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President Kennedy in Houston Nov. 21, 1963


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President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy had a private dinner in the International Suite at the Rice Rittenhouse Hotel. It was Kennedy's last supper.

I don't recall if President Kennedy actually stayed overnight at the Rice. Does any one know if Jackie & he ever did or were they just there briefly for this supper? I would imagine that the room they stayed in would be a tourist attraction (to some).

We seldom see footage of their Houston visit only as they depart at Houston International (now Hobby Airport). Wonder if there is anything on Youtube of the Houston visit? Any images of meeting important people while in Houston? Can any of our members assist? Thanks!

PS, This photo is from inside the Rice Hotel while visiting.

365E71EC577E49FB8E5EB28F072A9F24.jpg

Edited by Vertigo58
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I think they stayed the night in Fort Worth, although the legend is that he spent his last night at the Rice.

Yeah, while I'd heard growing up that they spent the night here, I saw a news article when that new bit of film of the motorcade just surfaced recently, and it said they spent the night of the 21st in Fort Worth (and had flown to Texas that day, making stops in multiple cities before Fort Worth). He could have stayed other times, though.

Don't know the story behind it, especially in light of the above, but check out this Chronicle photo captioned: "A rocker sits in John F. Kennedy's suite at the Rice Hotel, November 22, 1963."

Edited by tmariar
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If you check out Grady McAllister's excellent site on Houston radio history, you'll find KILT's coverage of the Kennedy assassination. It's about 30 mins long I think, but at the end is one reporter's recollections of Kennedy's visit to Houston the day before the shooting. WELL worth checking out.

Plus, sound clips from Kennedy's speech in Houston are widely available on eBay, I believe.

Edited by gonzo1976
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My dad was a professional photographer in those days and a friend had given him a press pass to get in that night. He asked me if I wanted to go (I was 15), but it was one of those rainy cold November nights and I said no, so we didn't go. I still regret that decision.

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My dad was a professional photographer in those days and a friend had given him a press pass to get in that night. He asked me if I wanted to go (I was 15), but it was one of those rainy cold November nights and I said no, so we didn't go. I still regret that decision.

Actually, now that you mention it the fact that weather was an issue that night already answers some of my questions and makes quite a bit of sense. Just imagine had it been a nicer evening there may have been hundreds more in attendance hence more photos & 8mm film coverage. I was just a 2 year old kiddie but my mom recalls vividly how the media was all over it during his visit here.

There are hundreds of books on the assasination but I still havent heard if they actually spent the night here?

Rice Hotel staff would have had 1st hand account of events of that evening I guess, but with father time & people slowing passing away all that knowledge will be lost forever I'm afraid. :(

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There are hundreds of books on the assasination but I still havent heard if they actually spent the night here?

Rice Hotel staff would have had 1st hand account of events of that evening I guess, but with father time & people slowing passing away all that knowledge will be lost forever I'm afraid. :(

I don't know - with all the conspiracy buffs out there, I bet there is a pretty good record of the days leading up to the assassination. Here's one source with some pretty detailed info. It says they stayed at the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth the night before the assassination. I suspect that the suite in the photo I cited above was there just for Kennedy's convenience while he stopped in at the Rice for dinner.

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Here's another interesting sidelight to that week. As you know, Kennedy was Catholic, and in those days Catholics didn't eat meat on Friday. He was supposed to go to a big barbeque at the LBJ ranch on Friday night. Newspeople were speculating on whether he would eat meat or not.

I've never read anything about this and don't know if they were planning to serve something other than meat.

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My understanding is that he didn't spend the night at the Rice, just stopped there to rest up before he continued on the trip through Texas.

Not to quibble, but in 1963 it wouldn't have been the Rice Rittenhouse, just Rice Hotel. The Rittenhouse was added after it changed ownership in the 1970s.

