Newspaper Articles

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 28, 1960

Kennedy Bus Appears At Hinton - But He Doesn't

HINTON (AP) - It was a "pretty darned awkward" situation when the Kennedy-for-president bus pulled alongside the post office in Hinton about noon Wednesday.

The band was playing and about 600 people were standing in the rain ready to cheer the Massachusetts senator. The bus door swung open.

Trouble was - John Kennedy wasn't aboard.

In fact, despite the number of people bearing his family name now roaming West Virginia, there wasn't even one of them aboard.

The task of informing the crowd fell on former State Sen. Forest L. McNeer of Hinton.

He explained how Kennedy - the senator, that is - had felt compelled to change signals and fly to Washington from Princeton. He had gone back to vote on a mine safety bill in the Senate.

As McNeer put it to the by then grumbling crowd, Kennedy considered it "more important to perform the duties of a United States senator than to campaign for office."

McNeer tried to smooth things over by explaining that a mine safety bill is ever-so-important to West Virginia. There were scattered "ohs" and a few boos.

But when McNeer said Kennedy's brother Ted was circling somewhere over their heads in an airplane and would be landing in 15 minutes at Pence Springs, spirits were lifted. Ted Kennedy would speak.

Five minutes passed. More rain fell. People got a little wetter.

Ted Kennedy's plane couldn't land because of the bad weather. He was sorry, but there'd be no rally.

Like the fellow said, it was a "Pretty darned awkward situation."

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