Historic Markers Across Florida

John F. Kennedy in Tampa

Marker ID:  
Location: in Lykes Gaslight Park on E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 27° 56.874    W 082° 27.495
  27.9479    -82.45825
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMM2JT


On November 18, 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, arrived in Tampa. The President's day-long visit thrilled the thousands of people who lined his 28 mile motorcade route.

He arrived at MacDill Air Force Base, home of the U.S. Strike Command, and was greeted by U.S. Representative Sam Gibbons, U.S. Senator George Smathers and Tampa Mayor Nick Nuccio.

At Al Lopez Field President Kennedy spoke about U.S.-Cuban relations at an occasion commemorating the 50th anniversary of Tony Jannus' Airboat Line flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa.

In his speech at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, before 4,500 guests of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Kennedy said:

"And if we can work in harmony if we can understand each other's problems and position if we can respect each other's roles and responsibilities, then surely the business of mankind will prosper and we will move ahead in a secure world, one where there is opportunity for all."

Four days later, John F. Kennedy was in Dallas, Texas.

Hillsbourgh County Historical Advisory Council JFK in Tampa Project
November 22, 2013