Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Crowd greets John F. Kennedy at Blue Grass Field, 1960

Posted on October 27, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kennedy greeted supporters on Oct. 8, 1960, at Lexington’s Blue Grass Field. A crowd estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people greeted Kennedy when his private plane arrived at the airport about 12:45 a.m. He had just come from Washington, D.C., where that night he had participated in a second TV debate with Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee. Kennedy, 43, a Massachusetts senator, gave a brief talk to the cheering crowd. He said Kentucky Democrats “who left the fold in 1956 are returning this year. I have always understood that Lexington is the home of beautiful women, fast horses and Democrats.” Several hundred people were at downtown’s Phoenix Hotel to welcome Kennedy. The candidate stopped several times to shake hands as he moved up the front steps and through the lobby to a waiting elevator. Kennedy and most of his party were quartered on the sixth floor. Two Lexington patrolmen guarded Kennedy’s room throughout the night. The next day, approximately 20,000 people lined downtown streets for a campaign parade that ended at the University of Kentucky, where Kennedy gave a 15-minute speech. He won the presidential election over Nixon a month later. Three years after this photo was taken, he was assassinated in Dallas. Click here to see the front page of The Lexington Herald on Nov. 23, 1963, the day after he was shot. On Oct. 26, the National Archives was scheduled to release ‘secret’ JFK assassination records. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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