BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - This week marks 50 years since President John F. Kennedy came to Buffalo and received an urgent phone call near City Hall.
Kevin Gaughan was only 8-years-old the day John F. Kennedy came to Buffalo. His father, Vincent Gaughan, was an adviser and and an ambassador under JFK.
"Here in Niagara Square, there were over 100,000 folks who came out to see President Kennedy and celebrate Pulaski Day," Gaughan explained.
"When he completed his speech, President Kennedy walked back inside, back down in the basement of City Hall and then came out on the south side of City Hall where he received a call, and that's where he first learned of the nuclear missiles in Cuba."
Gaughan continued, "My father didn't know the facts at the time, but he distinctly remembers the President became very quiet. Because he suddenly knew that there were missiles 90 miles off the coasts of Cuba that were aimed at every northeastern city in America."
Back then, there was no Kensington Expressway, so on the limo ride back to the airport along Genesee Street, the President learned something he never knew about Cheektowaga.
"My father turned to President Kennedy and said, 'You know, there's a high school named for you here in western New York.' And like any of us, the President said, 'Is that right? You're kidding me.' And my father said, 'No, it's there' and my dad said, 'Listen, why don't we go take a look at it?' And President Kennedy said, 'I'd love to see that,' but because of the crisis, they never had time to go over there and see it and my father always regretted that he never saw that school," Gaughan said.
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