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JFK's Visit to Miami
18 December 1963
(SS Report dated Dec. 11, 1963)


White House Detail    Washington, D.C.

December 11, 1963


RE: President's visit to Miami, Florida, on
November 18, 1963, to address the Inter-American Press Association

Mr. James J. Rowley
Chief, U.S. Secret Service
Washington, D.C.


This survey was conducted by Sas L. F. de Freese and J. Walter Coughlin, White House Detail, and SA Talmadge Bailey, Miami, at Miami and Miami Beach, Florida, from November 11 through November 18, 1963.

Approximately 3000 persons attended a rally on the President's arrival at Miami International Airport, and approximately 1200 delegates to the Inter-American Press Association convention attended the dinner at the Americana Hotel where the President spoke.


5:10 p.m. USAF #26000 arrived concourse #$1, delta apron, Miami International Airport.

5:15 p.m. The President deplaned and "Ruffles and Flourishes" and "Hail to the Chief" were rendered.  The President was greeted by Mr. Lee Hills, Editor in Chief, Miami Herald, and Mr. Romulo O'Farrell, President of IAPA.

The President was then escorted to the speakers' stand by State Senators Cliff Herrell and George Hollahan.  Appropriate dress was business suit.

5:20 p.m. Congressman Fascell introduced other U.S. Congressmen and Senators on the speakers' stand, including Congressman Pepper.

5:22 p.m. Congressman Pepper introduced Governor Bryant, who introduced the President. The President spoke for approximately 10 minutes.

5:30 p.m. President left speakers' stand and, after shaking hands with many in the general public area and guests in the VIP section, boarded helicopter.

5:35 p.m. Helicopter departed airport.

5:45 p.m. Helicopter arrived heliport, Haulover Beach Park.

5:48 p.m. President departed helicopter by automobile. [ photo of route ]

5:50 p.m. President arrived Americana Hotel, was greeted by Mr. Charles Bogdahn, General Manager, and Mr. Alvin LeFaivre, Vice-President of the hotel, and was escorted to his suite.

6:40 p.m. President departed suite and proceeded via elevator to Suite 1169-1170-1171-and 1172 to greet selected local Democrats.

6:50 p.m. President proceeded via elevator to lobby floor, was greeted by officers of IAPA, including Mr. Hills and Mr. O'Farrell, and escorted to reception for head table guests near main ballroom.

7:10 p.m. President proceeded via elevator to lobby floor, was greeted by officers of IAPA, including Mr. Hills and Mr. O'Farrell, and escorted to reception for head table guests near main ballroom.

7:10 p.m. President proceeded to head table and, following invocation by Rev. Robert W. Shaw, dinner was served.  Approximately dress for head table guests was black tie.

8:30 p.m. The President, after being introduced by Mr. O'Farrell, spoke for 28 minutes.

9:00 p.m. The President departed the hotel via automobile.

9:02 p.m. President arrived helicopter.

9:04 p.m. Airborne in helicopter.

9:13 p.m. Arrived Miami International Airport.

9:20 p.m. USAF #26000 airborne.


Miami International Airport to Haulover Beach Heliport and Return:

Via Helicopter   Flight Time 10 minutes

Helicopter to Americana Hotel: South on Collins Avenue to employees entrance to hotel
Distance 1 mile   Travel Time 2 minutes


Miami International Airport

This is a recently completed and improved airport serving both overseas and domestic flights of major airlines, the runways of which are capable of receiving any type of aircraft flying today.  Arrangements were made to restrict air traffic on the East-West runway used by USAF #1 during its arrival and departure.  Maj. Charles Nedbal, representing the U.S. Air Force, assisted in Arranging aircraft security at the airport.

The terminal building, 7/8 mile along and semi-circular in shape, utilizes protruding concourses to service arriving and departing aircraft.  The area east of Delta Airlines concourse #1, southern most of the concourses, was used for arrival ceremonies.  A diagram of this airport is attached.

