November 22, 2008 marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
This is from an article dated March 21, 2002 about Kennedy's June 1963 trip to El Paso:
It is Kennedy's 1963 visit to discuss the Chamizal Treaty that is deeply ingrained in the minds of thousands of El Pasoans who saw the president just months before he was assassinated in Dallas. In fact, it was in the Cortez (Hotel) that Kennedy decided to make the fateful trip to Dallas, according to testimony provided to the Warren Commission.
Below are articles on El Paso's reaction to Kennedy's death and links to photo galleries of Kennedy's visits to El Paso.
November 23, 1963
Border Closed After JFK Death
By BOB REYES
A U.S. Immigration Service law and a new Mexican order were put into effect within minutes of each other Friday night allowing conditional pedestrian and vehicular traffic along El Paso-Juarez border.
U.S. immigration officials said that the Departure Control Law, authorizing the prevention of any alien or U.S. citizen from leaving the country, became effective shortly after 8 p.m. Friday.
An order dispatched to Mexican border officials by Lic. Luis de Chavarria, assistant secretary of the Ministry of Gobernacion (Interior) rescinded an earlier mandate which was received at 2 p.m. Friday (El Paso time), and which immobilized vehicular and pedestrian traffic through the three international ports of entry.
Chavarria’s latest order authorized Mexican residents with local crossing cards to enter the country. No foreigners were being permitted to enter.
Alberto Fernandez Colima, assistant Juarez immigration chief, said that American citizens who had been trapped in Juarez when the order was issued then were permitted to cross to El Paso after showing proper credentials.
He said the Mexican order also prohibited foreigners in Mexico to leave the country.
Under the U.S. Immigration Departure Control Law, which will remain effective until President Kennedy’s killer is arrested, gives American immigration authorities on the border authorization to prevent any U.S. citizen or aliens from leaving the U.S.
Some vehicles bearing Mexican license plates were allowed to cross from El Paso to Juarez, but only after a thorough investigation and proof of vehicle ownership was shown.
American citizens living in Juarez also were prevented from crossing into Juarez under both the Mexican order and the American law.
Pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Cordova Island free bridge was suspended completely. However, despite new developments. At the same time, traffic to and from the U.S. on the Columbus, N.M.-Palomas international road flowed freely.
Shortly after 6 p.m. El Paso time, some units of the Juarez Army Garrison were ordered to supplement the Mexican Immigration Service in Juarez, according to Maj. Gen. Tiburcio Garcia Zamora, commander of the garrison.
At one time, over 8,000 people jammed at both the Santa Fe and Stanton street bridges, with long lines of cars bumper to bumper as far as Paisano Drive.
Earlier, the U.S,-Mexico border from Matamoros on the Gulf of Mexico to Tijuana, was tightly closed by Mexico following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.