Marker honoring John F. Kennedy unveiled

By Harold Gonzales


CROWLEY – A historical marker was unveiled here Saturday to remember a 1959 visit from then Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline for the 23rd International Rice Festival.

Crowley native John Gott was instrumental in obtaining the historical marker and he along with 1959 Rice Festival Queen Judy Haydel Henneberger were also a part of the program Saturday.

The Kennedys were brought to Crowley for the 1959 festival by Judge and Mrs. Edmund Reggie and they were represented by Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Reggie Saturday.

Also on the program were Mayor Greg Jones, Rev. Donald Burnett, Blandon David and Deacon Rodless Leleux.

The marker was secured by Gott through the Louisiana Tourist Commission and it reads:

“Senator John F. Kennedy Presidential Campaign Speech.”

“On Friday, October 16, 1959, Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts, delivered a campaign speech in pursuit of the 1960 Democratic Party’s nomination for the office of President of the United States. From the stage of the 23rd International Rice Festival, he and his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands of Louisianians.”

Also during the visit Sen. and Mrs. Kennedy had the pleasure of crowning Judy Haydel the 1959 Rice Queen.

“Little did I know how much that day would change my life,” she said during Saturday’s event.

Kennedy went on to secure the Democratic nomination and then was elected President of the United States.

His brother Ted Kennedy was planning to be in Crowley for the event but was unab;le to make the trip.

A reception was held afterwards at City Hall.

Acadia Parish Today

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