top of page

President Swims with Awestruck Californians in Santa Monica

Aug. 19, 1962 - President Kennedy capped his 33-hour visit to California today by delighting hundreds of bathers with an impromptu swim in the Pacific. He left in his wake many an awestruck bather. Like the Pied Piper, scores followed the President into the water and frolicked happily with him for 20 minutes before he jogged back across the beach and into the seclusion of a fenced yard. Sunbathers were overwhelmed when Mr. Kennedy strode out of the canvas-draped fence of Peter Lawford’s Santa Monica home in an unannounced public showing in blue swim trunks. “Here he comes!” the crowd of 300 gasped. “It’s him! Look how handsome! Hurrah, Jack!” The crowd cheered, applauded, touched, and followed the deeply tanned and broadly smiling President in a pushing, shoving mass as he made his way into the surf. Several women went into the water with him fully dressed. As the President and nearly 100 bathers swam 100 yards out past the breakwater and then began cavorting among the waves, Secret Service agents and police on shore walked up and down in despair at the lack of security.


bottom of page