JFK VISITS US SPACEPORT ON LAST SATURDAY OF HIS LIFE
Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy spent his last Saturday alive 50 years ago today, November 16, 1963, in the Sunshine State.
The President traveled to Cape Canaveral for his last visit to the space center which was to named in his honor after his death.
According to Thurston Clark, who in "JFK's Last Hundred Days," quotes Miami Herald reporter Nixon Smiley as saying...
"...the air was electrified from the time of the President's arrival until a moment after his departure."
JFK's briefing at the Cape, held outside the Saturn Control Center, was directed by rocket scientist Dr. Werner von Braun and NASA astronauts Leroy Gordon Cooper and Virgil Gus Grissom.
The President also attended a lecture given by Dr. George Mueller, NASA administrator, who "summarized developments" in the program to land a man on the moon.
Clarke writes that JFK "impatiently" listened to the lecture and then jumped up immediately afterward to ask some questions about the rocket models on display in the room.
When told the models were "built to scale" and the Saturn V lunar-mission rocket was indeed 7 times larger than the Redstone which had propelled Alan Shepard into space, JFK remarked, "Gee, looks like we've come a long way."
Von Braun then took the President to the launch pad where the Saturn I was located. He told JFK that this rocket, scheduled to be fired into space in December 1963, would be "more powerful" with a "heavier payload" than any Soviet rocket to date.
The President also observed the Titan II and Merritt Island launch pads.
Later, from the deck of the Observation, JFK watched a Polaris missile launch from the nuclear submarine Andrew Jackson.
Thurston Clarke tells us that the launch of the Polaris missile represented several things that JFK loved...
"the U.S. Navy, the ocean, and technological wizardry."
"JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President," by Thurston Clarke, The Penguin Press, New York City, 2013.
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Confederate soldiers under the command of General James Longstreet were defeated 150 years ago today, November 16, 1863, at Campbell's Station, just outside of this East Tennessee city.
General Longstreet had been sent to Knoxville from Chattanooga by CSA commander General Braxton Bragg.
Bragg had hopes that Longstreet's forces would be able to capture this pro-union area for the Confederacy.
Although within Rebel territory, East Tennesseeans had voted 3 to 1 to remain in the Union. Nevertheless, Knoxville was occupied by Confederate forces early in the war. By 1863, however, Federals had retaken the city.
After the Battle of Campbell's Station, Longstreet took up positions just outside of Knoxville where the Battle of Fort Sanders later in the month would secure the city for the Federals.