History Podcasts

JFK Tours Huntsville - History

JFK Tours Huntsville - History

Tour of Huntsville

President John F. Kennedy tours the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. Left to right: Director of the MSFC, Dr. Wernher von Braun; President Kennedy; Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dr. James E. Webb; unidentified photographer (in foreground). The President visited the MSFC as part of a two-day inspection tour of NASA field installations.

President John F. Kennedy (partially hidden) shakes hands with an unidentified site worker during a tour of the George C. Standing at far right (backs to camera): Director of the MSFC, Dr. Wernher von Braun; Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dr. Webb (partially out of frame).

President John F. Kennedy speaks with Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin (center) during a visit to the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama; Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson stands right of Senator Wiley. Also pictured: Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dr. Webb; chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence of Great Britain, Sir Solly Zuckerman.


What side of Huntsville do you want to experience? Chances are whatever you’re interested in, we have tours for that!

Whether you’re a foodie, history buff or beer enthusiast – or even a fan of ghost stories or history – you can customize your Huntsville visit with one of these tours. Or, opt for one of our seasonal or self-guided tours, like:

  • Huntsville Ghost Walks
  • Digital Huntsville History Tour 
  • Guided History Tours 
  • Rocket City Civil Rights Driving Tour 

Come get a behind-the-scenes look at beautiful Toyota Field! For just $10.

Greely Myatt is widely recognized for his whimsical sculptural objects and.

Come play on the mountain! Choose one of four GeoQuest adventures to enjoy.

American photographer Jack Mitchell (1925-2013) was renowned for his.

Almost any night of the week, local and regional musicians are performing.

Steamboat House, the Great Texas Steakhouse is also a great Texas history museum. The name &ldquoSteamboat House&rdquo is the name of Sam Houston&rsquos last home in Huntsville, Texas. It is where Sam Houston lived the last months of his life, where he died, and where his funeral was held in July of 1863. Sam&rsquos home, Steamboat House, has been restored and is in a small state park across the street from the main entrance to Sam Houston State University. Sam Houston&rsquos Steamboat House was the inspiration for the Steamboat House restaurant and its architecture.

Steamboat House, the Great Texas Steakhouse is also a great Texas history museum. The name &ldquoSteamboat House&rdquo is the name of Sam Houston&rsquos last home in Huntsville, Texas. It is where Sam Houston lived the last months of his life, where he died, and where his funeral was held in July of 1863. Sam&rsquos home, Steamboat House, has been restored and is in a small state park across the street from the main entrance to Sam Houston State University. Sam Houston&rsquos Steamboat House was the inspiration for the Steamboat House restaurant and its architecture.

Texas History Tours

Steamboat House Texas History Tours are for both 4th graders and senior citizens. Tours are conducted by our owner, Charlie Fogarty, an honorary member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, a Knight of San Jacinto and a member of their Speaker's Bureau. He has made presentations at Lone Star College, The Heritage Society, Harris County Historical Society, Sons of the Republic of Texas and numerous other organizations in and around Houston. He speaks to over 60 groups each year.

Student Tours

Tours for 4th grade students studying Texas History. We require a minimum of 20 students and a maximum of 45 students for each tour. Tours start at 8:45am and ends at 10:10am. At that time a meal of chicken tenders will be served at no charge to students, teachers, or bus driver. Students will leave the restaurant about 10:45am.

Senior Tours

Tours available Monday or Friday only for adult and senior adult groups that are interested in learning more about the history of our great State of Texas. The tour begins at 10:00am and ends at 11:00am in our Log Cabin Room where the group will order lunch from a special menu. Bus driver (if applicable) complimentary meal from Texas History Menu.

Cost: $21.50 per person for Senior Tour only

(includes tour, tea or soda, Texas History Menu (see detailed menu under "MENU' tab above) tax, and gratuity)
Required minimum of 25 guests

Displayed in the main dining room are huge original paintings of the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto painted for the restaurant by mural artist, Joe Garland Swinney.

Displayed in the main dining room are huge original paintings of the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto painted for the restaurant by mural artist, Joe Garland Swinney.Battle of the Alamo paintingBattle of San Jacinto painting.

