JFK's Austin Speech

Read an excerpt from the Austin speech JFK never got to make

The Austin speech JFK never got to make

KVUE — Following President John F. Kennedy's stop in Dallas, he was scheduled to visit Austin the following day. His schedule included a reception at the Governor's Mansion and a fundraising gala at Austin's Municipal Auditorium.

The Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas archived items from the Austin visit Kennedy never got to make, including remarks written by Texas governor John Connally's staffers to add "local color" to the president's Austin speech. The remarks are a part of Connally Press Secretary Julian Read's collection at the Briscoe Center.

An excerpt of Kennedy's planned remarks for his Austin visit:

I'm particularly proud to be here in Texas at the home of the great University of Texas, the number one football team in the nation. I salute your great Longhorn team, and your fine coach Darrell Royal, who was one of the gracious reception committee which greeted Jackie and me here this evening. I'm sorry I haven't seen the Longhorns in action, but I've certainly heard about them, and I imagine if a poll were taken about now, I can guess where your coach would come in. You know, back earlier in the fall, before Texas played Oklahoma, there was some talk about an Oklahoma coach running for the U.S. Senate. And not as a Democrat. I haven't heard anymore about that since your Longhorns took care of the Sonners [sic]. However, but Governor Connally, I hope for your sake and that of other elected officials, that Mr. Royal doesn't have any political ambitions. I can just imagine what sort of poll he'd pull!

I'm extremely proud to see so many Texas Democrats. From what some people are trying to say, you'd think there weren't this many Democrats left in the whole state! Texas has much to be proud of in its Democratic Party. I know of no other state that has a more distinguished record of service and achievement for its people.

For more photos and memorabilia from UT's Briscoe Center and the LBJ Presidential Library, as well as information on UT journalism professor Bill Minutaglio's coauthored book Dallas 1963, please go here.

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JFK, The University of Texas at Arlington Library
Read an excerpt from the Austin speech JFK never got to make. Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library