50 Years Later: Fort Worth Remembers President John F. Kennedy

JFK photo in DallasJFK photo in Dallas

I’m of that age where I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. I was at school and it was recess. I didn’t really understand what the word assassinated meant, but I did know that it was very, very bad. Our teacher gathered the class together and then we were all sent home, where, for the next weeks, we bounced between emotions far greater that a grade schooler can navigate on their own.

JFK photo in Dallas

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy and there are commemorations and memorials aplenty.

In Fort Worth, just down the road a piece from Dallas, the city will remember the life and legend of President John F. Kennedy with a number of events.

In a bit of déjà vu, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce will hold a commemorative breakfast on November 22, 2013, 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel.  Formerly known as the Hotel Texas, the Hilton Hotel is the location where President Kennedy spent his last night and delivered one of his final two speeches. The first, an extemporaneous speech delivered to a crowd who had gathered just outside the hotel with hopes of catching a glimpse of the president. The second, a formal address inside the hotel at the FWCC breakfast held in President Kennedy’s honor. Guest speaker at the event will be U.S. Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, the agent who was assigned to Mrs. Kennedy and was in the presidential motorcade during the assassination of President Kennedy. The breakfast is open only to Chamber members.

Following the breakfast will be a wreath laying at the JFK Tribute in General Worth Square that is open to the public. The JFK Tribute is a permanent open air exhibit built within a 1.5 acre site where President John F. Kennedy presented his last speech to the general public on the morning of November 22, 1963. The tribute was designed around an eight-foot bronze statue that was installed in General Worth Square in 2012.

JFK Tribute in Fort Worth TexasOther commemorative activities include:

Fort Worth Library presents JFK in Fort Worth: A Lasting Impression – September 19 – December 6, 2013. The Fort Worth Library presents JFK in Fort Worth: A Lasting Impression, a photo exhibition documenting Kennedy’s visit to Fort Worth, Oswald’s connection to Fort Worth and the recently opened JFK Tribute in General Worth Square. Admission is free.

University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections presents “Howdy, Mr. President” A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK – September 9-February 8, 2014. Eighty-one black-and-white photos shot by Star-Telegram photographers chronicling the Kennedy’s visit. Admission is free.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy – October 12, 2013 – January 12, 2014. This amazing exhibit features the works of art installed in the presidential suite of Hotel Texas, together for the first time since November 22, 1963. The original installation included works by Thomas Eakins, Lyonel Feininger, Marsden Hartley, Franz Kline, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, among others. Admission is free.

Casa Manana presents Oswald, The Actual Interrogation – November 9-17, 2013. Based on the interrogation notes of Police Captain Will Fritz, this compelling new play delves into the history and controversy surrounding the 48 hours Lee Harvey Oswald was in the custody of the Dallas Police Department. Tickets are available, but expected to sell out.

Fort Worth Library presents An Evening with Bob Schieffer: Remembering John F. Kennedy – November 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. In conjunction with the exhibit, CBS 11 News anchor Tracy Kornet will interview veteran journalist and host of Face the Nation Bob Schieffer about the day the president was assassinated and how the tragedy continues to affect us today. Admission is free.

The Fort Worth Opera presents JFK: A Final Day in Fort Worth – November 21, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Fort Worth Opera will present a first look at their newly commissioned opera premiering in 2016, JFK (working title), at a special evening of drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the west promenade of the historic Hilton Hotel. Enjoy intimate conversation and an exclusive reading of the opera’s near complete libretto. Tickets are $50 and available via email.

Photo credit:  via TravMedia





Mary Jo Manzanares is a founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine proving informational and inspirational travel recommendations for curious Baby Boomer travelers. She is the Conference Director for TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange), has been a speaker at various industry events, and has a personal travel blog at Traveling with MJ. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Mary Jo's most recent travel has been Spain, a river cruise on the Rhine, and a wine tour in Walla Walla.

2 Responses to “50 Years Later: Fort Worth Remembers President John F. Kennedy”

  1. Kerry Dexter September 28, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    thanks for the heads up on these events. I know it is always a challenge for Fort Worth and Dallas — all of Texas really — to decide how to mark this anniversary.

    one of the best permanent markers, for me, is the section of the LBJ Library in Austin on the assination. thoughtfully and tastefully done while evoking this events and reactions of the day and the aftermath.

    • Mary Jo Manzanares September 28, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      It is hard to find the line between honoring and commemorating and exploitation. It sounds like Fort Worth has a thoughtful day planned.

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