Uniformed officers of the Dade County Metropolitan Sheriff's Office were stationed in waiting rooms overlooking the restricted and public areas, and on the roof of this concourse commanding an excellent view of the entire area.  Entrance to the restricted area through the concourse and through a gate at the east side of the apron was controlled by uniformed officers.  Officers were also placed around three tanks containing aviation fuel approximately 200 yards east of the public area.  A permanent fence also separated the public from the tank area.

A temporary chain link fence, supported by tubular scaffolding and aircraft tow trucks, was constructed across the apron to separate the public and restricted areas.  Uniformed officers were stationed every 10 feet along the fence.  In addition, plainclothes Spanish-speaking officers were placed in the public are near the speakers' stand.

Individuals invited to sit on the speakers' stand, with others invited to stand in a VIP area near the speakers' stand, were assembled in the concourse, issued identification tags, and were escorted to their proper places in a body.

Uniformed police, plainclothes officers, and agents of this Service were posted near the ramp to USAF #1, around the speakers' stand, press and VIP areas, and at helicopter #1.

Americana Hotel
The Towers section of the Americana Hotel was completed in 1959 of concrete block and reinforced concrete.  The first five floors contain enclosed auto parking areas.  Atop this are seven floors of 22 sleeping rooms each.  The presidential suite (see diagram) was on the top floor overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  The suite immediately beneath President's was secured and used for the Democratic party reception.  The presidential suite was inspected by agents of this Service and Metropolitan bomb squad detectives and was secured prior to his arrival.

One bank of two Otis elevators serves the Towers section.  These elevators were inspected by qualified servicemen prior to the President's arrival.  Normally self-service, for this occasion they were controlled manually by operators cleared by this Service.

Entrance to the Banquet Room, head table reception room. Democratic reception suite, employees entrance area, and routes of travel in the hotel were controlled by agents of this Service, with plainclothes and uniformed officers of cooperating police agencies.  A Coast Guard patrol boat cruised the beach area adjacent to the hotel.

Lists of dinner guests and head table reception guests were screened, and hotel employees necessary to function in the vicinity of the President were cleared by SA Aragon, Miami.

These lists, as well as identification tags (see attachment), were used by agents in admitting guests to their specific area.

Officers of the Bal Harbour Fire Department inspected areas of the hotel that the President visited and were positioned strategically throughout the hotel.

The attic area above the Banquet Room, as well as the basement areas below, were inspected and secured by local police officers.

Haulover Beach Heliport  [ see photo ]

This heliport, located adjacent to Collins Avenue, one mile north of the Americana Hotel, was approved safe for landing by Capt. Bruce Colbert, USMC. Uniformed officers of the Metropolitan Dade County Police, with agents of this Service, provided security.  A roped area immediately north of the landing area was provided for the public.  A fire truck with foam equipment and an ambulance was stationed at the helicopter for use if necessary.

Motor Route  [ see photo ]

Uniformed officers of cooperating police departments controlled all intersections along this route, and a police boat cruised the waters under and near the only bridge along the route.  Six motorcycle police were utilized as an escort, a Florida Highway Patrol car was used as lead car, and two motorcycles followed to prevent traffic from overtaking the motorcade.

In the event weather conditions had prevented use of helicopters, arrangements had been made to motor from the airport to the hotel and return.  This route was not publicized.