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Could he have stayed at the Rice when he was here and gave the "space speech" at Rice Stadium in ?September? Maybe the two visits are getting confused in collective memory.

marmer

That's what gets me so frustrated when I hear that people toss out old photos like the other thread where someone mentioned some guy had bought an old photography studio, found lots of old photos and decided to just trash, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. (teeth grinding, blood pressure rising). :P

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The Handbook of Texas Online confirms that he did not spend the night in Houston. He went on to Fort Worth. I had always assumed he spent the night here. The afternoon of the 21st my mother took my brother and I downtown to watch his motorcade pass by and we did get a wonderful view of him. I recall that the weather was clear - it was late afternoon after school. I don't think it was raining the next day when we left school, stunned. I was in the 8th grade at Pershing. But then it seems like it rained and was cold, wet and gray for the next few days as we watched everything on tv.

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They used the Imperial Suite on the 5th floor to rest and change. He gave a speech at the Coliseum that night and went straight to the airport. They flew to Ft. Worth where they spent the night at The Texas Hotel.

That was the first time I had ever seen a President and future President and the next day was the first time I ever saw my Dad cry.

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an elderly ex nasa photographer in pecan park has a great picture of him and jackie driving up the gulf freeway with the carrousel motel in the background.

It would be fantastic if that gentleman could have that photo saved before it ruins or gets lost! I would make plenty of copies and have restored profesionally. I wish he could share with all of Houston. I know I would!

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It would be fantastic if that gentleman could have that photo saved before it ruins or gets lost! I would make plenty of copies and have restored profesionally. I wish he could share with all of Houston. I know I would!

i've asked her once but she didn't want to part with it.

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They used the Imperial Suite on the 5th floor to rest and change. He gave a speech at the Coliseum that night and went straight to the airport. They flew to Ft. Worth where they spent the night at The Texas Hotel.

That was the first time I had ever seen a President and future President and the next day was the first time I ever saw my Dad cry.

So that means the quote from the website I found on the events in Houston is not true.See beginning of this topic its states was his last supper, impossible if he stayed at The Texas Hotel. Surely they ate while at the Texas Hotel. Thanks for clarifying.

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So that means the quote from the website I found on the events in Houston is not true.See beginning of this topic its states was his last supper, impossible if he stayed at The Texas Hotel. Surely they ate while at the Texas Hotel. Thanks for clarifying.

Actually, I think everything I've seen is in agreement - they had dinner (or at least attended a dinner) in Houston, and got to the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth late. They had breakfast at the Texas Hotel the next morning.

From the website I linked to above:

The Kennedys left Washington on the morning of Thursday, November 21, and flew to San Antonio. They were met there by Gov. Connally and Vice President Johnson, who joined the president in a motorcade downtown. That afternoon the president flew to Houston, where another motorcade awaited. He spoke to a large crowd at Rice University Stadium, then attended a political dinner in Houston. Late Thursday night, the Kennedys flew to Fort Worth, where they spent the night at the Texas Hotel. Friday morning, Kennedy attended a breakfast at the hotel and spoke to a crowd outdoors before leaving for Dallas.

I haven't yet seen anything that says exactly where Kennedy ate dinner, though. He may not have actually eaten at the Albert Thomas dinner - maybe he ate at the Rice. This website shows the following timeline:

4:30 - Kennedy arrives in Houston

5:00 - 5:30 - Kennedy speaks at Rice University Stadium

6:30 - 8:15 - Kennedy attends dinner honoring Albert Thomas (at the Coliseum)

8:45 - 9:30 - Kennedy's flight to Fort Worth

10:00 - 6:30 - Kennedy at Texas Hotel in Fort Worth

[update - This website says that Kennedy was only at the Albert Thomas dinner for 27 minutes, and that he stopped in at a LULAC dinner at the Rice before the Albert Thomas dinner. (So he was at two dinners in Houston that day.) Presumably it's the LULAC dinner at which the photo you posted was taken. If you go here, and click on "Houston" on the left of the screen, there is a series of Chronicle articles with pictures, and you can see them arriving at the Rice, being serenaded by a mariachi band at the LULAC dinner, Kennedy later at the Albert Thomas dinner, etc.]

Edited by tmariar
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[update - This website says that Kennedy was only at the Albert Thomas dinner for 27 minutes, and that he stopped in at a LULAC dinner at the Rice before the Albert Thomas dinner. (So he was at two dinners in Houston that day.) Presumably it's the LULAC dinner at which the photo you posted was taken. If you go here, and click on "Houston" on the left of the screen, there is a series of Chronicle articles with pictures, and you can see them arriving at the Rice, being serenaded by a mariachi band at the LULAC dinner, Kennedy later at the Albert Thomas dinner, etc.]

