April 28, 2012
“JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE”: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, The End of the Beginning III
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Chapter 1 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy. It is published by Little, Brown & Company.
The title of Chapter 1 is “The End of the Beginning”.
Kenneth O’Donnell describes JFK as “the most insatiably curious man who ever walked the face of the earth”…a man who “always wanted to know everything about everybody.”
Mr. O’Donnell’s description comes in a discussion of the President’s curiosity about a recent birthday party for his brother, Bobby, which he had missed.
JFK wanted to know “who was there, what did they have to say (and) what happened.”
Kenny then returns to the 1963 visit to Texas.
He writes that on November 22, JFK was concerned about getting the wrong weather forecast & that his wife’s clothes “might be too warm.”
But, JFK was pleased with the warm reception they received in San Antonio the day before & the even larger & more enthusiastic crowds in Houston.
On the morning of November 22, Mr. O’Donnell says that JFK’s mood changed “when he picked up the Dallas News & saw….an ugly black-boarded advertisement.”*
Kenny goes on to say that later the President, after showing the ad to his wife, said “We’re heading into nut country today” and “If somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it?”
*The ad bore the headline “Welcome, Mr. Kennedy to Dallas” then included a number of questions for JFK such as “Why have you ordered or permitted your brother Bobby, the Attorney-General to go soft on Communists?”