Miami International Airport

1.  Ramp. USAF #1
 SA de Freese
 1 Metro. Detective
 2 Uniformed Off

2.  Front of speakers' stand.
 SA Aragon
 2 Metro. Detectives
 2 Uniformed Offs.

3.  Front of speakers' stand.
     SA Blaine

4.  Rear steps - speakers' stand.
 SA Bailey, 1 Det.
 2 Uniformed Offs.

5.  West steps - speakers' stand.
 SA McIntyre
 1 Metro. Detective
 1 Uniformed Off.

6.  Press area
 SA Bennett
 1 Metro. Detective
 6 Uniformed Offs.

7.  Press area.
  SA Kollar

8.  VIP area.
ATSAIC Roberts
 2 Metro. Detectives
 4 Uniformed Offs.

Americana Hotel

1.  Point where presidential limousine stops.
 SA Coughlin
 1 Metro. Detective
 2 Uniformed Offs.

2. Elevator landing - basement.
 Curry (3-11)
 2 Uniformed Offs.

3.  12th floor elevator landing - suite entrance S
 A Lawton
 1 Metro. Detective

4.  Lobby floor elevator landing.
 SA Lawton
 2 Metro. Detectives

5.  Entrance to Medallion Room (check-point)
 SA Jamison
 1 Metro. Detective
 1 Uniformed Off.

6. Entrance to head table reception room
    (check-point)  SA Zboril

7.  Seated - ballroom.
  ATSAIC Roberts

8.  Seated - ballroom
  SA Blaine

9.  East end head table
 SA Zboril
 1 Metro. Detective

10.  West end head table
 SA Bennett
 1 Metro. Detective

11.  Departure ramp.
 SA McIntyre
 1 Metro. Detective
 2 Uniformed Offs.

12.  Hotel lobby.
 SA Aragon
 2 Metro. Detectives
 5 Uniformed Offs.

13.  Hotel lobby.
 SA Kollar


1.  Heliport.
 SA Howell
 2 Metro. Detectives
 15 Uniformed Offs.

In addition to the above assignments for Special Agents of this Service, officers and plainclothes detectives of the Metropolitan Department of Public Safety, Miami, Bal Harbour, Surfside, Miami Beach, Hialeah, and Coral Gables Police Departments, Florida Highway Patrol, were positioned as needed throughout areas the President visited.

Representatives of the Metro-Dade County and Bal Harbour Fire Departments were utilized as necessary at Miami International Airport, the heliport, and Americana Hotel.


Sas Zboril and Lawton arrived aboard the press charter, were furnished transportation directly to the hotel, and were posted by SA Coughlin.  ATSAIC Roberts, McIntyre (Sas), Bennett, Kollar, and Blaine were posted at the airport.  Following the President's departure from the airport, these agents proceeded to the hotel with Sas Bailey and Aragon and were posted.

SAS Greer and Rybka, arriving on USAF #1, rode helicopter #1, Sas Sulliman, Berger, and Morey rode helicopter #2 and worked the follow-up car from the helicopter to the hotel and return.  SA Jones, following the President's departure from the airport, was transported by SA Bailey to the hotel and was posted.  SA O'Leary, with the President's luggage, came directly from Palm Beach to the Americana Hotel by automobile.

Sas Jones, O'Leary, and Lawton departed the hotel at 8:00 p.m. with SA Bailey and proceeded to the airport to effect departure security.

ATSAIC Roberts, with Sas Blaine, Zboril, McIntyre, Bennett, and Kollar departed the hotel at 10:00 p.m. with Sas Aragon and Jamison and proceeded to the airport for departure aboard the press charter.

ASAIC Boring, arriving on USAF #1, rode helicopter #1 and remained with the President on all movements.

All Special Agents wore their permanent lapel bars.

Security arrangements were supervised by ASAIC Boring and Sas de Freese, Coughlin, and Bailey.

Hotel employees necessary to function in secured areas wore orange ball lapel clips.  All plainclothes police officers wore silver ball lapel clips.

In the event a motorcade had become necessary from the airport to the hotel, all agents arriving aboard the press charter would have been furnished transportation and gone directly to the hotel to be posted by SA Coughlin.  Follow-up would remain the same with SA Jones being furnished transportation in the motorcade.


All cars used for the motorcade were furnished by the Ford Motor Company through the cooperation of Mr. James Golden, area representative.  Cars used were those already assigned to Palm Beach.  The presidential car, a Mercury convertible on arrival, and a Continental hardtop on departure, was driven by SA Greer.   The Secret Service follow-up car, a Ford convertible, was driven by SA Rybka.

Wire service car was furnished by Bell Telephone Company.  Vehicles used by the press were arranged for by Mr. Ed. Jones, press coordinator.


