On the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, Jim Wright looked out the window of his room at Hotel Texas in Fort Worth to see that it was pouring. The first of President John F. Kennedy's two scheduled speeches in Fort Worth was supposed to be held outdoors, something that worried Wright, the local congressman. Wright, who would go on to serve as Speaker of the House, hoped to give the thousands of people who waited in the rain, many of them holding newspapers over their heads, a chance to see Kennedy during his five-city Texas swing.
Then, 15 minutes before he was scheduled to talk, the weather cleared up. Appreciative of their patience, Kennedy proclaimed, “there are no faint hearts in Fort Worth.”
"I thought, the luck of the Irish, by gosh he's done it again," Wright told the JFK Tribute in Fort Worth last year. "None of us, of course, at that time could dream or dare to think of that dreadful tragedy that was waiting to occur just hours away."
Almost three and a half hours after the start of the first speech in Fort Worth, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. It has been 50 years since one of the darkest days in the country’s history. But lost in the memory of the assassination are the messages he left – the call for a fortified military, a booming economy and traveling to space – in what would be his final speeches on the last day of his life.
The 'parking lot' speech
Jump to 3:13 for the start of the speech
One more breakfast
Jump to 31:28 for the start of the speech