Also in the main dining room is an impressive collection of historic replica flags. The flag collection includes the Six Flags over Texas as well as the flag of the Texas Navy, the battle flags, and flags of the volunteer groups who came to the aid of Texians in the quest for freedom.

The displays in the hallways bring to life the story of Texas from Stephen F. Austin and the original 300 to the town of San Felipe de Austin and Washington-on-the-Brazos. Follow the capitols of the republic from Columbia to Houston to Waterloo the town that became Austin, Texas. Learn about the Texas Declaration of Independence and the battles along with the heroes who made it all possible. Study heroes like Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Ben Milam, William B. Travis, Jim Bowie, David Crockett and others who together brought about the Republic of Texas. Study the events leading up to Texas becoming the 28th state of the United States. Various maps show the &ldquonew world&rdquo along with the early development and settlements that eventually became Texas.

Texas became a great state because of the great people who sacrificed and shaped this land first into an independent republic and then into the great state it is today. Today some Texans were born here and many of our current Texans chose to adopt Texas as their home. Either way we Texans have an obligation to make sure generations to come keep that special spirit that somehow makes all Texans proud of the great state of Texas. We hope that you learn a little more about our state each time you visit the Steamboat House.

About Us

Charlie & Senie Fogarty, proud owners, opened Steamboat House on September 19, 2005. Charlie's dream was to showcase the priceless portraits of Sam Houston & George Washington in public. The Battles of the Alamo & San Jacinto, painted by local artist, are prominently displayed in main dining room with additional Republic of Texas memorabilia throughout the restaurant. "Sam Houston" (Charlie), with a great likeness (his "chops") & love for Republic of Texas history, educated & entertained many through the years at Steamboat House as well as other venues in Houston & surrounding areas.

Restaurant Hours

Great R Tours

Take yourself back in time through Dealey Plaza, The Sixth Floor, and Lee Harvey Oswald’s travels on the fateful day in 1963. Experience his residence, just as it was in 1963.

Tour. Discover. Learn.

With our Dallas tours you will experience Dallas history, landmarks, and exciting sites. Our tour experiences are fun and memorable. Our most popular tours are our Electric Cruizer and JFK Assassination Tours. Your personal guides will narrate the entire tour and answer your questions. Book your Great R Experience today.

We also offer Fort Worth, custom and large group Dallas bus tours. Contact us for more info.

Fascinating and Fun JFK and Dallas City Tours!

On January 10th, 2020, my Mom and I took a tour of JFK's Assassination. Our tour guide Rachel, was wonderful! Not only, did she know the history and actual happenings of the JFK Assassination, but she was kind, thoughtful and had a genuine thirst for historical knowledge. I would very much recommend this tour if you are visiting or passing through Dallas.

We had an awesome time on our cruiser tour of downtown dallas. Rachel Rachel was very nice and informative. She was also very helpful with our 6-year-old and let her ring the bell on the cruiser mobile. I would even recommend this tool for someone who is from the area!

Very informative and we learned about some things that we didn't know about Dallas in general. Rachel was an excellent driver/tour guide and gave us some very interesting facts about the days surrounding the JFK assassination. The Oswald rooming house as a little surreal. his original bed is still there as well as the furniture that was there back then. Surprised to hear about how many bedrooms/persons were in this rooming house.

The tour was amazing and emotional! Rachel was our tour guide and was punctual in meeting us for the tour. She was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic in the relaying the history and details of the JFK assassination and took pictures of me and my boyfriend at various sites. She also added some additional stops including the metal sculptured cattle drive and some Bonnie and Clyde tidbits. I would highly recommend this tour!

