50th Anniversary Of JFK's Visit To UND & Assassination - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

50th Anniversary Of JFK's Visit To UND & Assassination

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   This November will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This week marks the 50th anniversary of his visit to the University of North Dakota.

President John F. Kennedy: "This State of North Dakota should know it better than any…"

  Ten-thousand people jammed into UND's Hyslop Sports Center to hear President Kennedy speak. Another 10-thousand people listened on speakers outside.

  The President received an honorary law degree and talked about conservation  .

President Kennedy: "We have to seize these opportunities to set aside wilderness areas."

  Former UND President, Tom Clifford who's gone now, liked   to tell this story about JFK's visit to UND.

  Clifford said that he and President Kennedy, both had very large heads. Clifford said that right before they went on stage, President Kennedy had to borrow his graduation cap, because it was the only one that would fit the President.

  Gordon Iseminger attended Kennedy's speech 50 years ago. He was a UND history professor then, and he still is today.

Gordon Iseminger, UND History Professor: "My wife and I walked within 20-feet of the President, when he was getting into the helicopter. There was no bullet proof glass surrounding him. He went up and down shaking hands. It was the openness that did him in." 

 UND's Special Collections Department now has an exhibit remembering that day, called Camelot comes to North Dakota.

Dan Sauerwein, UND Special Collections: "A tribute to Kenney's visit here as well as his larger life, as it was only less then two-months after his visit that he was tragically assassinated."

  News that everyone alive that time, can still remember as if it was yesterday.

  A special exhibit is now open in the Special Collections Department of the Chester Fritz Library at UND and here's a link to the online exhibit:


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