Iowa History Daily: On November 21, 1959, presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy campaigned his way through Iowa making a stop at the Carroll Chamber of Commerce and taking in a football game at Kinnick Stadium.
Kennedy arrived in Iowa during the fall of 1959 hoping to firm up his position as front-runner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Arriving in the wee hours of the morning, JFK caught a few hours of sleep at the Jefferson Hotel. Due to the late arrival, plans for a breakfast with speculative vice presidential option Governor Loveless ended up canceled.
Heading to Iowa City in time to catch the Notre Dame vs. Iowa football game at Kinnick stadium with Governor Herschel Loveless, Kennedy addressed the press at the Memorial Union. While the potential presidential ticket waved to fans, the Hawkeyes fell to the Fighting Irish by a final score of 20-19. After the game, Kennedy headed back to west-central Iowa for a speaking engagement with the Carroll Chamber of Commerce. In Carroll, Kennedy spoke about the importance of national security while commenting on the visit of Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev to the area earlier in the fall.
Although Loveless didn’t make the ticket, Kennedy did secure the nomination on his way to eventually winning the presidency. Four years (and one day) later, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, leading Iowa and Notre Dame to suspend their 1963 football game. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar