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#ThrowbackThursday: When Kennedy came to cut the ribbon

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President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. 
(Oklahoman Archive Photo)
President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. (Oklahoman Archive Photo)
In October 1961, President John F. Kennedy came to Oklahoma to cut a simple ribbon, and nearly 25,000 Oklahomans turned out to see it.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was to officially open a scenic route along State Highway 103 in the Kiamichi Mountains. 

Among the dignitaries attending the event in Big Cedar were Gov. James Howard Edmondson, Sen. Robert S. Kerr, Sen. Mike Monroney and Rep. Carl Albert.   

Laughter rippled throughout the crowd when Albert had to remind the group that they were all there for the ribbon-cutting, a task that seemed momentarily forgotten.

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President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. 
(Oklahoman Archive Photo)

President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. (Oklahoman Archive Photo)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4661985f98815af176254f154673a9f7.jpg" alt="Photo - President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. (Oklahoman Archive Photo)" title="President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. (Oklahoman Archive Photo)"><figcaption>President John F. Kennedy is shown at the October 1961 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Oklahoma Gov. James Howard Edmondson. (Oklahoman Archive Photo)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-155d8da8c538414275a4e170bf593b9a.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c0f2baea882f574a4c9d4f3b4a09db72.jpg" alt="Photo - President John Kennedy visited with U.S. Sen. Robert S. Kerr at his ranch near Poteau after dedicating a highway at Big Cedar in October 1961." title="President John Kennedy visited with U.S. Sen. Robert S. Kerr at his ranch near Poteau after dedicating a highway at Big Cedar in October 1961."><figcaption>President John Kennedy visited with U.S. Sen. Robert S. Kerr at his ranch near Poteau after dedicating a highway at Big Cedar in October 1961.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-98b634f266519ad6e53063b77e2bb17f.jpg" alt="Photo - Sen. Robert S. Kerr shows President John F. Kennedy where to cut the ribbon, officially opening State Highway 103 at Big Cedar. The man on the ground, also directing the president, is unidentified. AP Photo" title="Sen. Robert S. Kerr shows President John F. Kennedy where to cut the ribbon, officially opening State Highway 103 at Big Cedar. The man on the ground, also directing the president, is unidentified. AP Photo"><figcaption>Sen. Robert S. Kerr shows President John F. Kennedy where to cut the ribbon, officially opening State Highway 103 at Big Cedar. The man on the ground, also directing the president, is unidentified. AP Photo</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7312e5c9409de49ff06d8665fdf56bd5.jpg" alt="Photo - President Kennedy bids some Oklahoma state troopers farewell in a pouring rain as he prepares to leave the ranch home of Sen. Robert S. Kerr where he was a house guest. AP Photo" title="President Kennedy bids some Oklahoma state troopers farewell in a pouring rain as he prepares to leave the ranch home of Sen. Robert S. Kerr where he was a house guest. AP Photo"><figcaption>President Kennedy bids some Oklahoma state troopers farewell in a pouring rain as he prepares to leave the ranch home of Sen. Robert S. Kerr where he was a house guest. AP Photo</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-516a48fea3e312c365c80bd4b8e0c966.jpg" alt="Photo - President John F. Kennedy cuts the ribbon, formally opening the final link in scenic State Highway 103. Reported in The Oklahoman: "President Kennedy did the honors after sharing spectators' amusement when he almost forgot the ribbon cutting." UPI Photo" title="President John F. Kennedy cuts the ribbon, formally opening the final link in scenic State Highway 103. Reported in The Oklahoman: "President Kennedy did the honors after sharing spectators' amusement when he almost forgot the ribbon cutting." UPI Photo"><figcaption>President John F. Kennedy cuts the ribbon, formally opening the final link in scenic State Highway 103. Reported in The Oklahoman: "President Kennedy did the honors after sharing spectators' amusement when he almost forgot the ribbon cutting." UPI Photo</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a14870b0315d15dd7934401d4f36d80e.jpg" alt="Photo - This view shows the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Big Cedar. Photo by Bob Albright, The Oklahoman" title="This view shows the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Big Cedar. Photo by Bob Albright, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>This view shows the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Big Cedar. Photo by Bob Albright, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b9c0653a50fa3d1b2b68613782e89bb4.jpg" alt="Photo - A crowd gathered at the crossroads of State Highways 103 and 63 at Big Cedar to see President John F. Kennedy formally dedicate Highway 103 as a scenic route through the Kiamichi Mountains in southeast Oklahoma. AP Photo" title="A crowd gathered at the crossroads of State Highways 103 and 63 at Big Cedar to see President John F. Kennedy formally dedicate Highway 103 as a scenic route through the Kiamichi Mountains in southeast Oklahoma. AP Photo"><figcaption>A crowd gathered at the crossroads of State Highways 103 and 63 at Big Cedar to see President John F. Kennedy formally dedicate Highway 103 as a scenic route through the Kiamichi Mountains in southeast Oklahoma. AP Photo</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c_fdc2efa4cb5c7676e38cdec9275fbd0f.jpg" alt="Photo - On an overcast day, President John F. Kennedy spoke at Big Cedar during dedication ceremonies for the opening of State Highway 103 through the scenic Kiamichi Mountains. AP Photo" title="On an overcast day, President John F. Kennedy spoke at Big Cedar during dedication ceremonies for the opening of State Highway 103 through the scenic Kiamichi Mountains. AP Photo"><figcaption>On an overcast day, President John F. Kennedy spoke at Big Cedar during dedication ceremonies for the opening of State Highway 103 through the scenic Kiamichi Mountains. AP Photo</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a8ef82438e1ad946cf10cf2ff5291fc0.jpg" alt="Photo - About 25,000 people attended the formal opening of a scenic route along State Highway 103. President John F. Kennedy spoke at the event and then cut the ceremonial ribbon. Oklahoman Archive Photo" title="About 25,000 people attended the formal opening of a scenic route along State Highway 103. President John F. Kennedy spoke at the event and then cut the ceremonial ribbon. Oklahoman Archive Photo"><figcaption>About 25,000 people attended the formal opening of a scenic route along State Highway 103. President John F. Kennedy spoke at the event and then cut the ceremonial ribbon. Oklahoman Archive Photo</figcaption></figure>
Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›

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