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Remembering President Kennedy’s 1962 Visit to Baltimore

Kennedy in helicopter (1961)
Relive the memory of President Kennedy's 1962 visit to Baltimore with an eye-witness account, along with photos from the time and a related article from The Baltimore Sun. #JFK #Baltimore #History
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Maybe a group of you remember this visit? We came across a neat story in The Baltimore Guide detailing an individual’s memories of meeting the President during his 1962 visit to the city.

President Kennedy at the Fifth Regiment Armory (photo by Thomas Scilipoti)
President Kennedy at the Fifth Regiment Armory (photo by Thomas Scilipoti)

On October 10th, 1962, Kennedy was to fly in via helicopter and land at Patterson Park for a brief visit, riding in a motorcade to the Fifth Regiment Armory. Below is the article in The Baltimore Sun the following day, detailing the visit.

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President Kennedy drops into Baltimore briefly today on a purely partisan mission. He lands by helicopter in Patterson Park, deep in the safely Democratic Third Congressional district. He rides in an open car through predominantly Democratic territory to the 5th Regiment Armory. There he will address a throng of the faithful. He will indorse the Democratic ticket. He will tell them amid cheers that he wants to Democrats elected three weeks from Tuesday, not Republicans–that to put his program across he has to have more Democrats in Congress.

The argument cuts two ways, of course. And it is an open question anyway whether Presidential stumping is worth the effort in a midterm campaign. It did Mr. Eisenhower no good in 1956. It did Mr. Truman no good. And, thinking especially of Maryland, those with long memories can think back to 1938 when President Roosevelt “invaded” Maryland in a primary campaign to unseat Senator Tydings in favor of his own favorite, the Hon. David Lewis. The Hon. David Lewis fell flat on his face.

Still, President Kennedy has decided that the effort is worth the risk and is putting himself into this campaign to an extent that almost justifies the conclusion that he, himself, is running all over again two years later.

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Whatever the motives behind the trip, the President of the United States is nevertheless visiting Baltimore. Welcome, Mr. President.

Kennedy in helicopter (1961)
Kennedy in helicopter (1961)

Source: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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