FORT WORTH, Texas (September 13, 2013) – This fall the city of Fort Worth, Texas, will remember the life and legend of President John F. Kennedy. Events surrounding the highly anticipated 50th anniversary of JFK’s historic visit to Fort Worth will include two exhibitions, an honorary Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast and more.
Recognizing Fort Worth’s important place in history, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce (FWCC) will hold a commemorative breakfast on November 22, 2013, 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel for Chamber members. Formerly known as the Hotel Texas, the Hilton Hotel is the location where President Kennedy spent his last night and delivered one of his final two speeches. The first, an extemporaneous speech delivered to a crowd who had gathered just outside the hotel with hopes of catching a glimpse of the president. The second, a formal address inside the hotel at the FWCC breakfast held in President Kennedy’s honor.
FWCC’s special guest speaker will be United States Secret Service Agent Clint Hill. Agent Hill was assigned to Mrs. Kennedy and was in the presidential motorcade during the assassination of President Kennedy. During the breakfast, former Speaker of the House Jim Wright, who also accompanied the president on that morning in Fort Worth and Dallas, will be honored with the Chamber’s High Impact Legacy Award. Prior to the breakfast, attendees will hear the Texas Boys Choir perform selections from the repertoire they sang at the 1963 breakfast. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will close the FWCC breakfast by placing a memorial wreath at the JFK Tribute to pay homage to the memory of President Kennedy’s visit to Fort Worth.
"Fort Worth shared a rare and intimate moment in time with President Kennedy," said Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber. "This event is especially meaningful for the chamber because of our historic role in the president’s appearance, the warm welcome he and the First Lady received at the chamber breakfast, and the crowds he likewise embraced in our streets."
While the breakfast is expected to sell out to FWCC members, the public is welcome to gather at the JFK Tribute in General Worth Square.
"Fort Worth welcomes all who wish to pay tribute to the life of President John F. Kennedy," said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau (FWCVB). "President Kennedy’s historic visit to Fort Worth is one that has resonated within our city and residents since that monumental day. We are proud to recollect the positive impact JFK had on Fort Worth and commemorate his fateful visit."
The JFK Tribute in General Worth Square is a permanent open air exhibit built within a 1.5 acre site where President John F. Kennedy presented his last speech to the general public on the morning of November 22, 1963. The tribute was designed around an eight-foot, heroic scale Lawrence Ludtke bronze sculpture, John F. Kennedy, cast in bronze in 2009 and installed in General Worth Square in 2012. The JFK Tribute offers a downloadable audio tour and mobile app at www.jfktribute.com.
In addition to the commemorative breakfast, multiple exhibitions will be held in Fort Worth and Tarrant County through November and beyond. Activities include:
September 19 – December 6, 2013
Fort Worth Library presents JFK in Fort Worth: A Lasting Impression
The Fort Worth Library presents a photo exhibition documenting Kennedy’s visit to Fort Worth, Oswald’s connection to Fort Worth and the recently opened JFK Tribute in General Worth Square. Admission is free.
September 9-February 8, 2014
University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections presents "Howdy, Mr. President" A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK
Eighty-one black-and-white photos shot by Star-Telegram photographers chronicling the Kennedy’s visit. Admission is free.
October 12, 2013 – January 12, 2014
Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy
This amazing exhibit features the works of art installed in the presidential suite of Hotel Texas, together for the first time since November 22, 1963. The original installation included works by Thomas Eakins, Lyonel Feininger, Marsden Hartley, Franz Kline, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, among others, and was orchestrated by former Amon Carter Board President Ruth Carter Stevenson (1923–2013) and a small group of Fort Worth art collectors. Admission is free.
November 9-17, 2013
Casa Manana presents Oswald, The Actual Interrogation
Based on the interrogation notes of Police Captain Will Fritz, this compelling new play delves into the history and controversy surrounding the 48 hours Lee Harvey Oswald was in the custody of the Dallas Police Department.
November 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Fort Worth Library presents An Evening with Bob Schieffer: Remembering John F. Kennedy
In conjunction with the exhibit, CBS 11 News anchor Tracy Kornet will interview veteran journalist and host of Face the Nation Bob Schieffer about the day the president was assassinated and how the tragedy continues to affect us today. Admission is free. www.fortworthtexas.gov/library
November 21, 2013 at 6:30PM
The Fort Worth Opera presents JFK: A Final Day in Fort Worth
Fort Worth Opera and General Director Darren K. Woods will present a first look at their newly commissioned opera premiering in 2016, JFK (working title), at a special evening of drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the west promenade of the historic Hilton Hotel. Join FWOpera Producing Director Kurt Howard and JFK Artistic collaborators David T. Little and Royce Vavrek for an intimate conversation and exclusive reading of the opera’s near complete libretto. Tickets are $50, to make a reservation call 817.288.1215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
November 22, 2013 at 7:30AM
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Commemorative Breakfast
A media hospitality room will be set up in the Members Lounge of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art from November 19-22. A full Fort Worth JFK press kit is available for download here: www.fortworth.com/JFK. For additional information or high-resolution photography, please contact Sarah Covington at SarahCovington@FortWorth.com. Downloadable press release available here.