Cole views Fort Payne High School carving at Kennedy Museum

Pictured are Cole, left, his wife, Barbara, right, and Heather Mason of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum staff, center.

During his recent trip to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Retired DeKalb County Circuit Judge Randall Cole was given a private showing of a sandstone carving presented to President John F. Kennedy from the senior class of Fort Payne High School in 1961. Cole was a member of that class. During their senior class trip to Washington, the class delivered the carving to Congressman Albert Rains, who accepted it on behalf of President Kennedy and transported it to the White House.

The Alabama sandstone was carved into the shape of the state of Alabama by J.O. Crow, Jr., the father of a class member, Neal Crow. Mr. Crow used a road map of the state as a pattern, and Harold Dobson at Dobson Monument Company inscribed the lettering which reads: “To President John F. Kennedy from Senior Class of 1961, Fort Payne High School, Fort Payne, Alabama, Heart of Dixie.”

The carving is owned by the National Archives and permanently maintained at the Kennedy Library and Museum.

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