Wausau woman remembers meeting President Kennedy - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Wausau woman remembers meeting President Kennedy


Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, some people still remember the time he campaigned in Wisconsin in 1960.

"Every delegate counted at that time and it was very important he got as many votes here in Wisconsin," said Gary Giffelman, a historian at the Marathon County Historical Society.

Kennedy made a stop at the crystal ballroom at the old Plaza Hotel in Wausau, which is now a restaurant.

"Everybody was clapping and it was a joyful time we were glad to have someone come that was running for the presidency," said Alice Podruch of Wausau.

89-year old Podruch was there, and she remembers more than 300 people showing up.

"You took your turn in line to talk to him and I thought what a wonderful time to ask for an autograph and I'm so glad I did," said Podruch.

She says she was nervous at first, but as she stood with her friend, she quickly gained confidence.

"President Kennedy looked at her and said what a beautiful hat and I thought, well, if can notice a hat he can notice me too," said Podruch.

He did, and gave her his autograph. She has it framed now with his picture.

Three years later, when news broke that he was assassinated, she was speechless.

"You couldn't believe it it was just too traumatic," she said.

Fifty years later, she still re-lives that moment.

"You just wondered what would've happened if he had been president for the regular term of office but we'll never know," said Podruch.

Since then, she's tried to remember the good memories, especially the day her life changed from an autograph.

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