With temperatures in the lower 90s on an extraordinarily hot day, President John F. Kennedy spoke on Oct. 3, 1963, at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds. This was only a few weeks before he would be assassinated.
The speech’s focus was JFK’s vision for a new economy in the South, tied to improvements in universities and in public works projects. He also praised the leadership of Arkansas’ congressional delegation.
He spoke earlier that day at the Greers Ferry Dam dedication. Following that, he ventured to Little Rock. Little Rock schools dismissed classes on that day, so students could attend the speech.
– Scott Carter, City of Little Rock