Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963

John F. Kennedy Assassination: Rare, New Photos of JFK from 1963
John F. Kennedy speaks in Fort Worth, Texas, mere hours before his assassination. For more images from November 22, both before and after Kennedy's assassination, visit LIFE.com.
Arthur Rickerby/Life

updated 11/22/2013 at 01:20 PM EST

originally published 11/21/2013 01:20PM

As the nation prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, it is worth remembering that we are not just mourning a death but also celebrating a remarkable life.

Our friends at LIFE recently discovered in their archives a series of rare and never-published photographs of President Kennedy in the autumn of 1963, some taken the day of Kennedy's assassination and others snapped in the weeks and months that preceded the murder.

They are portraits of a leader at the peak of his powers, and a lasting tribute to a presidency that was flourishing prior to Dealey Plaza.



SEPTEMBER 24, 1963:



Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963| Kennedy Assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy, Authors Class

President Kennedy and Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman attend the dedication of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies, in Milford, PA.

Art Rickerby / Life



SEPTEMBER 25, 1963:



Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963| Kennedy Assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy speaks at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Art Rickerby / Life



SEPTEMBER 28, 1963:



Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963| Kennedy Assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy, Authors Class

President Kennedy attends the dedication of California's Whiskeytown Dam.

Art Rickerby / Life



SEPTEMBER, 1963:



Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963| Kennedy Assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy signs autographs. Location and date unknown.

Art Rickerby / Life





SEPTEMBER 28, 1963:



Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963| Kennedy Assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy delivers remarks at the dedication of the Whiskeytown Dam in Shasta County, CA.

Art Rickerby / Life



NOVEMBER 22, 1963:



Rare and New Photos: President Kennedy Touring the U.S. in the Autumn of 1963| Kennedy Assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy speaks in Fort Worth, Texas, mere hours before his assassination. For more images from November 22, both before and after Kennedy's assassination, visit LIFE.com.

Arthur Rickerby / Life

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