In many ways, President Elect Donald Trump’s arrival at Mar-a-Lago in the town of Palm Beach, for the holiday weekend parallels the visit of another president-in-waiting 56 years ago.
But post-election R&R and their breathtaking beachside family estates is where the parallel between the Kennedy and Trump pre-presidency vacations end
When John F. Kennedy traveled to the tony town in December 1960 shortly after his surprise win against establishment candidate Richard Nixon, JFK was headed into a deadly trap.
JFK, Jackie and their children John Jr and Caroline in Palm Beach, Florida. The family traveled to the tony town in December 1960 shortly after his surprise win against establishment candidate Richard Nixon
KNown as the ‘Winter White House,’ the Kennedys Palm Beach estate was designed in 1923 by noted society architect Addison Mizner. It is no longer owned by the family
Along with wife Jackie and their two children Caroline and John Jr., and under tight security, the Kennedys took possession of the family’s oceanfront property for the end-of-year holidays.
The soon-to-be-president was there to rest before moving into the White House. He was spotted in restaurants with Jackie and at religious services at St. Edward, Palm Beach’s Catholic church.
Prefacing what would happen three years later in Dallas, Kennedy was the target of a first, little-known assassination attempt on Dec. 14, 1960 in Palm Beach.
‘My husband was very proud of being one of the police officers who stopped the guy who wanted to harm the president,’ retired sheriff’s deputy Mary Mancino, widow of police offer Nick Mancino, tells DailyMail.com.
‘One of my husband’s favorite photos was one of him with Jackie Kennedy as she walked into church.’
Nick Mancino, who died last year at 85, was one of several Palm Beach Police officers who pulled over a motorist with dynamite strapped around his waist and headed to the Kennedy compound.
The story starts when a U.S. Secret Service bulletin hit the Palm Beach Police Department.
It warned department heads and patrolmen to be on the lookout for one Richard Paul Pavlick, a 73-year-old postal service retiree driving a beat-up old Buick.
The Secret Service believed Pavlick was stalking JFK after a former colleague of Pavlick’s in New Hampshire contacted them. Pavlick, the tipster told authorities, was sending him postcards from random locations visited by JFK during and after the campaign.
Richard Paul Pavlick, a retired New Hampshire postal worker, is led into a courtroom, charged with threatening the life of President John F. Kennedy
Pavlick plotted to ram the motorcade of President-elect John F. Kennedy in Palm Beach. Police and federal agents stopped him the evening of Dec. 15, 1960 found his car loaded with explosives
What’s more, Pavlick was mentally unstable and was known for his anti-Catholic, anti-Kennedy rants. He believed the Kennedy family’s money had bought the election.
What Palm Beach cops didn’t know is that Pavlick had a plan to kill Kennedy, and the material needed to bring it to fruition.
Like a suicide bomber, Pavlick planned on filling his car with dynamite and ram it into Kennedy’s convertible Cadillac on Dec. 11, 1960, according to newspapers of the era.
Early that Sunday morning, Pavlick parked his Buick down the street from the compound at 1095 North Ocean Boulevard and waited for Kennedy’s motorcade to pass by him. That’s when, Pavlick wanted the explosion to occur.
According to the Miami Herald, Pavlick told police he aborted the attempt when he saw Jackie, JFK Jr. and Caroline in the president elect’s car.
Pavlick rescheduled for the next day.
That’s when Office Lester Free spotted the Buick over one of Palm Beach’s bridge from West Palm Beach, and stopped it as soon as it crossed the town limits.
Free died a few years ago, but in 1992, Mancino described the scene for the Herald.
Donald, son Barron and Melania Trump are spending the Thanksgiving holdiay at Mar-a-Lago and were there last year before the election (above)
JFK was in Palm Beach to rest. He abd his family were spotted in restaurants with Jackie and at religious services at St. Edward, Palm Beach’s Catholic church
‘This guy comes over the bridge with his crummy car,’ Mancino said, ‘weaving and crossing the double line. Lester pulled a little bit diagonal in front of him and caused him to stop.’
Law enforcement agents swarmed the car and pulled out Pavlick, who wore an explosive belt. It was defused without incident.
‘He’s real humble and he’s saying that this Kennedy’s president now and he really treated the postal employees bad as a senator, and he’s retired and it’s going to affect his pension,’ Mancino told the Herald.
About a month later, Kennedy had been just sworn in when a federal judge declared the suspect mentally incompetent to stand trial.
He was ordered held in a New Hampshire mental hospital until 1966. Pavlick died in 1975 in a Veterans Administration hospital in Manchester, N.H.
‘Of course, the assassination attempt was a big deal in Palm Beach then,’ said Mary Mancino from her home in Melbourne, Fla. ‘But not to the extent of what happens today in the news.’
Her husband eventually left the police department after 23 years and went on to start a private agency in the late 1980s.
Mancino was then hired by Trump’s first wife Ivana to help protect the family at Mar-a-Lago.
‘He did most of the business through Ivana,’ Mary Mancino said. ‘She and Donald wanted security to keep out for curious trespassers and preserve the Trumps’ privacy.
‘It wasn’t some heavy duty thing. Of course these days, it’s all different.
‘There’s not a lot of love out there for poor old Trump, but he’ll be safe in Palm Beach.’