Clermont attraction honors JFK, Lincoln
"President Kennedy Remembered" is a new exhibit at the Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont in recognition of the upcoming anniversary of JFK's assassination. Also seen In the exhibit is another fallen U.S. leader, Abraham Lincoln.
CLERMONT — The 50th anniversary of President John E Kennedy's assassination is being marked at the Presidents Hall of Fame with an exhibit showing off some of the museum's expansive Kennedy collection.
Items displayed include china, furniture, photos and more. It is one of the largest Kennedy collections in the state, museum leaders said.
"We really want to share the Kennedy administration with everybody and the spark and spirit of what Camelot really was," said John Zweifel, the museum's owner and curator.
Kennedy was shot and killed Nov. 22, 1963, while traveling in a presidential motorcade in Dallas.
The museum at 123 N. U.S. Highway 27 is known for its vast collection of presidential memorabilia, including a 60-foot-long miniature replica of the White House that shows the grounds and the interior in exacting detail.
Among the collection being shown for the Kennedy presentation is a life-sized wax Kennedy figure sitting alongside a wax President Abraham Lincoln. Joy England, the museum's coordinator, said the two have been set up to look as though they are discussing what's been called the "Lincoln-Kennedy coincidence." It is, the similarities in the deaths of both revered presidents, such as that both were shot in the head from behind and that both were killed on a Friday in the presence of their wives.
In addition, visitors are welcome to sit in the Kennedy rocker, a gift to the museum from the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. The Clermont exhibit also has a china collection that the Kennedy's brought to the White House and one-of-a-kind family photos.
"It's really wonderful that we have his actual rocker so people can be photographed in it," Zweifel said. That day half a century ago is remembered not just as a historic milestone but also as the beginning of conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy's death that have lasted decades. Museum leaders are also inviting guests to view a documentary about the Kennedy assassination today.
Museum entry costs $12.95 for adults and $6.95 for ages 6-12. The exhibit will run through Nov. 30. For more information, call 352-394-2836.
PHOTOS BY TOM BENtTEZ/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER