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The Morning Brew: JFK's Oklahoma trips

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JFK's Oklahoma Trips 

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John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas 54-years ago today in Dallas. For those who were alive at the time, it's a where were you moment. But while Kennedy is often associated with Dallas for obvious reasons, he also made several trips to Oklahoma during his career in politics. Here's a look back at those trips. 

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Then Sen. Kennedy meets with Don Baldwin, president of the Oklahoma state senate and Oklahoma senator Mike Monroney in November 1957. Kennedy was in town for a fundraiser at the fairgrounds. More than 5,000 attended the event. 

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Kennedy was friendly with Oklahoma Sen. Robert S. Kerr, making several visits to the state to support causes on behalf of Kerr who is at the far left. 

&nbsp;Staff photo by Mandell Matheson taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/3/60 Oklahoma City Times.
&nbsp;Staff photo by Mandell Matheson taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/3/60 Oklahoma City Times.

Kennedy made a visit to Oklahoma City for a fundraiser during the 1960 campaign. Here a worker puts up signage at Municipal Auditorium ahead of a speech given by Kennedy at the venue. 

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Kennedy stayed at Kerr's ranch during a 1961 visit. Here he greets Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers before boarding a helicopter. 


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During that same visit folks in Big Cedar gathered to see Kennedy dedicate a stretch of State Highway 103 in the Kiamichi Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma. 

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Kerr's prized black Angus cows were shown to Kennedy during that 1961 visit. Kerr's ranch manager is describing each bloodline for the president, which must have been fascinating. 

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JFK on the streets of OKC? It happened in November 1960. Here his motorcade passes through the intersection of SW44 and Western on his way to a rally. This was just before the election. 

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Kennedy's last trip to Oklahoma took place in early January 1963. Here he arrives at Tinker Air Force Base to attend Sen. Kerr's funeral. 


