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JFK Loves Pittston Statue.

JFK Loves Pittston Statue

Field review by the editors.

Pittston, Pennsylvania

President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. In its grief, the nation erected a wave of JFK tributes -- including many statues -- in his honor. But statues are expensive, memories fade, and by 1970 the tsunami of bronze tributes had passed.

JFK Loves Pittston Statue.

Then, surprise! A new, bronze, life-size JFK statue appeared in out-of-the-way Pittston, Pennsylvania. It was unveiled July 9, 2017, over 53 years after President Kennedy's death.

The statue commemorates a formerly-forgotten moment in JFK lore: the evening of October 28, 1960, when presidential candidate Kennedy made Pittston go insane.

He was just passing through on his way between campaign rallies in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. He didn't even get out of the car. But JFK fans anticipated his arrival and swarmed over his open-top convertible the moment it entered town.

Kennedy was held upright by a terrified Dave Lawrence, Pennsylvania's governor, who sat in the back seat. JFK's cuff links disappeared; the sleeve of his topcoat was ripped off; his left hand was bleeding. The car took 20 minutes to crawl 200 feet before escaping the Kennedy-loving crowd (Note: Pennsylvania is no stranger to feeding frenzies).

The statue stands at the spot where JFK entered town and the mob was at its thickest. Sculpted by Dee Jay Bawden, the bronze is a respectful full-size Kennedy, his clothes intact, and his left hand raised to show no lasting damage from the citizens of Pittston.

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JFK Loves Pittston Statue

Water St., Pittston, PA
West edge of downtown, on the northeast corner of Water St. and Kennedy Blvd.
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