If you read this piece in the Washington Post on Wednesday morning, November 20th, 1963, you probably didn’t think much of it.

President Kennedy was making a trip to Texas, the Vice President’s home state. The White House explicitly stated that the event was nonpolitical, but without a doubt, there were some political undertones for this trip.

President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive in San Antonio - November 21st, 1963 (Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)
President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive in San Antonio – November 21st, 1963 (Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)

It was time to start thinking about the 1964 election and the Kennedy-Johnson ticket had barely won Texas in the last election. The President intended to go down and mend some fences within the Texas Democratic Party and get them primed for the 1964 election.

President Kennedy will make five speeches in Texas Thursday and Friday, attend two receptions and spend a night at the ranch of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Mrs. Kennedy will accompany her husband on the trek, described by the White house as “nonpolitical.”

Pierre Salinger, White House Press Secretary, said yesterday that he expects Mrs. Kenndy [sic] to be with the President at most of his public appearances in Texas.

Mr. Kennedy will fly from Washington to San Antonio Thursday morning, make a speech there, and proceed to Houston where he will address an evening testimonial dinner for Rep. Albert Thomas (D-Tex.)

On Friday evening, the President and Mrs. Kennedy will go by helicopter from Austin to the Johnson City ranch of the Vice President.

Salinger said the Kennedys probably would return to Washington by mid-afternoon on Saturday.

The White House also announced that President Kennedy will spend Thanksgiving Day at the traditional Kennedy family gathering at Hyannis Port, Mass.

He also plans to attend the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov. 30, and probably will fly there from Hyannis Port, Salinger said.

Two days later, Lyndon Johnson was president.

President Kennedy greets the crowd at rally in Fort Worth - November 22nd, 1963
President Kennedy greets the crowd at rally in Fort Worth – November 22nd, 1963

Take a look at this video we found on HuffPost. This is raw (silent) footage from Kennedy’s last night in Houston, the day before he went to Dallas.

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  • Phil Roarke

    Funny how the Washington Post article fails to mention Dallas when giving Kennedy’s itinerary.