Excellent, excellent, excellent! Best yet.

Knowledge is power. Thank you :)

Edited by Vertigo58
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They had quail in their room before they went down to the LULAC dinner and then to the Albert Thomas dinner.

(My mom was a voracious note-taker and a good friend of Max Peck, the GM at the Rice. He set me up on the back of a motorcycle so I could see Kennedy. He and Jackie moved by pretty fast but LBJ worked the line and patted me on the head.)

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They had quail in their room before they went down to the LULAC dinner and then to the Albert Thomas dinner.

(My mom was a voracious note-taker and a good friend of Max Peck, the GM at the Rice. He set me up on the back of a motorcycle so I could see Kennedy. He and Jackie moved by pretty fast but LBJ worked the line and patted me on the head.)

I'll never forget Mrs Connelly's candid interviews years later, painfull as it must have been internally she must have understood she needed to tell her story for generations to come. A true lady in every sense of the word.

I understood she lived here for a while, correct me if I'm wrong. Some high rise condo near River Oaks I think.

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While working for the historic district in the 90's, I got to know "Whitey" Weidman, the head security guard at the, then vacant, Rice Hotel. He had worked at the hotel sine the late 30's and, I believe, was head of hotel security during the Kennedy visits. I spent hours listening to his stories of the Rice and was particularly interested in his recollections of President Kennedy. During JFK's visit in 1960 to address the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, he had a private meeting with the leaders in his room at the Rice. Whitey said that JFK requested a "mini fridge" full of Heineken brought to his room prior to the meeting. ("Mini" fridges weren't that mini in 1960!) After the meeting, the fridge was empty. Lesson: If you want to convince a group of Baptists that a Catholic in the White House would not be the end of the world, get them drunk!

Whitey's recollection of JFK's visit in '63 confirms nmainguys comments. Though I never knew the name of the suite on the fifth floor, I visited the rooms frequently before and during renovation. They were in the center wing at the rear of the hotel. JFK had a small single room on the left, as you entered, overlooking the A/C cooling towers and Jackie had a large corner room looking towards Main and Prairie. According to Whitey, they rested and freshened up prior to events that evening. He said that the Secret Service wanted the small room because it was more secure. It's a shame that they weren't as carefull the following day.

Edited by neuman
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They were in the center wing at the rear of the hotel. JFK had a small single room on the left, as you entered, overlooking the A/C cooling towers and Jackie had a large corner room looking towards Main and Prairie.

Maybe I'm getting too much in to this, but is it possible that that specific area is still there?

In other words, is the present occupant aware that they could very well be sitting in the same room where the pres or Jackie sat? If this is true I would like to take a peek albeit it wouldnt even look close to that it day in 63. I guess for the sake of plain curiousity. I would like to say I stood in the same room as JFK.

Makes you wonder if the Houston visitors bureau would be interested in noting to tourists? Just have to wonder. On a seperate note does anyone recall where the automobile is stored and can the public view it? :)

Edited by Vertigo58
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I've taken a walking tour of downtown (starting at City Hall) with a very energetic older gentleman. He took us into the Rice Hotel Ballroom, so at least that was "being in the same room as JFK", but I admit, being in the more private suite they spent more private moments in would certainly be even more interesting. I highly recommend taking the tour.

At the car show in January there were 2 presidential limos, one with a clear top, like a popemobile. I'm not sure if that was the one they rode in in 1963.

Is the Rice now a rental place or condos or a combination?

Jason

They were in the center wing at the rear of the hotel. JFK had a small single room on the left, as you entered, overlooking the A/C cooling towers and Jackie had a large corner room looking towards Main and Prairie.

Maybe I'm getting too much in to this, but is it possible that that specific area is still there?

In other words, is the present occupant aware that they could very well be sitting in the same room where the pres or Jackie sat? If this is true I would like to take a peek albeit it wouldnt even look close to that it day in 63. I guess for the sake of plain curiousity. I would like to say I stood in the same room as JFK.

