Friday, June 29, 2018

JFK Visits Mexico, 1962

Fifty-six years ago today President Kennedy began his three-day state visit to Mexico.  He and Mrs. Kennedy were greeted by a tumultuous ticker tape parade in Mexico City. In addition to the typical luncheons and dinners, the president visited a housing project and participated in an early U.S. Independence Day celebration.  The mayor of Mexico City gave him the key to the city and made him an honorary citizen.  He promoted his hemispheric Alliance for Progress.

At a luncheon on May 29 President Kennedy said, “For Mexico and the United States share more than a common frontier.  We share a common heritage of revolution, a common dedication to liberty, a common determination to preserve in these great days the blessings of freedom and to extend its fruits to all.”

He added, “Two great and independent nations, united by hope instead of fear, are bound to have matters on which we must consult together, and are equally bound to discuss them in a frank and friendly manner, to agree where we can agree, to respect each others’ views where we disagree.  As co-tenants of the same great continent, we cannot meet our mutual needs in disarray, but working together we can face the future with confidence for there is much to be done in that future.”

Photograph of the president's welcome--it is ticker tape, not snow--is credited:  Robert Knudsen.  White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston; public domain.

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