San Diego County Fair
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J.F.K. Experience

Map of Surfside Race Place

Click here for a larger map. Look for 43 in the Purple Zone.

The John F. Kennedy Exhibition at the 2014 San Diego County Fair

Location: Surfside Race Place
Dates: Every day of the Fair
Times: Opening (10:00AM Saturdays and Sundays; 11:00AM other days) to 9:00PM
Admission: $5 above the cost of Fair admission, ages 13 and older. Ages 12 and younger may enter the exhibit free of charge.

Caroline and John Kennedy

Each year, the Fair has a one-year-only featured exhibit. This year, the Fair is pleased to present an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, including many personal items once owned by the President and First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

Many Americans can remember with great detail where they were when the news spread of the 35th President's death in Dallas, Texas. The impact was enormous, and for nearly three decades, November 22 was an official day of mourning, much like September 11 is today.

Among the displays are a re-creation of the Oval Office, the vehicle that transported JFK and Jackie to the plane that took them to Dallas, and a collection of gowns worn by first ladies at their husbands' inaugurations through the years, just to name a few. The exhibit also will include an actual fuselage re-created to look like Air Force One as it did when JFK was a passenger. Fairgoers may walk inside the fuselage to see the authentic details. History buffs won't want to miss this exhibit.

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Walled-In by J. Elke Ertle

Special reading by author J. Elke Ertle

Saturday June 28, 3:00PM

J. Elke Ertle Author of Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl's Journey to Freedom will be coming to read a section of her book. Ertle grew up in West Berlin during the Cold War. The political climate surrounding Berlin at that time was tense when President John F. Kennedy visited the city on June 26, 1963. Ertle was a teenager and stood in front of Schöneberger Rathaus, Berlin's city hall, along with a half million others to hear the president speak. In 2013, her memoir was published and includes a segment about the rally, including descriptions of the preparation, build-up, Kennedy's speech, and the atmosphere. Learn more about Ertle's memoir at