Makes you wonder if the Houston visitors bureau would be interested in noting to tourists? Just have to wonder. On a seperate note does anyone recall where the automobile is stored and can the public view it? :)

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On a seperate note does anyone recall where the automobile is stored and can the public view it? :)

I don't have any personal knowledge, but a Google search turned up multiple references to its being on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

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In other words, is the present occupant aware that they could very well be sitting in the same room where the pres or Jackie sat? If this is true I would like to take a peek albeit it wouldnt even look close to that it day in 63. I guess for the sake of plain curiousity. I would like to say I stood in the same room as JFK.

The way the building was gutted, there would be nothing left of the original rooms except for the windows. The interior walls were removed leaving only the outer brick and the inner steel columns. The current occupants, unknowingly, probably have breakfast where JFK rested. Luckily, I grabbed a souvenir while it was available! B)

I've taken a walking tour of downtown (starting at City Hall) with a very energetic older gentleman. He took us into the Rice Hotel Ballroom, so at least that was "being in the same room as JFK", but I admit, being in the more private suite they spent more private moments in would certainly be even more interesting. I highly recommend taking the tour.

I'm not 100% sure but I thought that JFK was in the Grand Ballroom, which was in the annex (demolished) where the parking garage now stands.

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Amazing, isn't it? After all this time, there is still THIS much energy around the man, the couple, the politics. So much promise . . . Camelot indeed.

My recollection from the William Manchester book is that, on the morning of the 22nd, JFK made a speech (in Ft. Worth, and in the rain) to some local business group, and made reference to Jackie, still upstairs at the Texas Hotel, with the quote about her taking so much longer to get dressed than they (men) do, but so much more worth it when she does. (My apologies for the garbled paraphrase.)

The original Hotel Texas, by the way, was a grand structure -- very much the same style as the Rice. Wish I knew who built it. . . .

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The original Hotel Texas, by the way, was a grand structure -- very much the same style as the Rice. Wish I knew who built it. . . .

From www.fortwortharchitecture.com :

"In 1919, some of the city's most prominent businessmen formed a group to build a first-class hotel. They selected Fort Worth's top architectural firm of Sanguinet & Staats to design the building that would resemble the Burk Burnett Building. Sanguinet & Staats also recruited some help from Mauran, Russell, & Crowell from St. Louis. "

Mauran, Russell & Crowell were the architects of the Rice.

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Rumor has it that when the contents were being auctioned, that the door knob to the suite were president Kennedy stayed was sold several times. The auctioneer sent a handyman up to other floors to retreive similar hardware to re-install after each "sale". :blush:

I have one of the coffee cups from the room service china. A mechanic found it in a machine room covered in grease & gunk. He gave it to my dad in the 1970's. It cleaned up pretty well. I used it yesterday as a matter of fact.

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Rumor has it that when the contents were being auctioned, that the door knob to the suite were president Kennedy stayed was sold several times. The auctioneer sent a handyman up to other floors to retreive similar hardware to re-install after each "sale". :blush:

I have one of the coffee cups from the room service china. A mechanic found it in a machine room covered in grease & gunk. He gave it to my dad in the 1970's. It cleaned up pretty well. I used it yesterday as a matter of fact.

and I'm am no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I wonder if the car they were in had bullet holes in it? Just wonder as I happended to see a pic of Bonnie & Clyde's car via Goggle and I was just well, wondering. If there were b holes did they pull out the slugs and examined them a million times?

Finally, I recall a TV documentary decades ago where witnesses were being interviewed.

After all the interviews the commentator said that the Plaza was only and still is only big enough to hold so many people. In other words he said if every person we interviewed stated they were there it would be physically impossible. Hence, certain percent just wanted the publicity. :wacko:

I still havent seen that latest reel of the assasination this other person said he had on a shelf for 4 decades.

The other day a radio jock said :

"How in the world could someone have something that important just sitting on a shelf in a closet"? That guy should get the idiot of the century award! agree :wacko:

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and I'm am no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I wonder if the car they were in had bullet holes in it?

