When John F. Kennedy campaigned in fall 1960, he was the center of a whirlwind of admirers as he left the Charlotte Coliseum. This picture appeared in the Charlotte Observer and was picked up by Associated Press and ran in every major newspaper in America.
In this picture, John F. Kennedy is surrounded by a sea of Southern faces as he makes his way to his car. Kennedy won North Carolina by a narrow margin; however, it wasn’t the politics that interested me, it was his charisma that gave the feeling that Camelot just might be real.
I’ll never forget the story he opened his speech with. He told of the Connecticut legislature that was meeting in session during the early 1800s when an eclipse darkened the noonday sky. There was a clamor amongst the politicians to adjourn immediately and go home. A voice from the back differed. He said, “Mr. Speaker, I ask that candles be brought. We must remain here and be found doing our work if indeed this is the end of the world.”
John F. Kennedy Charlotte Campaign
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