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Letter from JFK delivered after shooting

President Kennedy squints in the bright Arkansas sunlight as he walks to greet visitors. He is flanked by two Secret Service men and an Air Force officer. (Photo by Joe C. Harris)
President Kennedy squints in the bright Arkansas sunlight as he walks to greet visitors. He is flanked by two Secret Service men and an Air Force officer. (Photo by Joe C. Harris)
Mr. Kennedy was in this helicopter when I snapped this picture. They were ready to leave for Heber Springs. The President’s flying trips took him over Cabot and parts of Lonoke County. (Photo by Connie Magie)
Mr. Kennedy was in this helicopter when I snapped this picture. They were ready to leave for Heber Springs. The President’s flying trips took him over Cabot and parts of Lonoke County. (Photo by Connie Magie)

Oct. 3, 1963, the area’s eyes were on Little Rock Air Force Base as President John F. Kennedy arrived en route to Heber Springs for the dedication of Greers Ferry Dam. About six weeks later, the same people who thrilled with the presence of the President of the United States in Arkansas reeled with the news that Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas.

About two weeks later in December, Bobby Campbell, a youngster at Lonoke received a reply to a letter he had sent to Kennedy months earlier.

An account of Campbell’s letter was published in the Lonoke Democrat – Dec. 12, 1963:

“Campbell gets reply from White House Letter he wrote Kennedy

“Bobby Campbell, 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Campbell of Lonoke, has received an answer from the White House to a letter he wrote the late President Kennedy about two months ago.

“Bobby, who is in the sixth grade at Lonoke School, received the answer after the President was slain, although it had been written on November 13, before Kennedy was shot. It was signed by Evelyn Lincoln, personal secretary to the President.

“The letter stated:

“Dear Bobby:

“The President has asked me to thank you for the nice letter you sent him. He certainly appreciates your friendly thought in writing and extends his best wishes to you.”

“Bobby also received an autographed picture of Mr. Kennedy and a three-page mimeographed biography of him.

“History studies prompted Bobby to write the president, he said.

“Asked about his reaction to the President’s assassination, he replied, “I just couldn’t believe it when I heard Mr. Kennedy had been shot. It made me feel sad.”

“Bobby, who is a patrol boy at school and holds the rank of lieutenant, said he planned to frame the picture of Mr. Kennedy and place it on the wall in his bedroom.”

Current information about Bobby Campbell could not be confirmed by press time.

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