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The boy on the left is Robert
Porter Jr. who lived at 123 Highland Avenue and the boy
on the right is Merle Fick who lived on Chestnut Street.
They display their Kennedy posters as they pose for a picture
where Haydu’s gas station now stands at the intersection
of Robbins Avenue and North Main Street. Taken
from Niles Daily Times, October 10, 1960. Photograph:
Candidate, Jack Kennedy, Visits Niles, Ohio on October 15, 1960.
Enthusiastic Nilesites lined Robbins Avenue and
Main Street hoping to catch a glimpse of JFK as the motorcade
progressed past the crowded throng.
After the speech in Youngstown, on his way to
deliver an address in Warren, Senator John F. Kennedy's motorcade
proceeded through McKinley Heights. It was a sunny, warm afternoon,
October 9, 1960. An 11 year old boy and his uncle Richard, made
their way down Rt. 422 to try to catch a glimpse of the Presidential
hopeful. (This was a pretty big deal for McKinley Heights. Matter
of fact, the last “big” thing to happen here was when
Larry Fine of the Three Stooges stayed a night at the Villa Arms
As the little boy and his uncle patiently stood
in front of Tommy Mohn's Sohio service station, across from Handy
Andy's restaurant, JFK came into view. Riding in a convertible,
he was standing up, waving to people lining the route. As his
motorcade slowly turned left onto Robbins Avenue heading toward
Niles, the lead Secret Service car abruptly came to stop and so
did Kennedy’s - right smack-dab in front of the boy and
his uncle. They were stunned! Kennedy was waving to the crowd
on the opposite side of the road, but he suddenly whirled around
and appeared quite startled when the boy and his uncle shouted,
"Hello, Mr. President!" Kennedy, looking straight at
them, flashed that patented toothy-grin and held out his hand.
But just as the little boy and his uncle approached the car to
shake Kennedy’s hand, the driver hit the accelerator and
off they went, down Robbins Avenue. He waved as the car sped out
of sight. It was a close-encounter with a man who was a mere month
away from being elected President of the United States, but more
than 50 years later, it is something this boy will never forget.—Ed
Newspaper Images of JFK Motorcade Traveling Through Niles.
From the Daily Times article by
Walter Wick come the following excerpts-
"It was a heavily blistered hand that Sen. Kennedy, Democratic
presidential candidate, used to greet the 6,000 to 7,000 Nilesites
whon lined the streets here Sunday afternoon".
"Lined all the way from McKinley Heights on Robbins Ave and
down North Main Street to North Road, Niles residents and especially
the youngsters used the beautiful Fall day as a
'Greet Kennedy Holiday'".
JFK waves to bystanders as
motorcade travels through Niles.
Fitzgerald Kennedy was the thirty-fifth President of the United
States. He was born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts.
He attended both public and private schools before enrolling in
Princeton University in 1935. Kennedy transferred to Harvard University
the next year. He graduated from Harvard in 1940. He attended graduate
school at Stanford University from 1940 to 1941. Kennedy left school
and enlisted in the United States Navy at the beginning of World
War II. He rose from the rank of seaman to lieutenant during his
four years in the Navy.
Receiving an honorable discharge at the end of the war, Kennedy
worked briefly as a newspaper reporter. In 1946, he began a political
career and was elected to the United States House of Representatives
as a representative from Massachusetts as a member of the Democratic
Party. He served as a representative from 1947 to 1952, when he
was elected to the United States Senate. He was reelected in 1958.
In 1956, he achieved national recognition when his book Profiles
in Courage which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.
In 1960, Kennedy was elected President of the United States.
He defeated Republican Richard Milhous Nixon in one of
the closest presidential elections in United States history. Kennedy
won the popular vote with just over 100,000 votes of more than
sixty-eight million votes cast. Kennedy was the first man born
in the twentieth century to be elected President.
In the election of 1960, Ohioans favored Nixon over Kennedy.
Nixon won Ohio by 273,363 votes, the largest plurality for Nixon
in any state. The Republican Party also gained firm control over
both houses of the Ohio legislature in this election.
As president, Kennedy sought to create new opportunity for the
U.S. public. His domestic agenda became known as the New Frontier.
Kennedy supported increased funding for education, improvements
in civil rights and federal funds to help revitalize cities. The
United States Congress refused to enact some of his proposals.
Congress did approve the Peace Corps, where volunteers from the
U.S. would assist in developing better living conditions in foreign
countries. At Kennedy's urging, the Congress did authorize funding
to attempt to place a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s.
The Cold War dominated Kennedy's foreign policy. Kennedy increased
the number of U.S. advisers in South Vietnam. He also approved
the Bay of Pigs Invasion, an attempt by exiled Cubans to overthrow
Cuba's communist dictator, Fidel Castro. Kennedy succeeded
in preventing the Soviet Union from placing nuclear missiles in
Cuba in 1962, in what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He also negotiated a treaty with the Soviet Union that outlawed
the testing of nuclear warheads in outer space.
When Kennedy visited Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, he
was killed by an assassin named Lee Harvey Oswald. While
Kennedy had faced some opposition as president, his untimely death
made him one of the more revered presidents in U.S. history.
Credit:Ohio Central History Connection: