George H. W. Bush "can't remember" where he was on Nov. 22, 1963

JKL

New Member
I repeatedly see conspiracy theorists making vague reference to an alleged statement from George H. W. Bush that he "could not" or "cannot remember" where he was on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was shot. CTers use this as proof that Bush has something to hide, since everyone who was alive that day typically knows where they were. I have yet to find any full quote or any citation as to when and where Bush allegedly said this; just endless claims of the "fact" that he said it.

I know, from talking with the GHW Bush Library, that Bush was speaking in Tyler, Texas, at the Kiwanis Club when President Kennedy was assassinated. Bush was running for the US Senate at the time, in a race he would ultimately lose. And so far, the GHW Bush Library has been unable to find any statement from Bush that would have given birth to his misquote/accusation. I am hoping that someone has come across more information that will help me narrow this down.

Perhaps the quote is completely made up, or perhaps he once said something like, "I don't recall what room I was in..." that could be manipulated and blown into something else. Either way, anything you can do to help me track down the origin of this alleged quote would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some examples of the alleged quote that I am trying to find information on:

https://whowhatwhy.org/politics/gov...-hit-part-3-where-was-poppy-november-22-1963/
George H. W. Bush may be one of the few Americans of his generation who cannot recall exactly where he was when John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

At times he has said that he was “somewhere in Texas.” Bush was indeed “somewhere” in Texas. And he had every reason to remember.

https://theamericanchronicle.blogspot.com/2013/09/was-george-bush-in-dealey-plaza-on.html
Bush denies remembering where he was on November 22d, largely because he can’t remember which lie he should tell about it. It saves him the embarrassing contradictions in which Nixon found himself when explaining his whereabouts on that day.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/20...were-you-Nov-22-1963-Where-was-George-Bush-Sr
Where were you November 22 1963? Wil you ever foget where you were when you heard that Kennedy had been shot? Five year olds remember. Would it be shoocking to you if you knew of someone of age who didn’t know where he was?
How about Geroge Bush Sr? Can’t remember?
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Russ Baker's Family of Secrets is probably the biggest promoter of this. Chapter 4:


At times he has said that he was “somewhere in Texas.”1 Bush was indeed “somewhere” in Texas. And he had every reason to remember.

Baker, Russ. Family of Secrets (p. 54). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.



1. Kitty Kelley, The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty (New York: Doubleday, 2004), p. 213.
Baker, Russ. Family of Secrets (p. 495). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Content from External Source
Baker relies heavily on Kelly, who also explains where he was.



On November 22, 1963, George and Barbara headed for Tyler, Texas (population thirty-five thousand), where he was scheduled for a luncheon speech to the Kiwanis Club, a group of one hundred men, meeting at the Blackstone Hotel.

“I remember it was a beautiful fall day,” recalled Aubrey Irby, the former Kiwanis vice president. “George had just started to give his speech when Smitty, the head bellhop, tapped me on the shoulder to say that President Kennedy had been shot. I gave the news to the president of the club, Wendell Cherry, and he leaned over to tell George that wires from Dallas confirmed President Kennedy had been assassinated.

“George stopped his speech and told the audience what had happened. ‘In view of the President’s death,’ he said, ‘I consider it inappropriate to continue with a political speech at this time. Thank you very much for your attention.’ Then he sat down.

“I thought that was rather magnanimous of him to say and then to sit down, but I’m a Republican, of course, and I was all for George Bush. Kennedy, who was bigger than life then, represented extremely opposite views from Bush on everything.”

The luncheon meeting adjourned, and George hurried across the street to meet Barbara at the beauty salon for their scheduled flight to Dallas. Before leaving the city, George called the FBI in Houston. Files obtained under the Freedom of Information Act document George’s 1:45 p.m. call to the Houston field office: “Bush stated that he wanted to be kept confidential but wanted to furnish hearsay that he recalled hearing in recent days . . . He stated that one James Milton Parrott has been talking of killing the President when he comes to Houston.”

The man George turned in was an unemployed twenty-four-year-old who had been honorably discharged from the Air Force upon the recommendation of a psychiatrist. He was also a John Bircher who had vigorously opposed George during Bush’s campaign for GOP chairman of Harris County. During his interview with the FBI, Parrott said he was a member of the Texas Young Republicans and had been active in picketing members of the Kennedy administration but that he had not threatened the President’s life.

