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Senator John F. Kennedy's car is covered with confetti during campaign parade on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Senator John F. Kennedy's car, and Kennedy himself, is covered with confetti during campaign parade on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

A police motorcycle burns near 3rd Street and Broadway after the gasoline tank caught fire during motorcade for Sen. John Kennedy.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times

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JKF’s motorcade on Broadway

Nov. 1, 1960: A crowd of more than 200,000 welcomes Sen. John Kennedy to Los Angeles during his 1960 campaign for president. As Kennedy’s motorcade moved slowly down Broadway, admirers covered the future president with globs of confetti. Additional excitement arose with a confetti-fueled fire amid the police motorcycles near the L.A. Times building.

Los Angeles Times writer Jack Smith reported the next day:

“The 43-year old Massachusetts Senator attracted a crowd estimated by police at more than 200,000 in a motorcade through downtown Los Angeles and the Civic Center, matching the throngs that welcomed Vice President Nixon along Spring St. less than three weeks ago….

….The Kennedy motorcade was held up momentarily at 3rd St. and Broadway when a fire involving the motorcycle of a policeman riding beside the candidate’s open car ignited a mass of confetti. The officer leaped out of danger and seconds after the Kennedy car had pulled away the cycle’s gasoline tank exploded in a pillar of flames.”

To get the confetti-filled images, Los Angeles Times staff photographer John Malmin probably was riding in a media vehicle just ahead of Sen. Kennedy’s car — a common motorcade procedure. The confetti images ran the next day on Page 3 as a two-pic combo.

Times staff photographer took pictures of the motorcycle fire. Considering the crowds and traffic, Cox most likely was on foot near 3rd and Broadway when it caught fire. The motorcycle image ran the next day on Page 2.

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