JFK GeoTrail– A Day in Dallas
This geocache is part of a 14 cache GeoTrail series. To complete the GeoTrail, visit the website at http://www.jfk50geotrail.com and download the Passport. You will need to take the Passport with you to each cache and be ready to write, punch, or stamp the appropriate markings that are hidden in each cache. Once complete, follow the instructions to receive your commemorative token.
Love Field: the Beginning and the End
Love Field serves as the beginning and the sad end to JFK’s “Day in Dallas.” His party arrived in style with great fanfare and a warm welcome by the Dallas Mayor and nearly the entire city. John and Jackie were the closest thing this country ever had to royalty. Even the morning storm clouds seemed to dissipate in anticipation of their arrival. The sun shined and the flags waved at full staff.
After brief greetings by local dignitaries, President Kennedy walked right up to, and practically into, the crowd. At times the well-wishers seemed to swarm over him from high above the 4’ tall wire fence. This warm accessibility was part of his charm, and ultimately, part of his downfall.
Just a few short hours later, Kennedy returned to Love Field in the back of a hearse. His casket was lifted up into Air Force One, as his newly widowed bride stood by to witness the swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson aboard the aircraft. This was the only time a U.S. President took the oath of office in the state of Texas. During the proceedings Jackie appeared to be in a state of shock. As new President, LBJ placed a call onboard the aircraft to John F. Kennedy’s mother, Rose Kennedy, and delivered the news. When the plane reached Washington, D.C., Jackie was met by Robert Kennedy, still wearing her pink dress and hose, both extensively covered in her husband’s blood. Leaving for the Texas trip, she had originally planned to celebrate her children’s birthdays. John, Jr. and Caroline were having their 3rd and 6th birthdays over the next 4 days. Instead, Jackie Kennedy spent much of that time planning for a funeral and planning burial arrangements.
Caroline Kennedy kneels by her father’s casket with her mother.
On his 3rd birthday, John Jr. salutes his father one last time.
The day Kennedy was buried was declared a national day of mourning. Kennedy was taken from the White House to the Capital, and the following day to Arlington National Cemetery in the same horse-drawn caisson used for FDR and the Unknown Soldier. Also on display in these processions was the riderless horse, Black Jack, with empty boots placed backwards in the stirrups as is custom for a fallen leader so he can see his troops one last time.
John F. Kennedy’s state funeral lasted for 3 days after his assassination. After autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, his flag-draped casket was brought to the White House where he waited in repose for 24 hours. On Sunday, a formal procession took the casket out White House Drive and down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capital. His casket would lay in state in the Capital’s rotunda, as an estimated 250,000 people filed by his closed casket to pay their personal respects. Kenndey’s last trip, from the Capital to Arlington National cemetery occurred on Monday, November 25th, 1963. Jackie had planned much of it, and it was must-see TV. A whopping 93% of the nation tuned in to watch epic visions of the elaborate procession; the estimated million people who lined the streets of Washington; and the grieving Kennedy’s, including the unforgettable image of John, Jr. saluting as the procession reached its final leg of the journey. The burial service ended with Jackie lighting the eternal flame at the head of JFK’s gravesite. The idea for an eternal flame was Jackie’s, who is now buried just to the right of her husband. They are flanked by small headstones and graves for their son Patrick, who died 2 days after his birth, and Arabella, their daughter who was stillborn.
Just after 3:30 in the afternoon on November 25th, “Kennedy slipped out of mortal sight—out of sight but not out of heart and mind.”
CO (g) took this photo this past summer on a rainy day, in Arlington National Cemetery, much like the weather for most of Kennedy’s funeral service. The photo depicts JFK’s headstone and his eternal flame, with the flag always at half-mast. Besides his wife and their two infants, to Kennedy’s left, also at the base of the hill are headstones and white crosses for his brother, Robert, Joseph, and Edward (Ted).
On that same rainy day in the summer of 2013, the CO (g) got this fantastic photo: a perfectly centered rainbow over top of the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. John F. Kennedy stood at this very site to observe Veterans Day exactly 2 weeks before he himself was laid to rest.
This cache is located near the starting point for the Kennedy motorcade. It is also near a fire station, but please do not park there. There is parking close by, right around the corner, where the Parking Coordinates lead. You are looking for a magnetic container. There were thorns in the area and avoidable PI, but the CO did a little landscaping to make this one even a little more friendly. It turns out that wire cutters work well on thorns, too!