“You can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you, Mr. President” are the ironic words of Nellie Connally, wife of then-Texas Governor John B. Connally, to President John F. Kennedy in a Dallas motorcade on November 22, 1963. It is believed that those were the last words that the President heard.
At the Warren Commission investigation a year later, Nellie Connally reversed the word order and quoted herself as saying: “Mr. President, you can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you.”
Yale Book of Quotations edited by Fred R, Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
U.S. wife of governor of Texas, 1919—
[Remark to President John Kennedy immediately before his shooting in Dallas, 22 Nov. 1963:]
“Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.”
Quoted in Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vol. 4 (1964).
25 November 1963, Chicago Tribune, pg. 7:
Gov. Connally Walks
from Bed to a Chair
Dallas, Nov. 24 (UPI)—Texas Gov. John Connally, gravely wounded when President Kennedy was assassinated last Friday, felt so good today that he walked from his bed to a chair, where he sat for a few minutes. Then he walked back to bed.
His wife, Nellie, was composed when she told newsmen in a press conference in the hospital earlier in the day that her husband “is now apparently out of danger,” but broke into sobs when she spoke of President Kennedy.
“We had been with the President and Mrs. Kennedy during the tour. It had just been a wonderful tour. When we arrived in Dallas and were in the motorcade, the people couldn’t have been friendlier, the crowd more wonderful, or more generous in their reaction to the President.
“I had such a good feeling about the way they had received him in this city. I had just turned to him and said, ‘You can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you, Mr. President,’ and that was it.”
Mrs. Connally sobbed and turned and walked from the press room while being comforted by the governor’s brother, Merrill Connally.
24 November 1964, Washington Post, “Governor’s Wife Tells Her Story,” pg. C1:
MRS. JOHN B. CONNALLY, wife of th Governor of Texas, gave a vivid eye-witness account of the assassination of President Kennedy to the Warren Commission.
AT THE START of her (Pg. C5—ed.) testimony, Mrs. Connally told how heart-warming the Dallas reception of the Kennedys had been. She was so pleased that she turned to the President and said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.”
31 October 2003, New York Times, “40 Years After Shots in Dallas, A Survivor’s Painful Memories” by Ralph Blumenthal, pg. A1:
“I can’t believe it’s been 40 years,” she says, nor can I believe that I’m the last person living that was in the back of that car”—a car that carried her in her hot-pink Neiman Marcus suit, and her husband, John, the new governor of Texas with his cowboy hat, and President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, in a triumphant motorcade through the streets of Dallas. It was an ebullient Mrs. Connally who gushed, “Mr. President, you certainly can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you”—perhaps the last words Kennedy ever heard.