Montana went to then-Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election, but that did little to contain the excitement of many Billings-area residents when President John F. Kennedy visited on Sept. 25, 1963.
Local law enforcement scrambled to secure the airport where Air Force One touched down at 3:30 p.m., and around 17,000 Montanans flooded the Yellowstone County Fairgrounds to hear him speak on conservation (as planned) and the nuclear-test ban (not planned) at 4 p.m.
Kennedy was in Billings for all of two hours, an event made more significant for attendees when Kennedy was assassinated just two months later in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
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Read more about Kennedy's's visit in the Billings Gazette's 2013 article, 50 years ago this week, John F. Kennedy visited Billings; less than 2 months later he was dead, and see hundreds of other historic and stunning image in the Gazette's new book, Volume II: Billings Memories!