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Kennedy Podium Fire

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Eight inches of snow had fallen the morning of President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural in 1961. By inauguration time the skies had cleared but the temperatures were only in the twenties (Fahrenheit). The first speaker was Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston. A heater under the podium appeared to catch fire and smoke billowed out from under the podium. Alarmed Secret Service Agents waited until the end of the invocation prayer to take care of it.

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