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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fifty years ago today -- four days before he was killed -- JFK visited Tampa, Miami



Four days before he was assasinated in Dallas, President John F. Kennedy made a visit to Florida, where he was greeted by enthusiastic crowds and given a box of cigars.

Kennedy landed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Nov. 18, 1963, to deliver a speech at Al Lopez Field, then visited with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and spoke at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory. "No sitting president had come here, and this one was a rock star. Crowds in those old movies sound like they're greeting the Beatles," wrote Tampa Bay Times columnist Sue Carlton.

"He had an aura about him that said, "You are a part of me and I am a part of you,' " recalled Jetie B. Wilds Jr., 73, who was a teacher at Booker T. Washington Junior High School at the time. (story here)

Kennedy then went to Miami for a Democratic rally and to address the Inter-American Press Association in Miami Beach.

[Last modified: Monday, November 18, 2013 1:19pm]


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