John Kennedy’s Day in May in Washington County

Pry Family Quilt
Candidate, John F. Kennedy, crosses the street in downtown Funkstown during his swing through Washington County on May 13, 1960.

(The following excerpts were taken from a story that appeared in May 1979.)

Where were you 19 years ago on Friday, May 13, 1960, when another bit of history was being made in Washington County?

A great many Washington Countians stayed home on this briskly chilly day, understandably reluctant to wait on breezy street corners for a little-known candidate for the Democratic primary.

John F. Kennedy was making his first foray into Western Maryland on that May day in 1960, and people were just beginning to take him seriously.

He had been due in Hagerstown on the night of May 12th and the schedule of events was set up around that arrival, with early morning coffee and donuts on the agenda. Plans were changed, however, because Kennedy was attending an important political dinner in New York City on the night of May 12th, and he ended up staying the night there.

Finally, Kennedy’s family plane, “Caroline,” set down at Hagerstown’s airport about 9:30 a.m. the morning of May 13.

When the procession arrived at the Kennedy Headquarters at 14 N. Potomac, some of the crowd had gone, but those left were highly enthusiastic over their meeting with JFK.

From E.J. Fennel’s to Fisher’s Pharmacy to Funsktown where Kennedy greeted the Mayor, and then on to Boonsboro by back roads, and finally to South Mountain Inn where the Washington County tour ended, the candidate and the county became acquainted with one another.

MDCB file photo

“In Retrospect” is courtesy of the Maryland Cracker Barrel magazine, the “Sentinel of Washington County’s Heritage.” Since June 1971, the quarterly publication has focused on local history and may be purchased at any of the more than 30 sites in Maryland and Pennsylvania or by subscription. Subscriptions ($17 annually) may be obtained by calling 301-582-3885 or writing to: Maryland Cracker Barrel, 7749 Fairplay Road, Boonsboro, MD 21713.

Hagerstown Magazine