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JFK in South Dakota - 1962
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President John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy visited South Dakota on August 17, 1962. While Kennedy was here, he dedicated the recently completed Oahe Dam and the start of its full operation as an electric power plant.

The film clip below shows the arrival of Air Force One at the Pierre airport. Assembled dignitaries greet Kennedy, including Governor Archie Gubbrud and then-U.S. Senate candidate George McGovern.

This still image from the film and the photo below it show Kennedy meeting Governor Gubbrud and candidate McGovern.

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The still image below shows Kennedy speaking at the Oahe Dam dedication

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Listen to Kennedy's Speech:

For Teachers: Activity idea is available at SDPB's .

For more information about presidential visits to South Dakota, visit the South Dakota State Historical Society Press Web site and view or download "Patriotic Pageantry: Presidential Visits to South Dakota" by Harold H. Schuler.