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<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b5a8e8e6736777aca854babeaab0fb7e.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f9634eb84d5c71ceb162c93ba738271e.jpg" alt="Photo - STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS: President John F. Kennedy is greeted by Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson (in light coat facing President Kennedy) on President Kennedy's arrival Friday at Tinker Air Force Base for the funeral of Oklahoma Senator Robert S. Kerr. Sen. Kerr passed away 1/1/63. Staff photo by Richard &quot;Dick&quot; Cobb taken Friday, 1/4/63; photo ran in the 1/5/63 Oklahoma City Times." title="STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS: President John F. Kennedy is greeted by Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson (in light coat facing President Kennedy) on President Kennedy's arrival Friday at Tinker Air Force Base for the funeral of Oklahoma Senator Robert S. Kerr. Sen. Kerr passed away 1/1/63. Staff photo by Richard &quot;Dick&quot; Cobb taken Friday, 1/4/63; photo ran in the 1/5/63 Oklahoma City Times."><figcaption>STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS: President John F. Kennedy is greeted by Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson (in light coat facing President Kennedy) on President Kennedy's arrival Friday at Tinker Air Force Base for the funeral of Oklahoma Senator Robert S. Kerr. Sen. Kerr passed away 1/1/63. Staff photo by Richard &quot;Dick&quot; Cobb taken Friday, 1/4/63; photo ran in the 1/5/63 Oklahoma City Times.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-835ec29d697c122812ead86e3e66818a.jpg" alt="Photo - STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS: &quot;Sen. John (F.) Kennedy of Massachusetts, Don Baldwin, president pro-tem of the Oklahoma state senate, and Oklahoma's senator Mike Monroney make political medicine.&quot; Staff photo by Richard &quot;Dick&quot; Peterson taken 11/7/57; photo ran in the 11/8/57 Oklahoma City Times. Photo of Sen. Kennedy taken while in Oklahoma City for a fund-raising dinner with almost 5,000 state Democrats at the Appliance building on the state fairgrounds Thursday, 11/7/57." title="STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS: &quot;Sen. John (F.) Kennedy of Massachusetts, Don Baldwin, president pro-tem of the Oklahoma state senate, and Oklahoma's senator Mike Monroney make political medicine.&quot; Staff photo by Richard &quot;Dick&quot; Peterson taken 11/7/57; photo ran in the 11/8/57 Oklahoma City Times. Photo of Sen. Kennedy taken while in Oklahoma City for a fund-raising dinner with almost 5,000 state Democrats at the Appliance building on the state fairgrounds Thursday, 11/7/57."><figcaption>STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS: &quot;Sen. John (F.) Kennedy of Massachusetts, Don Baldwin, president pro-tem of the Oklahoma state senate, and Oklahoma's senator Mike Monroney make political medicine.&quot; Staff photo by Richard &quot;Dick&quot; Peterson taken 11/7/57; photo ran in the 11/8/57 Oklahoma City Times. Photo of Sen. Kennedy taken while in Oklahoma City for a fund-raising dinner with almost 5,000 state Democrats at the Appliance building on the state fairgrounds Thursday, 11/7/57.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2bab5d7a06ce1ea1aaaedd5ac817a24d.jpg" alt="Photo - STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISITS: 'HANGING DECORATIONS, Mrs. Betty McElroy, 2716 SW 52, is one of many workers preparing for Sen. John (F.) Kennedy's Oklahoma City visit. She's tacking up the king-sized poster in Municipal Auditorium where the Democratic standard-bearer will appear Thursday night.&quot; Staff photo by Mandell Matheson taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/3/60 Oklahoma City Times." title="STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISITS: 'HANGING DECORATIONS, Mrs. Betty McElroy, 2716 SW 52, is one of many workers preparing for Sen. John (F.) Kennedy's Oklahoma City visit. She's tacking up the king-sized poster in Municipal Auditorium where the Democratic standard-bearer will appear Thursday night.&quot; Staff photo by Mandell Matheson taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/3/60 Oklahoma City Times."><figcaption>STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISITS: 'HANGING DECORATIONS, Mrs. Betty McElroy, 2716 SW 52, is one of many workers preparing for Sen. John (F.) Kennedy's Oklahoma City visit. She's tacking up the king-sized poster in Municipal Auditorium where the Democratic standard-bearer will appear Thursday night.&quot; Staff photo by Mandell Matheson taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/3/60 Oklahoma City Times.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5e6799b552ed64d89548b61f82f6218e.jpg" alt="Photo - STATE, OKLAHOMA, CAMPAIGN, VISIT, VISITS, REDING SHOPPING CENTER: Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy stands up in his car and acknowledges the crowd as his motorcade passes through the intersection of SW 44 and Western on its way to a Democratic rally at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Oklahoma City. Senator Kennedy made a last-minute, whirlwind stop in Oklahoma City just before the 1960 elections. Staff photo by Jim Lucas taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/4/60 Oklahoma City Times Late Street edition." title="STATE, OKLAHOMA, CAMPAIGN, VISIT, VISITS, REDING SHOPPING CENTER: Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy stands up in his car and acknowledges the crowd as his motorcade passes through the intersection of SW 44 and Western on its way to a Democratic rally at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Oklahoma City. Senator Kennedy made a last-minute, whirlwind stop in Oklahoma City just before the 1960 elections. Staff photo by Jim Lucas taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/4/60 Oklahoma City Times Late Street edition."><figcaption>STATE, OKLAHOMA, CAMPAIGN, VISIT, VISITS, REDING SHOPPING CENTER: Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy stands up in his car and acknowledges the crowd as his motorcade passes through the intersection of SW 44 and Western on its way to a Democratic rally at the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Oklahoma City. Senator Kennedy made a last-minute, whirlwind stop in Oklahoma City just before the 1960 elections. Staff photo by Jim Lucas taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/4/60 Oklahoma City Times Late Street edition.