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Fascination With JFK Lives On At New Exhibit

Last month marked 51 years since Walter Cronkite shocked America with a bulletin about the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Despite the time that has passed, the country’s fascination with JFK lives on. A new exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel-Casino proves just how popular the president and Camelot remain.

Jim Warlick is the owner and curator of the exhibit. He told KNPR’s State of Nevada that he was inspired to go into public service after visiting Washington, D.C. when he was a kid just a few years after the president was shot and killed.

"The potential that President Kennedy brought to this country that seemed to be snuffed out affected me greatly," Warlick said.

He also became enthralled by the presidency and began collecting presidential memorabilia, some of which is on display the Tropicana.

Warlick decided to take the exhibit to Las Vegas, instead of keeping it in Washington, D.C., because he wanted to get it out into the rest of the country. 

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The exhibit features two Boeing 747s along with a replica of Kennedy's oval office. 

The exhibit starts with the president's childhood, through the campaign and into his days in office. There is also a replica of the Air Force One used by Kennedy and the car that took the Kennedys to the airport in Fort Worth, which he recently acquired.

There are also snippets of phone calls, news broadcasts and more from the day the president was killed. There is also a tape of President Lyndon Johnson's phone call to Rose Kennedy to tell her that her son had been killed.

"It's eerie when get to hear those actual audio tapes, which have only been made available in the last few years," Warlick said.

Guests:

Jim Warlick, owner and curator, The JFK Exhibition

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