8-foot bronze statue of the slain president. It has been a long time in the making, but Tuesday the JFK Tribute Committee of Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc. unveiled the final design for the memorial, which is expected to be dedicated around the president's birthday in May 2012. In addition to the statue, there will be "larger-than-life images of his visit" to Fort Worth, a water wall and texts describing his time here. It is a shame that it took almost 50 years for Fort Worth to properly memorialize this president, but we now know that it is going to happen. More funds are needed for completion and maintenance of the $1.5 million project, but organizers are confident that with the public's help it will be done, and done well. The memorial will be worth the wait, but that doesn't change the fact that this special tribute should not have taken so long in a city that prides itself on rising above pettiness to do what is fitting and proper.
Fort Worth erecting JFK Statue in Downtown Square (statue to commemorate president's visit, final night), NBC, Sep 9, 2009
To honor the past president, an 8-foot-tall cast-bronze sculpture of Kennedy will be added to the General Worth Square in downtown Fort Worth. The City Council has authorized a license agreement with Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives Inc., to make basic improvements to General Worth Square Park, including improved lighting, irrigation repairs, seating, walkway improvements and other features. The city will contribute $250,000 from gas well revenues to help fund the restoration project. The statue, by artist Lawrence M. Ludtke, is already completed and was funded by private contributions.
Under a light rain on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy addressed thousands at the Hotel Texas in downtown Fort Worth, where he and the first lady had spent the night. Kennedy later headed to Dallas, the fourth and final stop on his two-day, five-city Texas tour. General Worth Square is just a block from the Hilton hotel (in 1963 known as the Hotel Texas), where Kennedy spent his final night. General Worth Square is named for William Jenkins Worth, the commander of the Texas army and namesake of the former outpost and current city. The square is located just north of the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Fort Worth OKs funding for Kennedy statue, Star Telegram, Sep 9, 2009
...The site of the statue, on the west side of General Worth Square between Eighth and Ninth streets, is between the Fort Worth Convention Center and the former Hotel Texas, now the Hilton Fort Worth, where Kennedy spent the night Nov. 21, 1963. He spoke to a Chamber of Commerce breakfast the next morning and to a crowd that had gathered along Main Street outside the hotel. Hours later, in Dallas, he was assassinated. The bronze sculpture of JFK was made by Lawrence M. Ludtke. Money for the statue and park improvements will come from gas drilling at other city parks. Downtown Fort Worth is also raising money for other work in the park. Andy Taft, the group’s president, said he hopes to have the statue installed by May 29, Kennedy’s birthday.
The Hours before Dallas: Friday, November 22, 1963, by Jeb Byrne, 2000
JFK ASSASSINATION PUZZLE PIECES & JFK TRUTHS & UNTRUTHS
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