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Thursday, September 18, 2008

JFK in Libertyville

Feeling a little nostalgic for the "good ol' days" of presidential campaigning?

This Associated Press Photo was recently donated to the Museum. It shows Senator John F. Kennedy standing atop a car while campaigning for the presidency in Libertyville on October 25, 1960. Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois is seen at lower right.

Kennedy's route through the Chicago suburbs was printed in the Chicago Tribune the day of his visit. It listed Kennedy's motorcade leaving O'Hare Airport Inn at 9:20 a.m., and traveling by U.S. Highways 45 and 12 to Libertyville. The motorcade passed through Des Plaines and was scheduled to arrive in Libertyville at 10:20 a.m., and then onto Barrington, Carpentersville, Dundee, Elgin, Aurora, Joliet and so on.

The Tribune reported the next day that Kennedy's reception in Libertyville was "almost as chilly as the day," but you'd never know it from the crowd pressing in on him in this photograph. The Tribune went on to say that "as he went south down the Fox river valley the crowds increased in size and warmth."

The senator's day of campaigning through traditionally Republican territory ended with a rally at the York Township High School in Elmhurst in front of a crowd of 6,000.


Anonymous said...

Hi Diana-I came across your article today while looking for info on the date of JFK's visit to York High School in Elmhurst, IL. I and my mother were part of the crowd that day and my memorabilia collection includes two tickets to the event-which didn't include the date. Yes, I've held on to them for some 48 years now, along with about 50 Kennedy buttons-they were free back then. As I recall, the day was a bit chilly, but a short walk over to York HS as we lived only a block away. The gym was packed solid and we were only ten feet from the doors when security closed them. Someone forced the doors open and a few of us rushed in, my mom dragging me by the arm. So,with some effort (it was jam-packed and I was just a 12 year old kid), I was able to view JFK and hear him talk. Thanks for the info!
Mark Totzke
Waynesville, MO

D_Dretske said...

Hello Mark,
It's wonderful that you and your mother were among the 6,000 people who saw JFK speak in Elmhurst. I'm pleased that this blog unlocked the secret date of that historic visit for you. Thanks for commenting!
All the best,

Anonymous said...

teI was there!!! My Daddy put me on his shoulders so I could see him! Such a great memory!

Anonymous said...

I was there too with my parent's I do remember shaking his hand and I still have the button