Iowa History Daily: September 21 - JFK Rides Through

Iowa History Daily: On September 21, 1960, Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy spoke at Municipal Auditorium in Sioux City. The address focused heavily on why an Iowa farmer might vote for an East Coast candidate, and the future President even rode a mule at the Sioux City stockyards during his visit.

As the campaign for the Presidency ramped up over the early 1960s, Kennedy returned to Iowa for the first time since a 1958 appearance at the National Corn Picking Contest. Stops in Cedar Rapids and Marion during late-June and an August visit to Polk County preceded the September stop in Sioux City. Following Sioux City JFK also made appearances in Fort Dodge and Webster City.

The speech itself focused on a variety of campaign issues, but Kennedy’s focus on the Cold War and general global well-being shined through. He moved toward his closing by imploring the crowd: “We are not finished. We are on the way in this country. We have more to offer than any society ever developed.”

The following day started with Kennedy’s mule ride at the Sioux City Stockyards, and saw him chatting with concerned farmers in Fort Dodge from the back of a convertible before the National Plowing Championships pulled him out of the state to Sioux Falls. The following month Kennedy returned for his final pre-election campaign trip through the Hawkeye state as he visited the Davenport area. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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