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c312237335ef6c830a9e66279a7c08a3.jpg" alt="Photo - &quot;President (John F.) Kennedy sits with his host, Sen. Robert S. Kerr, left, and Paul Keesee, right, ranch manager for Kerr, during a visit to a cattle show at Kerr's ranch.&quot; Special transmission to the Daily Oklahoman taken 10/29/61. Staff photo." title="&quot;President (John F.) Kennedy sits with his host, Sen. Robert S. Kerr, left, and Paul Keesee, right, ranch manager for Kerr, during a visit to a cattle show at Kerr's ranch.&quot; Special transmission to the Daily Oklahoman taken 10/29/61. Staff photo."><figcaption>&quot;President (John F.) Kennedy sits with his host, Sen. Robert S. Kerr, left, and Paul Keesee, right, ranch manager for Kerr, during a visit to a cattle show at Kerr's ranch.&quot; Special transmission to the Daily Oklahoman taken 10/29/61. Staff photo.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7312e5c9409de49ff06d8665fdf56bd5.jpg" alt="Photo - STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: &quot;President Kennedy bids some Oklahoma state troopers farewell in a pouring rain as he prepared to leave the ranch home of Sen. Kerr where he was a house guest Sunday night. He boarded a helicopter immediately, enroute to Ft. Smith.&quot; AP Wirephoto taken 10/29/61. Photo ran in the 10/30/61 Oklahoma City Times." title="STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: &quot;President Kennedy bids some Oklahoma state troopers farewell in a pouring rain as he prepared to leave the ranch home of Sen. Kerr where he was a house guest Sunday night. He boarded a helicopter immediately, enroute to Ft. Smith.&quot; AP Wirephoto taken 10/29/61. Photo ran in the 10/30/61 Oklahoma City Times."><figcaption>STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: &quot;President Kennedy bids some Oklahoma state troopers farewell in a pouring rain as he prepared to leave the ranch home of Sen. Kerr where he was a house guest Sunday night. He boarded a helicopter immediately, enroute to Ft. Smith.&quot; AP Wirephoto taken 10/29/61. Photo ran in the 10/30/61 Oklahoma City Times.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b9c0653a50fa3d1b2b68613782e89bb4.jpg" alt="Photo - OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS, DEDICATION: 'THEY CAME TO SEE THE PRESIDENT---This is part of the crowd that gathered at the cross roads of Oklahoma State Highways 103 and 63 at a spot known as Big Cedar to see President Kennedy formally dedicate Highway 103 which follows an old Indian trail through the Kiamichi Mountains in the southeastern section of the state.&quot; AP Wirephoto taken 10/29/61." title="OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS, DEDICATION: 'THEY CAME TO SEE THE PRESIDENT---This is part of the crowd that gathered at the cross roads of Oklahoma State Highways 103 and 63 at a spot known as Big Cedar to see President Kennedy formally dedicate Highway 103 which follows an old Indian trail through the Kiamichi Mountains in the southeastern section of the state.&quot; AP Wirephoto taken 10/29/61."><figcaption>OKLAHOMA, VISIT, VISITS, DEDICATION: 'THEY CAME TO SEE THE PRESIDENT---This is part of the crowd that gathered at the cross roads of Oklahoma State Highways 103 and 63 at a spot known as Big Cedar to see President Kennedy formally dedicate Highway 103 which follows an old Indian trail through the Kiamichi Mountains in the southeastern section of the state.&quot; AP Wirephoto taken 10/29/61.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2d46b50b242fb2ce3112b511d022dc38.jpg" alt="Photo - Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy (center) chats with Oklahoma State Democratic Chairman Gene McGill (right) while Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson (left) listens during Sen. Kennedy's motorcade trip from Will Rogers Field to downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday night, 11/3/60. Sen. Kennedy made a last-minute, whirlwind stop for a Democratic rally at the Municipal Auditorium just a few days before the 1960 elections. Staff photo by Jim Lucas taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/4/60 Daily Oklahoman." title="Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy (center) chats with Oklahoma State Democratic Chairman Gene McGill (right) while Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson (left) listens during Sen. Kennedy's motorcade trip from Will Rogers Field to downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday night, 11/3/60. Sen. Kennedy made a last-minute, whirlwind stop for a Democratic rally at the Municipal Auditorium just a few days before the 1960 elections. Staff photo by Jim Lucas taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/4/60 Daily Oklahoman."><figcaption>Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy (center) chats with Oklahoma State Democratic Chairman Gene McGill (right) while Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson (left) listens during Sen. Kennedy's motorcade trip from Will Rogers Field to downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday night, 11/3/60. Sen. Kennedy made a last-minute, whirlwind stop for a Democratic rally at the Municipal Auditorium just a few days before the 1960 elections. Staff photo by Jim Lucas taken 11/3/60; photo ran in the 11/4/60 Daily Oklahoman.</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e6f4fe806e12eaf2e7ae2fb358fcdcdb.jpg" alt="Photo - STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISITS, ROBERT S. KERR: Prize black Angus congregate in front of President John F. Kennedy (center) at the Kerr ranch while Sen. R.S. Kerr (left) and Kerr ranch manager Paul Keesee (right) describe bloodlines and herd operations during President Kennedy's October, 1961 visit to southeastern Oklahoma. Staff photo taken 10/29/61." title="STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISITS, ROBERT S. KERR: Prize black Angus congregate in front of President John F. Kennedy (center) at the Kerr ranch while Sen. R.S. Kerr (left) and Kerr ranch manager Paul Keesee (right) describe bloodlines and herd operations during President Kennedy's October, 1961 visit to southeastern Oklahoma. Staff photo taken 10/29/61."><figcaption>STATE, OKLAHOMA, VISITS, ROBERT S. KERR: Prize black Angus congregate in front of President John F. Kennedy (center) at the Kerr ranch while Sen. R.S. Kerr (left) and Kerr ranch manager Paul Keesee (right) describe bloodlines and herd operations during President Kennedy's October, 1961 visit to southeastern Oklahoma. Staff photo taken 10/29/61.</figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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