56 years later, see how JFK spent the night in Houston, hours before his assassination (photos)

The moments before the end…

Nov. 22, 1963 is one of the most infamous dates in the history of Texas, and the nation.

On that fateful afternoon, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald during a visit to Dallas.

The night before his untimely death, JFK was in Houston. Thursday marked 56 years to the day that president Kennedy landed at Houston International Airport (now Hobby Airport).

From there, the presidential motorcade traveled up Broadway to the Gulf Freeway toward the Rice Hotel downtown.

Thousands would crowd Houston’s streets to the see the president and first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. After a short time in their room at the Rice Hotel, the president, first lady, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson dropped in on a LULAC function honoring State Director Joe Garza.

From there, they went to the Sam Houston Coliseum for a dinner honoring Houston Congressman Albert Thomas. After that, they went back to Houston International Airport and departed for Fort Worth.

The 35th president of the United States and first lady  – who thrilled the audience by speaking fluent Spanish – remained for 17 minutes, almost twice as long as their scheduled time.

More photos: chron.com