July 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday: 1960 Election Campaign

A look back at John F. Kennedy's historic campaign visit to Fort Dodge, Iowa.

In the spirit of the 2016 election, the following photos are a Thursday throwback to John F. Kennedy’s 1960 campaign stop in Fort Dodge, Iowa. I often remember my Grandfather and Father (both Fort Dodge residents in 1960) recall the day their town rolled out the red carpet to see the presidential hopeful. As you can see, back in the 1960s, seeing a presidential candidate was the event of the year, or maybe decade.

Travis Halm | The Tailgate Society
Hundreds of onlookers await the passing of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on Central Avenue in Fort Dodge, IA. (Circa 1960)
Hundreds of onlookers await the passing of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on Central Avenue in Fort Dodge, IA. (Circa 1960)

All schools in Fort Dodge were shut down that day so students could see the future president as he made his way from the Fort Dodge airport through Downtown along Central Avenue. My Dad often recalled seeing the president from his alleyway off of N. 15th Street before Kennedy reached downtown.

President Kennedy continued down Central Avenue.
Mr. Kennedy continued down Central Avenue.

The event was also not limited to just Fort Dodge, as parade participants and onlookers came from miles around to see the national icon.

Travis Halm | The Tailgate Society

Eerily, Mr. Kennedy sat on the back of an open convertible through the streets of Fort Dodge, just as he would do three years later in Dallas, Texas.

Travis Halm | The Tailgate Society
Kennedy Fort Dodge 3
Mr. Kennedy sitting on the back of an open convertible

This throwback Thursday was brought by Jim Parsons, a Fort Dodge, IA native who took these stunning color photos as a 21 year old.

Travis Halm 21 Articles
Staff Writer

Travis Halm is an Iowa State Alum living in Omaha, Nebraska. A native of Haverhill, Iowa, Travis has lived throughout the Midwest and in Texas, providing him insight on the Big 12, the SEC, and a wide variety of other sports topics. Travis follows the Cyclones closely, in addition to the Cardinals, Packers, Texas A&M and rarely turns down a ticket to a good sporting event.

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