Thursday, November 23, 2017 Elyria 31°


Photos: John F. Kennedy visits Ohio


John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in Elyria before the 1960 presidential election, according to a 2008 Chronicle-Telegram article.

Mary Keys, whose husband, Grant, was mayor of Elyria in the 1950s and 1960s, said she and her husband were living on Middle Avenue at the time, and John F. Kennedy’s motorcade drove down the street.

Kennedy was sitting in a convertible and a throng of well-wishers were nearly pulling him out of the car while shaking his hand, she said.

Grant Keys later convinced Ohio Gov. Michael DiSalle to support Kennedy as the Democratic Party nominee, she said.

Grant Keys eventually became director of state highway safety — which meant he was tasked with guarding Kennedy during visits to Ohio, said his son, John Keys.

“Whenever Kennedy came to Ohio, my father was with him,” he said. “Back then, they didn’t have much of a secret service, so the state would help protect the candidate.”

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