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Monday, Nov 24, 2014
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JFK exhibit in Tampa extended into January


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Due to high interest, the Tampa Bay History Center is extending an exhibit commemorating John F. Kennedy’s visit to Tampa just prior to his assassination into January.

Opened on Nov. 8 and scheduled to run through Sunday, officials say “JFK in Tampa: The Exhibition” will remain opened through Jan. 12.

“There has been quite a bit of interest, especially with local residents who were in Tampa when Kennedy visited in 1963,” said C.J. Roberts, the History Center’s president and CEO. “Hearing stories about the impact JFK had on their lives has been inspiring.”

In November 1963, tens of thousands of people turned out to watch JFK’s motorcade travel down Grand Central Avenue in Tampa. Just four days before his assassination in Dallas, Kennedy became the first sitting president to visit the city.

The exhibit features rare film footage and photos of Kennedy in Tampa, a lectern he used while delivering a speech at the International Inn, newspaper headlines and oral histories from locals who saw and met the president.

The exhibit also includes uniforms and badges from the Tampa Police Museum and notes from the Secret Service “Kennedy detail” which were used while escorting the president around the city.

The exhibit doesn’t involve conspiracy theories or the assassination, but is “a time capsule that captures a moment in Tampa’s history and the people that were a part of it. For them, and for the entire city, it was an emotional, magical day,” a history center news release said.

Admission to the Tampa Bay History Center is $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for seniors and ages 13 to 17, and $7.95 for children 4 to 12. Younger children are free.

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