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🚨President Cuts Campaign Short, Evidence of High-Level Activity in Washington

Oct. 20, 1962 - President Kennedy, suffering from a cold, canceled the remainder of a grueling three-day campaign trip today and flew back to Washington from Chicago. Vice President Johnson, who was reported to also have a cold, made plans to return to the capital from Honolulu 12 hours earlier than originally scheduled. Mr. Johnson was also on a campaign trip. The President’s sudden return to Washington prompted speculation about possible urgent business that required attention. There was one report that the President did not have a cold, but the White House denied this. Because of the importance Mr. Kennedy has attached to his weekend campaign trips, the cancellation today was viewed by observers in the context of other evidence of high-level activity. Secretary of State Dean Rusk canceled a speech in nearby Virginia last night, because of “the press of business.” A Pentagon spokesman said yesterday that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been requested not to leave Washington, presumably because of the need to reach difficult decisions on the coming military budget. There have also been reports of vigorous evening activity in White House offices in the last 48 hours. The President arrived back at the White House today at 1:37 p.m.

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