JOPLIN, MO.--- As the nation observes the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, many local residents are remembering when they saw him in person at the Joplin airport. It was the presidential campaign stump that brought the young candidate to Joplin on October 22, 1960. While about 5,000 were expected for the speech - 15,000 people showed up at the Joplin airport. Kennedy gave a 25 minute speech originally intended for a different venue.
"He flew in, actually he was supposed to have flown into Columbia but the planes - the runways wouldn't accommodate him. Ours did and we welcomed him with that respect," said Brad Belk, Joplin Museum Director.
Kennedy's Joplin visit took place less than a month before the 1960 presidential election.
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