A touch of irony: Kennedy a gateway to RNC - FOX 13 News

A touch of irony: Kennedy a gateway to RNC

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Getting thousands of delegates to and from their hotels during the convention will not be easy.  Event organizers have several routes in mind.  One includes a road dedicated to an iconic democrat.

November 18, 1963, that's the day John Fitzgerald Kennedy visits the Bay area.  Four days after cruising up and down Tampa roads, he was assassinated in Dallas. 

"A year after Kennedy was assassinated the city's father saw fit to rename Lafayette Blvd. to Kennedy," said Art Bagley, reference liberian at the University of Tampa.

Today, Kennedy Blvd. is a gateway into the Republican National Convention.  As delegates are bused in, it'll be hard to miss a life-sized statue of Kennedy.  It's about 50 feet from the road and stands on Plant Park at the University of Tampa.

"It was a major thoroughfare. They came up MacDill then down here and then a few clocks to my left. They got onto Franklin and went up and down Franklin. Then they went over to Ft. Homer Hostelry Armory," said Bagley.

JFK was in Tampa for hours and was welcomed by a sea of people.  The special connection between Tampa and the 35th president is just a twist of irony as we've welcomed thousands of Republican leaders.

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