60 Years Ago, JFK Attended the 23rd International Rice Festival in Crowley. For the First Time, Here Are the Color Photos.

At the invitation of Judge Edmund Reggie, John F. Kennedy was the guest of honor at the 23rd annual International Rice Festival in Crowley, where he was joined by his wife Jackie.

Sen. John F. Kennedy campaigns for President in Crowley. Congressman Edwin W. Washington is on the right. Photo source: the Reggie Family Collection; Colorized by Lamar White, Jr, Bayou Brief.

Next week, the people of Crowley will commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of a visit by, arguably, the most famous guests they have ever hosted, a young Massachusetts Senator named Jack Kennedy and his beautiful young wife Jackie, who were there during a campaign swing in Louisiana and Texas. Jack had been invited to Crowley by a young city judge named Edmund Reggie. Reggie, a popular Lebanese-American judge, civic leader, and powerful Democratic Party force, was widely admired by his friends and colleagues and, soon, the Kennedy Family as well.

His daughter Vicki, decades later, would fall in love and marry Jack’s youngest brother Teddy. The judge became Teddy’s father-in-law.

Jack and Jackie had gone to New Orleans first, but the following day, Friday, Oct. 16th, 1959, they headed to Crowley.

I decided to upload as many of these as I could, though the captions will remain a work in progress.

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Lamar White, Jr.
Lamar writes about the people, the politics, and the magic of Louisiana. He is the founder and publisher of the Bayou Brief and a contributing writer for the Daily Beast. Lamar is best known for his investigative reporting on public corruption, racism, and civil rights. He has appeared as a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and the BBC, and he's been the subject of profiles in The Washington Post, The Advocate, and Huffington Post. Before launching the Bayou Brief, he published CenLamar, a popular blog that initially covered the drama of City Hall in his hometown of Alexandria. Lamar is a graduate of Rice University in Houston and the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Today he lives in New Orleans and is currently writing a book about the life of reputed New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello.