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Kennedy made several visits to the Capital Region

Kennedy made several visits to the Capital Region

Schenectady was one of the stops

Robert F. Kennedy knew the cities of the Capital Region and made several visits to the area.

Kennedy stopped in Schenectady on Monday, Oct. 19, 1964, during his campaign for the Senate. 

According to an account by Schenectady Gazette reporter Larry Hart, Kennedy's private plane landed at Schenectady County Airport at 8:45 a.m. He spoke briefly to a crowd of around 1,000 people and then met print and broadcast reporters inside one of the airport hangars.

During the 30-minute press conference, Kennedy outlined a proposed four-part, 11-point employment program that he believed would reduce state unemployment four different ways.

By 9:30 a.m., the candidate's motorcade was on Route 50, heading to Schenectady. Kennedy was in an open car; he sat atop the backrest of the vehicle, greeting people who lined State Street.

A crowd, estimated at between 2,000 and 4,000 people, assembled in front of the Schenectady courthouse building for the morning speech.

Kennedy talked about a positive approach to problems affecting New York state.

"I don't say I have all the answers to these problems," Kennedy said. "But we Democrats work together in a common interest for the good of the community, state and nation. I want to serve all of you."

Kennedy also criticized his opponent, Republican Kenneth Keating, for casting votes against public works and housing programs.

The candidate even used unemployment to show off the noted Kennedy wit.

"Perhaps the more compassionate reason for asking for your support is that I am unemployed and I have a family of nine children," he joked. "It would be better to send me to Washington, where I could earn a fair wage, than to have me go on the relief rolls in support of my nine children."

Kennedy was serious at the end of his speech.

"The torch has been passed to all of us," he said. "With the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, we began our move forward ... now let us continue."


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