We signed up for this tour just based on the online description and prior reviews and we couldn't have been happier. Rachel, our guide, met us at the meeting spot 15 minutes before the tour was scheduled to begin and since we were the only passengers that day in a small group tour, once we were all on board she began the tour. We not only saw all of the sights promised, we were treated like family along the way. Rachel made sure we knew all kinds of little tidbits about the sights and the history behind them, and she even pointed out things all along our route so we didn't miss anything. We really feel as though we got to know Dallas, and not just the JFK history, because of Rachel and this tour. The visit to Oswald's Rooming House was especially gripping and it is something I would highly recommend for anyone interested in the JFK Assassination history. We literally traced Oswald's steps from the time he crossed the threshhold of his boarding house to retrieve his .38 pistol until the time of his arrest. We felt like we saw everything. The tour culminated at the 6th Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza and that was well worth the time. Plan on spending at least 2 hours there. One caveat - while tickets were included to the 6th Floor museum with this tour, they are actually vouchers and need to be traded for timed entry tickets and we were only able to get tickets for a tour starting 2 hours after we arrived so plan accordingly. We opted to go the next day and it was a good plan since it gave us the rest of the day to do other things and reflect on what we had seen that day before visiting the museum. It made the museum that much more interesting. I couldn't recommend this tour more - everything was perfect. Rachel was a wonderful guide and the van was very comfortable and you could see everything as we drove along. The many stops were wonderful and Rachel made sure we had plenty of photo opportunities. If I could give this tour 6 stars, I would. Make this a must when you visit Dallas.

Huntsville Walking Tour: Old Town

Saturday, October 12, 10 am. (tour lasts approximately 2 hours)

This Old Town Walking Tour, also organized by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, departs from 122 Walker Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35801

This is a guided walking tour through Huntsville’s Old Town Historic District.

Just as before, no need for reservations, just join in! And, I will say it again this tour too is absolutely FREE!

If you have questions, call the Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center at (256) 551-2370 (local) or toll-free at (800) SPACE-4-U.

Inspection tour of NASA installations: Huntsville Alabama, Redstone Army Airfield and George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, 9:35AM

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Self-Guided Tours

Dive in deeper and explore Huntsville on your own with these self-guided tours that will take you through Huntsville&aposs diverse history and culture.

Historic Driving Tour

This tour showcases more than 30 beautiful monumental buildings that were developed as early as 1831, creating a scenic course while educating visitors about Huntsville&aposs historic sites.

Downtown Walking Tour

This tour allows you to discover modern downtown Huntsville, its rich historical heritage, cultural development, and ongoing urban beautification. Downtown Huntsville grew as the seat of Walker County welcoming prominent leaders including General Sam Houston, Henderson Yoakum, and Anthony Martin Branch.

Oakwood Walking Tour

Explore the monuments inside the Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place for many people of historical prominence, including General Sam Houston. Pleasant Gray, the founder of Huntsville, deeded the land for this cemetery to the City of Huntsville in 1847.

The Art Tour

This tour guides visitors through the artistic beauty of Huntsville&aposs monuments, murals and statues. This unique display of Huntsville treasures captures history through various expressive works of art.

Prison Driving Tour

This tour reveals a curious aspect of Huntsville that intrigues many visitors. Huntsville is the home of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Prison Driving Tour features the Texas Prison Museum, area prisons, and the prison cemetery.

Huntsville Historical Trail

Welcome to the Huntsville Historical Trail. As you travel through the trail, we hope that you have fun as you learn a little history of our town, including Sam Houston&rsquos connection to it. This trail is open to anyone but was designed with youth groups in mind such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and church groups. To earn a patch, especially designed for this trail, you must complete the questions listed in this booklet and do a small service project at either the Josey Scout Lodge, Sam Houston Museum Complex or Oakwood Cemetery. Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups are also required to spend one night at either the Josey Scout Lodge or Huntsville State Park. Families and other individuals are encouraged to stay in one of Huntsville hotels.

The sites can be visited in any order, but the following is suggested. All the sites, except for the Sam Houston Statue and visitor&rsquos center, are within walking distance. If you decide to walk, you can park at the Josey Lodge (a total of approximately 4 miles to walk the trail and return to the Lodge) or at the Sam Houston Museum Complex (a distance of about 3 miles to return).

Huntsville Civil Rights driving tour

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you have a phone, computer, or a car, it’s time for an interactive history lesson. We’re going back about 60 years, and giving you a look at the big role Huntsville played during the civil rights movement.