Years later, when he was running for President, George would claim that he never made the call. Documents were then produced that refreshed his memory. He also claimed that he did not remember where he was the day John F. Kennedy was killed—“somewhere in Texas,” he said. George Bush is possibly the only person on the planet who did not recall his whereabouts on that day, although his wife clearly remembered their being in Tyler. She said that at the time of the assassination she was writing a letter in the beauty salon and that they left shortly after hearing the news. They flew to Dallas en route to Houston, and in Dallas they had to circle Love Field several times while the second presidential plane was taking off to return to Washington, D.C.

Kelley, Kitty. The Family . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Content from External Source
 

JKL

New Member
It seems entirely reasonable to not remember the name of a random small town.
Thank you for posting this, and I agree that it is reasonable, but I still don't know where Kitty Kelley got this from to even prove that GHW Bush said that. From what you quoted, it looks like she does not cite a source or any context, just three alleged words.

I'll check out her book, but do hope that someone can offer more on any pre-Kelley origins of this claim.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Years later, when he was running for President, George would claim that he never made the call. Documents were then produced that refreshed his memory. He also claimed that he did not remember where he was the day John F. Kennedy was killed—“somewhere in Texas,” he said.

Article:
JOHN McADAMS SAID:

It's become a standard factoid that George H.W. Bush "could not remember
where he was when he heard that John Kennedy had been shot." .... This
needs to go in the "silly factoid" file.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

One of the many new books coming out this year on the JFK assassination is
one by Jodie Elliott Hansen called "November 22, 1963: Ordinary And
Extraordinary People Recall Their Reactions When They Heard The News".

And on the back cover of that book is a signed letter written to Mrs.
Hansen by George H.W. Bush in August of 1979. In that letter, Bush recalls
quite well where he was when JFK was shot. Quoting Bush from the letter:
"I was in Tyler, Texas on November 22, 1963 to give a political speech."

Here's a picture of the letter as it appears on the back cover of Jodie
Hansen's 2013 book:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v5M6NvpAm.../s3000-h/November-22-1963-Book-Back-Cover.jpg

Link to Hansen's book:
http://Amazon.com/gp/product/125003...tiveASIN=1250037484&linkCode=xm2&tag=dvsre-20


2021-09-02_14-45-06.jpg
 
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JKL

New Member
Article:
JOHN McADAMS SAID:

It's become a standard factoid that George H.W. Bush "could not remember
where he was when he heard that John Kennedy had been shot." .... This
needs to go in the "silly factoid" file.


DAVID VON PEIN SAID:

One of the many new books coming out this year on the JFK assassination is
one by Jodie Elliott Hansen called "November 22, 1963: Ordinary And
Extraordinary People Recall Their Reactions When They Heard The News".

And on the back cover of that book is a signed letter written to Mrs.
Hansen by George H.W. Bush in August of 1979. In that letter, Bush recalls
quite well where he was when JFK was shot. Quoting Bush from the letter:
"I was in Tyler, Texas on November 22, 1963 to give a political speech."

Here's a picture of the letter as it appears on the back cover of Jodie
Hansen's 2013 book:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-v5M6NvpAm.../s3000-h/November-22-1963-Book-Back-Cover.jpg

Link to Hansen's book:
http://Amazon.com/gp/product/125003...tiveASIN=1250037484&linkCode=xm2&tag=dvsre-20
Thank you for this information, particularly the letter to Mrs. Hansen, I will check it out.

Still hope to find where this silliness began. If you come across anything more, let me know.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If you come across anything more, let me know.
looking into this Kitty Kelley im not sure she is a good source. but that's ad hominem... an interview with Matt Lauer (he doesnt seem impressed). i also note that her book is 2004 but allegedly Bush said this back when he was running for President. so 1988.

i think it plausible he forgot where he was by 1988 ( i was somewhere in Pennsylvania on 9/11.. no joke. i used to remember the name of the town, it was Greek sounding.) or that Miss Kitty misremembered something she read years and years before her book..



https://www.today.com/news/kitty-kelley-defends-sources-new-bush-book-wbna6000597
 

JKL

New Member
looking into this Kitty Kelley im not sure she is a good source. but that's ad hominem... an interview with Matt Lauer (he doesnt seem impressed). i also note that her book is 2004 but allegedly Bush said this back when he was running for President. so 1988.

i think it plausible he forgot where he was by 1988 ( i was somewhere in Pennsylvania on 9/11.. no joke. i used to remember the name of the town, it was Greek sounding.) or that Miss Kitty misremembered something she read years and years before her book..



https://www.today.com/news/kitty-kelley-defends-sources-new-bush-book-wbna6000597
I agree she is not a good source, but did she take something out of context? Misremember? Completely make it up? Inquiring minds want to know.
 
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