Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

WHEN JFK CAME TO ALBION

Morning Star, July 4, 2010, pg. 4

Albion has had many notable persons come to town during our history. On Friday, October 14, 1960, Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy came to Albion as part of a whistle stop tour across the state. He arrived here from his previous stop in Jackson, where an estimated crowd of 7,000 had greeted him there.

An excited crowd of Democratic supporters and well-wishers gathered at our New York Central Railroad depot on that historic Friday morning. There the cheering throng greeted the future President here at Albion. JFK then gave a speech to the crowd, and even shook hands with some of them. The train then headed west for stops in Marshall and Battle Creek.

Two weeks later on October 27, Republican Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon also traveled through Albion on a campaign train. Nixons train however, did not stop here. It only slowed down. Nixon stood on the back platform and just waved to supporters. There was no speech here. Thus, JFK won the 1960 Presidential election, and Nixon lost.

Actually, it was learned that security concerns was the reason for not stopping here. Nixon was already Vice-president, and security for him was tighter. Editor Rae Corliss wrote in the Journal of Albion, October 29, 1960, "We overheard a conversation between a government man and a railroad detective. The subject concerned security at Albion, and we heard one say it would be difficult to guarantee security at the Clinton St. crossing, and that Eaton St. was no better. Just what was meant, we did not know, but we assumed it had something to do with the fact that the Albion area would not have available officers required, since they were already divided between Jackson and Battle Creek.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a scene of the JFK campaign train pulling into the NYC station at Albion. The man on the right is wearing an Albion College shirt. The Young Democrats club at Albion College was one of the facilitators for publicizing and promoting the event. How many of our readers remember JFKs visit to Albion? Did JFK shake your hand?


Friday, October 14, 1960, Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy in Albion

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