JFK’s memorable Dayton visits included a famous tuxedo reward

It’s been 56 years since the world lost President John F. Kennedy.

On this anniversary of his death, we look back at his visits to the Miami Valley and Dayton region.

>> PHOTOS: A look back at JFK’s visits to the Dayton area

Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

Many here might remember him, as a presidential hopeful, making numerous visits to the Miami Valley.

One memorable stop occurred when Kennedy spoke at a Dayton Bar Association event at the Biltmore Hotel on Sept. 17, 1959.

>> The front page of the Dayton Daily News after President Kennedy’s assassination

The young senator, who was running for the Democratic Party nomination, did not realize the event was a black tie affair.


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Price Stores sent over a tailor who took the Senator’s measurements and dressed him for the evening. Several days later, an employee at the store found an envelope with a campaign donation in a pocket of the returned tuxedo.

Charles Fidler at Price Stores wrote a letter to Kennedy and returned the $105. Kennedy wrote back thanking the men for their honesty and included $25 as reward. A copy of Kennedy’s letter is hanging in Price Stores today.

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