This is the second in a series of posts about how weather impacted our history. 

It was the era of Camelot. President John Kennedy and his beautiful wife Jackie were the injections of youth the country needed at the right time in the early 1960’s. The future was bright for all.

November 22nd, 1963 President Kennedy walked out of a Fort Worth, TX hotel to spotty rain showers. He spoke to a crowd without a hat, he hated hats and shook hands with the crowd. The trip to Texas was political. He had to take it to bolster his reelection chances for 1964.

A short jaunt to Dallas was next in Air Force One.  It was still raining. As the plane roared down the runway it was 11:45 am CST.  Suddenly, the skies cleared and as the President stepped off the plane the crowd awaiting him roared with cheers. The sun came peeking through the clouds and shined on the President and his glamorous wife who was dressed in pink with a pink pillbox on her head. They both went over to the crowd and they lavished them with shouts and cries of joy.

The weather had changed in an instance.  It was still supposed to be raining.  Since it wasn’t raining the President requested the Secret Service not put the bubble on top of the motorcade. Plus, the President wanted to let the people see him and Jackie.

As the motorcade sped along the parade route throngs of people lined the route. It was in the mid 60’s (per the chart from that day). The people and the motorcade route gleamed in the bask of the sunlight that drenched the city of Dallas. It was too symbolic. The sun wasn’t supposed to be shining. It was supposed to be raining.

It was 12:29pm as the President’s motorcade made the turn from Houston to Elm Street. They were minutes away from the Trade Mart where the President was to give a speech at a luncheon.

At 12:30pm the temperature was 63 degrees with a light wind of 15MPH.  The rain showers had ended. The President and his wife were smiling in the car.

Then several loud bangs rang through downtown Dallas.  The sun was out. It was a beautiful day in Dallas.

That was about to change.

This is the hourly weather chart from Dallas Love Field where the President landed. When he was in Fort Worth earlier that day you can see it was light rain from 5am to about 11am. That’s when the President left to go to Dallas. When he landed at almost noon the rain had stopped. The weather was much improved.


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