A Costa Rican newspaper published an article yesterday about old photographs related to the country taken by contributors to Life magazine, a famous (now extinct) American publication that focused on photojournalism. I used to enjoy reading it in the 60s. The photos of Costa Rica have been placed on line and this one caught my eye.

kennedy-in-nt1

JKF visited the country in March 1963 (he was assassinated at the end of that year). He appealed to Costa Ricans just as much as he did to the rest of the world. and people flocked to see him. This photo was taken in the National Theater, a small but very impressive building in the heart of San Jose.

These photos are from the Wiki entry on the building.

teatro-nacional-1

teatro-national-2

This is a link to a photo of a ceiling inside the theater. For many years, the painting appeared on a five colón bill (the colón is the local currency). Copies of the bill are now popular with tourists. The theater opened in 1897, its construction made possible by the boom in coffee exports.

In recent years, reports have appeared in the media alleging that Fidel Castro wanted to assassinate JFK during his visit to Costa Rica, as he felt security wouldn’t be as tight as in the US.