SAIC Bouck, Protective Research Section, was notified of the President's intentions to visit Florida on November 8, 1963, who said that he would keep the Miami office advised of any PRS activity in the area.  SA Aragon was in touch with PRS, Washington D.C., and will submit a separate report regarding the Miami Cuban Situation.  SA Bailey, Miami, will submit reports of PRS significance under file #3-11-601.0 (ROHINSKI), and #3-11-5573-5 (DERBER).


The following communications arrangements were made for the visit of the President to Miami on the 18th day of November, 1963.  White House switchboard was installed in the Americana Hotel with direct facilities to Washington and other points to be visited by the President.  Local White House lines were installed to the Miami Airport, the helicopter pad, and the Americana Hotel.  Alternate routing and equipment were provided.  Radio communications facilities for continuous motorcade contact were installed.  Secure teletype communications from Miami Beach and courier service were located in the Americana Hotel.


All press activities were under the direction of Assistant Press Secretary Kilduff, coordinating with Mr. Ed. Jones, local press representative.  Press areas were established at the airport, hotel arrival area, and in the Banquet Room.

The President's speech was taped for television release at a later hour, with live closed-circuit telecast to the hotel press room, locate in the Caribbean Room.


Cooperating in this survey were:

Mr. Lee Hills, Executive Editor, Miami Herald
Mr. Edward Eicher, Sales Manager, Americana Hotel
Mr. E. V. W. Jones, Press Coordinator, IAPA
Mr. J. Skip Shepard (representing Congressman Fascell)
Mr. William Jibb (representing Senator Smathers)
Mr. Milton Herlong, Delta Airlines, Station Manager
Chief W. T. Norton, Dade County Port Authority
Maj. Floyd Alsbury, Dade County Sheriff's Office
Sgt. Charles Black, Dade County Sheriff's Office
Capt. F. S. Napier, Miami Police Department
Chief Rocky Pomerance, Miami Beach Police Department
Chief D. C. Kenneth, Miami Beach Fire Department
Chief D. C. Wayne Thurman, North Miami Police Department
Chief G. W. Owens, Bal Harbour Police Department
Chief Richard E. Creelman, Bal Harbour Fire Department
Chief Wiley Barefoot, Surfside Police Department
Sheriff Jesse Barkett, Metropolitan Dade County Sheriff's Office
Capt. J. K. Sox, (Airport), Metropolitan Dade County Sheriff's Office
Acting Chief Walter E. Foden, Bay Harbour Islands Police Department
Chief William E. Kimbrough, Coral Gables Police Department

Cooperating in the over-all security measures were:

   White House Detail Agents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   Miami Agents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     4
* Uniformed Patrolmen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  155
* Detectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   30
* Firemen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   12

* Uniformed and plainclothes officers listed above were enlisted from the city of Miami, city of  Miami Beach, city of North Miami, Bal Harbour Village, town of Surfside, Metropolitan Dade County Sheriff's Office, Bar Harbour Islands, and city of Coral Gables.

   Attached to this report are the following:

1.  Local Press Credentials
2.  Head Table Identification
     Dinner Admission Ticket
3.  Airport and Democratic Reception Identification
4.  12th Floor Plan, Americana Towers
5.  Miami International Airport, Arrival Area
6.  Ground Floor, Americana Hotel
7.  Automobile Assignments
8.  Helicopter Assignments

Very truly yours,
L. F. Freese
Special Agent

 Gerald A. Behn
Special Agent in Charge

Attachments (8)

2 ccs Miami

Heliport to Hotel

Lead Car

SA de Freese
Dr. Burkley

Presidential Limousine

The President
Senator Smathers
Mr. Boring
Mr. Greer - driving

SS Follow-Up Car

Sas Rybka - driving

Wire Service

Mr. Salinger

Car #1

Mr. O'Donnell
Congressman Pepper
Congressman Fascell

Car #2
Mr. Powers
Congressman Gibbons
Mayor High

Car #3
Governor Bryant
Mr. Kynes
General Mcbugh

Car #4

Mrs. Lincoln
Miss Camp
Mr. Baltimore
Mr. Jibb

Car #5
Congressman McDonald
Congressman Green
Mr. Vessels

End of Page

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