Invitation to Texas Breakfast With John F. Kennedy on the Day of His Assassination

November 22, 1963

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Invitation to Texas Breakfast With John F. Kennedy on the Day of His Assassination
Ephemera
1 page | SMC 2459

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      Background

      Those old enough can shut their eyes and see it, still. Noon, bright, Texas. Three cars crawl, glacially, across a plaza toward an overpass. A white Ford is in the lead. A dark blue ‘61 Lincoln Continental convertible, top down, is in the middle. A handsome man – young, thick-haired, wearing a suit – sits in the back seat on the right. He turns and waves to well-wishers standing nearby on a grassy knoll. Beside him, a woman in pink waves too. She has brown hair and a pink pillbox hat. The third car, lumbering inconsequentially, is an older black Caddy convertible, the top down too, full of men in suits, some standing on the running boards. No one watches the first, or third car. All eyes are on the middle car, with the presidential standard on the left side of the hood, and the American flag on the other, billowing, and the handsome man waving. His hair, auburn, maybe chestnut, shines. Suddenly he clutches his throat; the woman in pink turns toward him; he slumps against her; she reaches for him. The blurred detritus of a head being blown apart flies through the air. Pink red grey. It is 12:30 p.m. on November 22, 1963, and the 35th President of the United States has just been assassinated. 

      It happened in plain view, in a motorcade, at maybe 10 mph, heading toward the shade of a railroad underpass. President John F. Kennedy had just replied to a comment, affirmatively, he couldn’t say now that Dallas didn’t love him. 

      The crowds had been cheering wildly, all day, whenever they saw the President. In the morning, they had waited three-and-a-half hours in the rain for him to emerge from his Fort Worth hotel. “There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth!” he told them, to yet more huzzahs. At the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Texas, a few minutes later, the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast guests waiting for him to join them strain on tiptoes, excited, as he glides in from a kitchen entrance. In another ten minutes, all two thousand of them will leap to their feet, cheering, when Mrs. Kennedy, clad in a pink suit and matching pink pillbox hat, joins them. In his speech to the group Kennedy jokes “Two years ago I introduced myself in Paris as the man who accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. I’m getting somewhat that same sensation…” Above the wild cheering, he adds, grinning, “Nobody cares what Lyndon [Vice-President Johnson] and I wear…” By a little after 10 a.m., the Kennedys had made it back upstairs to their hotel suite.

      With an hour before leaving for their eight-minute flight from Fort Worth to Dallas, the Kennedys busy themselves, making calls and looking around. Mrs. Kennedy discovers, to her shock and delight, that their suite has been decorated with magnificent original artworks – a Monet, a Picasso, a Van Gogh – from the local museum. The President and his wife have the Secret Service track down the private exhibition’s organizer and placed a call to thank her. Mrs. Kennedy explained how she was swept away by what she saw, and now she didn’t want to leave: it was all too beautiful, she said, to let go so quickly.

      By 10:30 they are gone; by 11:40 they have touched down at Love Field in Dallas and at 11:55, their motorcade is finally underway.

      This ticket is to the November 22, 1963 Chamber of Commerce breakfast at which Kennedy spoke, and Mrs. Kennedy appeared. As such, it is a relic of the beginning of the end. 

      [John F. Kennedy - Assassination] Ft. Worth Breakfast Ticket. 3 3/4" x 2 3/8" card-stock ticket for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce "Breakfast with President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy Friday, November 22, 1963, Grand Ballroom - Hotel Texas."

      This ticket was acquired by Fort Worth attorney Donald C. Bubar, charged by the Chamber of Commerce with assisting the Secret Service during the event.

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      Breakfast with PRESIDENT
      and MRS. JOHN F. KENNEDY

      FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1963

      GRAND BALLROOM -- HOTEL TEXAS

      Sponsored By
      THE FORT WORTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

      8:00 A. M.     No  430     $3.00

      Page 2/2

      Page 2 transcript
      Breakfast with PRESIDENT
      and MRS. JOHN F. KENNEDY

      FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1963

      GRAND BALLROOM -- HOTEL TEXAS

      Sponsored By
      THE FORT WORTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

      8:00 A. M.     No  1680     $3.00