On JFK Assassination Anniversary, Watch Jackie Kennedy Speak Spanish In 1960 Ad Calling On Latino Vote

John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy
Image Reuters

President John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, who was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 while on a political trip to Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for allegedly killing President John F. Kennedy--he denied the claims that he was the shooter--but was never tried for allegations, as he was killed by Jack Ruby on Nov. 24. Ruby was charged for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and was found guilty. Kennedy's legacy, however, lives on. Most of Kennedy's speeches (especially his inaugural address) are considered iconic; and despite his relatively short term in office and lack of major legislative changes coming to fruition during his term, Americans regularly vote him as one of the best presidents, in the same league as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Kennedy could also be considered the first president who acknowledged Latinos as a voting bloc. Many historians also name a secret appearance the president made just a day before he was fatally shot, at a gala in Texas sponsored by the League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest Latino civil rights group in the country back in the 60's. "The Secret Service told us that he may stop by, but not to advertise it because it wasn't part of his official schedule," Alexander Arroyos, 76, who was an officer in LULAC at the time, told Huffington Post. "We could spread it through word of mouth. No one believed us."

The president showed up with the first lady, Jackie Kennedy, and spoke briefly about foreign policy in Latin America and the importance of LULAC. He persuaded his wife to address the crowd in Spanish, and she said that Texas had a deep history with Latinos. The crowd chanted "Viva Kennedy!" as a band played a ballad in Spanish and photographers took photos of the Kennedys and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. But Kennedy's efforts to win the Latino vote come from before starting his campaign for his reelection. Still a senator and campaigning to win the United States presidency, John F. Kennedy recruited his wife to appear in an ad.

Always gorgeous, Jackie, looking simple yet elegant, addressed the nation in Spanish, in an attempt to win the coveted Latino vote. The soon-to-be presidential family were relatable to Latinos, since they were Catholic and Irish-American, an ethnic group that had battled discrimination too. She said the following in Spanish: "My dear friends, I am the wife of Senator John F. Kennedy, candidate to the Presidency of the United States. In these times of danger when world peace is threatened by communism, it is necessary to have in the White House a leader who is capable of guiding our destiny with a firm hand."

Jackie followed with "My husband will always watch over the interests of all sectors of our society who are in need of the protection of a humanitarian government. For the future of our children, and to achieve a world where true peace exists, vote for the Democratic Party on November 8." The ad might have worked, since on Election Day in 1960, Kennedy won 85 percent of the Mexican-American vote.

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Maria G. Valdez

Maria was born and raised in Dominican Republic, where she began her career in journalism covering human interest stories, entertainment, beauty and wellness for a national magazine. She moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre, but went back to journalism after graduating in an attempt of becoming the Latina Carrie Bradshaw. She has an unhealthy obsession with JLo and claims to be Sofia Vergara’s long-lost daughter, and has tried a crazy amount of treatments to keep looking young. She became a Zumba instructor for fun.