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JFK and Western Mass

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Tomorrow marks 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

CBS 3 has video of, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy's speech to thousands in Springfield the night before he was elected President.

Kennedy's impact on Western Mass. goes up and down the Pioneer Valley. 

Less than a month before his death on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, TX, he spoke at Amherst College on Oct. 26 of that year.

It was the last time he spoke publicly in his home state of Massachusetts. 

JFK came to receive an honorary degree at Amherst. He also came in honor of his friend, Poet Robert Frost. The school was building a library in Frost's name. The poet spoke at JFK's inauguration in 1961.

Amherst College has put together a collection of photographs and artifacts from Kennedy's visit to the school that is currently on the second floor of the Robert Frost Library.

The school has also put together an online exhibit about the President's visit: https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/exhibitions/kennedy.

On Friday, Springfield will honor JFK 50 years after his death. A ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at the Eternal Flame burning in JFK's honor in Springfield's Forest Park. The public is invited to attend and the fee to enter Forest Park will be waived from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mayor Domenic Sarno has issued a proclamation for Friday, Nov. 22 to be recognized as a Solemn Day of Remembrance and Reflection on the life of Kennedy in the city of Springfield.

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