FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth officials broke ground Monday on what will be a multi-million dollar tribute to President John F. Kennedy.
President Kennedy’s last public address was in downtown Fort Worth on November 22, 1963.
It was a day that would go down in history, but hours before President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas he spoke at the Hotel Texas (now known as the downtown Hilton) then stepped outside on a drizzly morning to address a crowd of supporters at what is now General Worth Square at Main Street and East 8th Street.
On that cold morning, JFK spoke of volunteerism, the space race and leadership. Many waited hours in the rain to hear his words.
“We were grateful to have the President of the United States in our city,” said former U.S. Speaker of the House Jim Wright who was there that morning. “It was though all of our dreams and hopes were coming to fruition at one time.”
Wright, along with former Fort Worth mayor Bob Bolen and current mayor Betsy Price, took part in Monday’s groundbreaking.
Now, nearly 5 decades later, the spot of Kennedy’s last speech will become the site of a memorial.
KRLD’s Chuck Schechner Reports:
Private donations made up most of the $2 million project. The project will include an 8-foot tall bronze sculpture of Kennedy and a marble water feature. It will be lit at night and provide a recessed, circular area intended to educate people about JFK’s positive message just hours before his assassination.
The City of Fort Worth is using natural gas well revenues to improve the infrastructure around the site. Its hoped the project will be completed in early Fall of 2012.
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