Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-two years ago today, July 24, 1963, William Jefferson Clinton, representing the state of Arkansas at Boys Nation*, shook hands with President John F. Kennedy.
The President greeted delegates to Boys Nation, sponsored by the American Legion, at the White House here in the Nation's Capital.
When asked many years later how he managed to get in a position to shake JFK's hand and get his picture made with him, Bill Clinton said he was in the front because Arkansas was positioned there alphabetically, and also because he was "the biggest kid" there.
Bill's mother said when he returned to Arkansas, he was so excited about meeting the President and she felt that's when his ambition to government service was sparked. Bill was not the only young person so influenced by JFK, but he was most likely the only one who became President of the United States as a result of it.
*Boys Nation includes 2 representatives from each of 49 states (Hawaii does not participate). The boys are rising seniors in high school. They come to Washington to gain "an appreciation for and understanding of the United States system of government."
The 98 boys become "senators" who represent their home states. They are given tours of the Congress, Pentagon, State Department, Supreme Court & White House.
The Class of 2015 has completed their convention this month and met with President Barack Obama.
"Boys Nation class of 2015 arrives in D.C.-Friday," The American Legion, July 14, 2015, www.legion.org/
Bill Clinton Meets JFK
July 24, 1963
APOLLO 11 RETURNS SAFELY TO EARTH
Honolulu, Hawaii (JFK+50) When President John F. Kennedy announced in 1961 the United States would land a man on the moon "in this decade", he added and "return him safely to the earth."
Actually it would be not just one man on the moon, but two with a third in orbit around it.
Forty-six years ago today, July 24, 1969, the second part of JFK's goal was accomplished as the three man crew of Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
The Columbia spacecraft was retrieved and the crew brought safely aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. The crew was immediately placed in a "Mobile Quarantine Facility" where they were to remain for five days.
There was concern at the time about the astronauts bringing back germs from the moon. Today the USS Hornet is a museum in Alameda, California.
Apollo 11's Columbia Spacecraft