He didn't wear hats, but this U.S. President made an exception for the people of Dodge City.

In the early stages of running for President, Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy visited Dodge City on November 20, 1959. Here he made remarks at a Democratic reception held at the Civic Center. At the time Kansan Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the Whitehouse. Kennedy's six page speech criticized Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture's farm program and offered his alternative views about how the program should be administered.

A common action taken by the Boot Hill Museum Board of Directors was, and still is, to bestow the reward of Honorary Marshal to visiting celebrities and dignitaries.

Some questioned if this honor should be given to Sen. Kennedy. Kennedy had the nerve to speak out against Kansas' favorite son, Eisenhower. Everyone knew Kennedy had aspirations to be the 35th President, but many believed he didn't have much of a chance of winning the office. He had yet to be nominated by his party. Furthermore, his visit came more than a month before his formal announcement to campaign for President. A number of factors weighed against Kennedy. He was young - he would be the youngest elected President at 43 on Inauguration Day and, though this isn't a problem in today's culture, he was Catholic.

Those wanting a Marshal Kennedy won out and the Senator joined that list of individuals holding the title of Honorary Marshal. Upon his naming as Honorary Marshal, the Dodge City Posse, including Marshal Ramon House, presented Kennedy with a cowboy hat on behalf of the "Cowboy Capital." This resulted in one, and perhaps the only, rare occasion where John Kennedy was photographed wearing a hat over his thick head of hair. In most of the photos where he is "hatted," the savvy Kennedy looks a just little uncomfortable and stiff.

Kennedy not only received the Presidential nomination in July 1960 but, on November 8, he won the election to the highest office in the Nation. To show his appreciation for the warm welcome he got in Dodge City, Kennedy invited the Dodge City Posse to march in his inaugural parade.

In January 1961, after Kennedy's victory, the Dodge City Posse got to do what Chalkley Beeson's band had done in 1889 for Benjamin Harrison - be in a U.S. Presidential inaugural parade.

Unfortunately for John F. Kennedy, his presidency was cut short on November 22, 1963 when he was assassinated in Dallas.