A group of people have come together and created the Rocket City Civil Rights Driving Tour. A lot has obviously changed in six decades, but the history last forever.

The first stop on the civil rights tour, is 201 Governors Drive in Huntsville. Before it was the Spine and Neuro Center, it was 5th Avenue School.

On September 9th 1963, Sonnie Hereford the 4th was the first black student in the state of Alabama to integrate.

“We actually had federal Marshalls here to protect us for the integration. So the integrations were staggered so the federal marshals could go from school to school to school, to make sure there wouldn’t be any violence. It’s almost like I can still see 5th Avenue School on that property rather than the Spine and Neuro Center,” said Hereford.

Before Sonny started elementary school, he attended a church at 701 Clinton Street.

In 1963, the Unitarians opened their doors for Sonnie and three other black students to have preschool.

“The Unitarians held I believe it was a week-long preschool for the black children and several white children, so they could do some kindergarten type activities. The goal was to get used to being around each other, because you have to remember black children and white children had never gone to school together, in the history of Alabama,” said Hereford.

The building at 701 Clinton Street is no longer a church, it’s a home and the current owners invited Sonny in for a tour.

The building rich with history, was news for Aaron Hase.

“I never realized the role this house played in the civil rights movement and Huntsville’s integration, which was much needed at the time. I didn’t have any idea that it had happened in this house,” said Hase.

Learning about Huntsville’s history is the goal of the Civil Rights Driving Tour and it’s why our tour guide Peggy Sammon jumped on board.

“The goal of the Rocket City Civil Rights history project is to bring to light some of the fascinating things that happened in Huntsville, during the civil rights era. Huntsville’s experience in the 1960′s was very different than Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery and we wanted to just delve into that, and learn more about it and see what we can learn from it,” said Peggy Sammon.

Hunstville History Specials! Order Online!

Color Me, Huntsville Coloing Books – 3 Books for $30 + tax and FREE Shipping

Color Me, Huntsville coloring books combine art, reading and history to give kids of all ages an educational activity that are standards aligned with social studies and reading curriculum requirements for elementary school children. Featuring the original artwork of artists Carole Foret, Christina Green and Christina Wegman, Color Me, Huntsville will fuel the creativity of your child’s imaginations.

EACH ORDER WILL INCLUDE a Finding Huntsville: A Kid-Friendly Field Guide to Huntsville’s Historic Architecture activity book + our Footsteps to Statehood: A Walking Tour of Huntsville’s Bicentennial Houses.

Through the Garden Gate – $30 + tax and FREE Shipping

Spring is the perfect time of year to be inspired by Through the Garden Gate!

Through the Garden Gate: The Garden of Historic Huntsville is a full-color, beautifully photographed coffee-table book that offers a tour of twenty-seven private gardens in Huntsville’s most exclusive historic districts.

JFK Tours Huntsville - History

The Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society was formed more than 60 years ago by thoughtful citizens who were concerned about preserving the unique heritage of this area. The richness and diversity of 200 years of local history indeed should be shared and celebrated.

Madison County, established in 1808, is older than the State. The small village of Huntsville, founded not far from the Tennessee River, has enjoyed a history that is worth being saved and shared for future generations.

Recent publications include a biannual Huntsville Historical Review and books on local history that include Incidents of the War: The Civil War Journal of Mary Jane Chadick Historical Markers of Madison County and recently A History of Early Settlement of Madison County, 1808-1819.

The members of the Historical Society are dedicated to preserving the past to enrich the future through local education and preservation. Recently the Society has partnered with UAHuntsville, adding an element of youthful enthusiasm to our history.

The Society meets quarterly at the Huntsville Public Library and visitors are always welcome to attend.

Learn why others have decided to become members of HMCHS here.

Find out more about our most recent restoration project and how you can help here.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, contact Shalis Worthy.
Read our most recent newsletter here!
Members, please check frequently for Madison County / Huntsville history inquiries on our Facebook Page!

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Watch the video: September 11, 1962 - President John F. Kennedy visits Huntsville, Alabama (January 2022).