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Thursday, January 25, 2007

J.F.K in Butler, 1960

J.F.Kennedy [podium] and Lyndon Johnson [right] campaigning in Butler in 1960 in front of the Court House.
Butler Police Officer Eugene Heath
is standing to the left just above the Pa. State Trooper [center]
in charge of controlling the crowd.
JFK stayed at the Willard Hotel while campaining in Butler. He walked, escorted to the this location.
[Picture thanks Mary (Heath) Gordon]

15 comments:

James Zambroski said...

For some reason, I don't remember the Kennedy visit (course, I was only 7 years old then), but I do remember Gene Heath. Those were the days when state troopers would spend (nearly) their entire careers at their home post. Gene was one of those guys that everyone in town knew and liked. I'm pretty sure he occassionally moonlighted for my grandfather at his painting business.

Anonymous said...

This was a memorable moment. I was on my way from school to the Butler Eagle to pickup newspapers for delivery that day. I did not know about the Kennedy visit in advance, but I saw him going into the Court House (The Eagle was/is just across the street.)

I still recall how Kennedy stood out from everyone around him...as if he had a special charism and bigger-than-life presence. I guess he did...in more than just my memory.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this pic Charles! Please note though: Gene Heath was a Butler Police Officer for many years & he is standing by the State Trooper. A great piece of history for Butler.
Mary (Heath) Gordon

Anonymous said...

If you look closely...JFK is pointing to the hot babe with the big cans...and LBJ is picking his nose.

Anonymous said...

I remmeber this day very well. I was in 4th grade. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday in October. I overheard some "big kids" say that Kennedy was going to leave by the back door of the courthouse. I follwed them around back where several official vehicles were sittting and waited until he came out and they drove off.
That fall, Butler was mentioned in a national magazine (I think it was NEWSWEEK but am not certain) because the Willard Hotel changed its name to the Nixon Lodge!

Anonymous said...

I was one of the crowd there that day. I took one of the buses that ran in the twp.from Armco to the stop by the Troutman bldg.By myself.
I guess I was in 8th grade.
It was very exciting. I got interested in
the government that day. I never persued it but I was so proud to have seen JFK up close.

Andy Shaffer said...

Wow, this photo brings back memories. I was in the crowd that day, must have been 12 years old. I got there early to get a good spot, just to the right of JFK and a few rows back. I should be in the crowd pix, but can't make myself out!! I do recall he made a joke about being right across from the Nixon hotel. Ofcourse, he was running against Richard Nixon. Very exciting day. I later worked at WISR as an announcer/newsman so have a long love affair with Butler. My family moved away but recently my son attended Grove City College, so that gave me a good excuse to visit Butler and the Hotdog Shoppe often! Andy Shaffer

Colleen Conrad said...

I remember my dad lifting me up onto his shoulders so I could see JFK -- a glimpse of history. I was in first grade and a huge Kennedy fan.

Anonymous said...

I remember that day too. A bunch of us went to see JFK. I don't remember seeing LBJ. Guess he didn't make much of an impression even then. We had a banner but they said it was too big and wouldn't let us show it.

David Hape said...

I remember that day. I was working across the street at the drug store.

Kennedy really stood out because he was the only one there with a tan.

David Hape

Anonymous said...

My wife was one of the "Kennedy Girls" in the picture. She stilll has the styrofoam hat with the Kennedy for President head band.
I wonder how different U. S. history would be if he had not been
killed.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a better picture of Kennedy in Butler hanging on the wall of Natili's south. Dont know if it's still there.

Anonymous said...

I'll be visiting with my mom & dad, Donna & Eugene Heath, next week & will check @ the Natili's place to see if it's still there. This is a restaurant, isn't it?!
Mary Heath Gordon

Anonymous said...

I remember that day! My friend Lina Shaffer and I were in town. We had no interest in anything political. We were there to see "Gone With the Wind" at the Penn Theater.

Bob Parker said...

I was living with my grandparents on RD 2 by Route 422. The motorcade drove right by as I sat on the front lawn. My grandmother, Flora hated the Kennedys because they were Catholic.