There has been a more than 60-year fascination with the late President John F. Kennedy.

And, there is a direct New Jersey … specifically, Atlantic City and Asbury Park.

The 1964 Democratic National Convention was held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Aug. 24-27, 1964.

Robert Kennedy delivered a moving tribute for his slain brother in Atlantic City on Aug. 27.

This should have been President Kennedy’s Atlantic City convention but he was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, in Texas and it became Lyndon Johnson’s convention instead.

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Directly outside of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall is what's known as Kennedy Plaza. There is an amazing bronze bust of President Kennedy sculpted by the great artist Evangelos Frudakis.

Don P. Hurley
Don P. Hurley

The President Kennedy sculpture in Asbury Park, meanwhile, is best filed under it being an oddity of sorts.

It is an attraction, known as the “Eyeless Lizard-Skin Kennedy Head.”

Here is how describes it:

”The (Kennedy) head was unveiled during the 1964 Democratic National Convention, which was held in nearby Atlantic City. The bronze head has since turned green with age, which only increases its sea bottom antiquity allure.”

Local sculptor Fritz Cleary fabricated the Kennedy head and he added what is described as lizard skin to it. As bronze oxidizes over the years, and takes on a green patina … it looks even more lizard-like as time goes on.

Tours of the Kennedy head are available at Kennedy Park in Asbury Park, on the southwest corner of Cookman and Grand Avenues.

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