If you don't buy conspiracy theories, the first shot missed, probably deflected by a tree branch, and possibly striking a curb some ways down. The second bullet passed through the President, and the Governor resting in the Governor's thigh, later to dislodge and to be discovered on a stretcher. The third shot struck the President in the head, fragmenting, and damaging the windshield. In this scenario there are no bullet holes, except for the windshield damage.

If you believe there was a conspiracy, and bunch all the theories together, LBJ took a shot from behind while JFK's limo driver shot from the front, just as the umbrella man fired, while the guy on the grassy knoll fired from behind the wooden fence, just as the guy hidden in the sewer fired from his position, while numerous cubans and mafia scattered around the plaza were all taking their shots. Oh yeah, and the three tramps were CIA and they took their shots from the overhead train tracks.

The 58 bullet holes in the car were patched, and the 87 bystanders wounded by stray bullets were whisked away by the goverment in their great cover up.

Edited by devonhart
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I found this photo taken on November 21, 1963. The Lincolns (I also think I see some Mercurys) in the foreground were used in President Kennedy's motorcade when he came to Houston that day. I've been looking at that photo to determine where it was taken. It looks like it's in front of a Lincoln/Mercury dealership, it might be Shepherd or Durham since it's a wide, one way throughofare, but it curves a bit in the background sort of like coming off the terminus of a freeway, or it could be somewhere downtown before the modern skyscrapers were built. I see a church in the background, it looks very familiar, but I know of a few churches in the area with similar architecture. Any of our resident historians want to take a guess as to where this photo was taken?

http://www.cah.utexas.edu/db/dmr/image_lg....iable=e_bb_2644

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All the identifiable cars in the parking lot appear to be Fords or Lincolns. Since this seems to be a staging area, it does seem logical that the photo was taken close to a Ford Motor Co. dealership.

Front row: ten Lincolns

Second row: Lincoln, '61 Ford, Lincoln, Lincoln, T-Bird(?)

Behind tree: '59 Ford

Station wagon at corner:Ford Falcon

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President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy had a private dinner in the International Suite at the Rice Rittenhouse Hotel. It was Kennedy's last supper.

I don't recall if President Kennedy actually stayed overnight at the Rice. Does any one know if Jackie & he ever did or were they just there briefly for this supper? I would imagine that the room they stayed in would be a tourist attraction (to some).

We seldom see footage of their Houston visit only as they depart at Houston International (now Hobby Airport). Wonder if there is anything on Youtube of the Houston visit? Any images of meeting important people while in Houston? Can any of our members assist? Thanks!

PS, This photo is from inside the Rice Hotel while visiting.

365E71EC577E49FB8E5EB28F072A9F24.jpg

President Kennedy spent that night in the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. I saw him that day in Houston. We were standing on the curb in front of Park Place Methodist Church.

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  • 1 month later...

z18.jpg

There was a news brief this morning that said the white hearst that carried Kennedy's body is going to be on display at the Lakewood Yacht Club car & boat show very soon. I know it sounds tacky but what can we say.

It was stated that his brother Bobby insisted they destroy the ambulance that rushed him to the hospital that fateful day but they cannot understand why he didn't have the same done to this hearst? He wanted the world to remember his brother in a positive way. When they showed it the hearst looked brand spanking new. I can't help but wonder if is the real thing. We may never know.

It will either be auctioned or just displayed cant remember. Just FYI.

Edited by Vertigo58
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The public amazes me how far they will go. Ebay is probably selling the fold up chairs all the mourners sat on while the services went on. :wacko:

There is a museum in Florida I think, that displays the ambulance that carried away Lee Harvey Oswald. They also have Jayne Mansfield death car.

If anyone goes to Kellys Country Cooking on I45 and Park Place look at all the photos on the walls, there is a lot of history there. The place is or was owned by a retired HPD and there are pictures of Kennedy and a couple of other presidents shaking hands with their HPD escorts.

joe

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Okay, I have one for all of you. Who was the mayor of Houston in 1963? Lewis Cutrer. This guy lived in River Oaks. Before he became mayor he was the city attorney. This Cutrer guy was a definate good ole' boy. He probably tutored the good ole' boy of all good ole' boys, Bob Lanier. I have heard things from very reliable sources. Cutrer is the guy at the microphone. There is a terminal at IAH named after him. Anyway, check out this picture that I managed to get my hands on. It was taken at Hobby Airport on 11/21/63. The skelatal, anemic looking guy on the left is Albert Thomas. He was also on Air Force One on 11/22/63 when when the chief conspirator, LBJ, was sworn in, as was the late Jack Valenti. Look at the picture, they knew they were going to kill him.

