Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Why was President Kennedy going to Texas? The trip had been under consideration for nearly a year. Kennedy felt the need to make a formal visit to Texas because he had not been there since the 1960 presidential campaign. He wished to resolve the factional controversy with the Democratic Party in Texas before the 1964 election. In this trip the party saw an opportunity to raise funds by having the President speak at a political dinner, eventually planned for Austin. Kennedy wanted the opportunity to learn, firsthand, about the problems which concerned American people. President Kennedy also wanted the simple enjoyment of making a public appearance.

The general decision on the November journey to Texas was made on June 5, 1963.

This decision-making meeting among President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, and Governor Connally took place at the Cortez Hotel in El Paso, Texas.

The original plan called for the President to stay one day,but instead, he stayed two days; there was not enough time for everyone to see the President.

The Secret Service wanted to arrange a route so that within the time allotted, it would bring the President "through and area that exposes him to the greatest number of people." President Kennedy's limousine was open with the top down, which would make it easier for anyone to get the perfect shot. Around 12:30 P.M.,Central Time, President Kennedy's limousine drove approximately eleven miles per hour down Elm Street toward the triple underpass. The limousine was due at the Trade Mart at 12:30 P.M. Also, by the Texas School Book Depository it was 12:30 P.M., so everything was on time. When the first shot was fired, the car was driving approximately 12 to 15 miles per hour; some witnesses said that the car was running from 7 to...