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Weekend events at Whiskeytown celebrate 50 years since President Kennedy spoke there

By Mike Mangas
Published On: Sep 26 2013 08:20:42 PM CDT
WHISKEYTOWN, Calif. -

Fifty years ago from Saturday, President John F. Kennedy spoke at the dedication of the Whiskeytown Dam.

Now, 50 years later, Whiskeytown is celebrating the anniversary with "From the White House to Whiskeytown" -- a series of events and presentations about the dam and President Kennedy's speech.

Gary Lewis, a member of the Shasta Historical Society, was there when President Kennedy spoke. He was 13 years old and a Boy Scout in the Honor Guard. But Lewis says what is cemented in his memory happened less than two months later in Dallas.

Whiskeytown's Chief of Interpretation, Sean Denniston said Whiskeytown didn't become a national park until a few years later after some pressure from the community.

The 50th Anniversary events start at 6:30 a.m. with a sunrise celebration at the Kennedy Memorial at Whiskeytown. Then, there are presentations on Whiskeytown's history and state water issues at the David Marr Theater on the U-Prep campus from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a break for lunch.

The presentations are free, but you will have to bring your own lunch.