484430108_adc8c06f8d_o.jpg

Edited by digitalcowboymagic
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z18.jpg

There was a news brief this morning that said the white hearst that carried Kennedy's body is going to be on display at the Lakewood Yacht Club car & boat show very soon. I know it sounds tacky but what can we say.

It was stated that his brother Bobby insisted they destroy the ambulance that rushed him to the hospital that fateful day but they cannot understand why he didn't have the same done to this hearst? He wanted the world to remember his brother in a positive way. When they showed it the hearst looked brand spanking new. I can't help but wonder if is the real thing. We may never know.

It will either be auctioned or just displayed cant remember. Just FYI.

Vertigo, it IS the real deal, cars are one of the most heavily documented items for true collectors and a piece like this for the Macabre and twisted, as well as history buffs, have created a market for such a vehicle. It will be auctioned off, for problably around 40k to 50k. It is still a Hearse, so not a huge market for car collectors.

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Okay, I have one for all of you. Who was the mayor of Houston in 1963? Lewis Cutrer. This guy lived in River Oaks. Before he became mayor he was the city attorney. This Cutrer guy was a definate good ole' boy. He probably tutored the good ole' boy of all good ole' boys, Bob Lanier. I have heard things from very reliable sources. Cutrer is the guy at the microphone. There is a terminal at IAH named after him. Anyway, check out this picture that I managed to get my hands on. It was taken at Hobby Airport on 11/21/63. The skelatal, anemic looking guy on the left is Albert Thomas. He was also on Air Force One on 11/22/63 when when the chief conspirator, LBJ, was sworn in, as was the late Jack Valenti. Look at the picture, they knew they were going to kill him.

484430108_adc8c06f8d_o.jpg

WHERE do you get your stupid@$$ information ? That has to be the most uninformed post I have seen on this forum. I am still ROFLMFAO ! BTW, Lee Harvey was a lone gunman also, and Jack Ruby brought the guy from the grassy knoll to help shoot Oswald in parking garage. Man, and I thought I wasn't going to get to laugh today.

Oh, and welcome to HAIF !

Edited by Subdude
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Anyway, check out this picture that I managed to get my hands on. It was taken at Hobby Airport on 11/21/63. The skelatal, anemic looking guy on the left is Albert Thomas. He was also on Air Force One on 11/22/63 when when the chief conspirator, LBJ, was sworn in, as was the late Jack Valenti. Look at the picture, they knew they were going to kill him.

484430108_adc8c06f8d_o.jpg

The set, determined look in Johnson's eyes says everything.

"Just one more day, and I'll be president. One more day...."

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Yes, H-Town Man;

Those other men knew waht they were up to. In that picture you can almost see the lamb being led to slaughter. While jfk was no inocent lamb, they shouldn't have done what they did. They should have just qaited for the Marylin Monroe stuff to come out...oh wait she was already gone. Very sad.

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Yes, H-Town Man;

Those other men knew waht they were up to. In that picture you can almost see the lamb being led to slaughter. While jfk was no inocent lamb, they shouldn't have done what they did. They should have just qaited for the Marylin Monroe stuff to come out...oh wait she was already gone. Very sad.

are you related to oliver stone? :blink:

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Vertigo, it IS the real deal, cars are one of the most heavily documented items for true collectors and a piece like this for the Macabre and twisted, as well as history buffs, have created a market for such a vehicle. It will be auctioned off, for problably around 40k to 50k. It is still a Hearse, so not a huge market for car collectors.

yeah that is definitely true, y'all have heard of the VW Beetle once driven by a certain Joseph Ratzinger, then sold to a German Zivi (conscientious objector to military service who has to serve in a so-called civilian substitute service), who didn't know of its previous owner until after the purchase. When Ratzinger became pope, he sold it on ebay for the nicety of 190,000

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