We left Cape Cod (MA) where we’ve been for the past two weeks to drive to New Hampshire to spend the weekend with our daughter, Nancy, and her family. With our route taking us through Boston, we took a detour this morning to visit the JFK Library and Museum.
Built with private contributions from over 36 million donors, the Library’s archives include more than five million pages of personal, congressional and presidential papers of JFK. It also houses the papers of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy and more than 400 other individuals who were associated with the Kennedy Administration or mid-20th century American History. The Ernest Hemingway Collection, which holds approximated 90% of all of the Nobel Prize Winner’s manuscripts, is also housed in the Library’s archives.
The Museum experience begins with a video ”Young Jack” which highlights President Kennedy’s life before he entered politics; his childhood,
education (he was a friend and classmate of my dad’s at Harvard), military service (including his command of the ill-fated PT-109)
and brief stint as a special correspondent for Hearst Newspapers (his father was a close friend of William Randolph Hearst) an assignment which kept Kennedy's name in the public eye and "expose[d] him to journalism as a possible career." He worked as a correspondent that May, covering the Potsdam Conference and other events.
From there you take at sequential tour through JFK’s political career, beginning with six years in the house of Representatives (1947-1952) followed by two terms in the U.S. Senate (1953-196).
Jacqueline Bouvier and then-Representative John F. Kennedy were formally introduced by a mutual friend at a dinner party in May 1952. Kennedy was then busy running for the US Senate but after his election in November, he proposed marriage to her. Bouvier took some time to accept, as she had been assigned to cover the coronation of Queen Elizabeth for The Washington Times-Herald. After a month in Europe, she returned to the United States, accepted the proposal, and resigned from her position at the newspaper. Their engagement was announced on June 25, 1953. They were married on September 12, 1953, in Newport, Rhode Island.
The exhibits take you through the Primary Campaign and Democratic Convention;
The Campaign and Debate against Richard Nixon;
The Election results and Inauguration;
|Popular Vote||Electoral Vote|
|John Kennedy||Lyndon Johnson||Democratic||34,220,984||49.72%||303||56.4%|
|Richard Nixon||Henry Lodge||Republican||34,108,157||49.55%||219||40.8%|
Oath of Office
Actual (final) copy of JFK’s Inauguration Speech
The White House – An American Camelot;
Which included lavish of gifts from scores of world leaders
A section dedicated to Jackie’s early years
JFK’s Civil Rights efforts;
In September 1962, Ja James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi but was prevented from entering. Attorney General Robert Kennedy responded by sending 400 federal marshals, while President Kennedy reluctantly sent 3,000 troops after the situation on campus turned violent.
The Space Program;
The Peace Corps;
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
The Cuban Missile Crisis;
The Berlin Wall and;
JFK’s visit to Germany and the Berlin Wall;
Somewhat surprisingly, a very low key part of the museum's exhibits.
Outside Jack Kennedy’s favorite sailboat is “docked” each summer.
The “Victura” – This 26’ Wianno-class sloop was sailed on the Cape Cod waters by Jack Kennedy’s parents, Joseph and Rose as well as his children, and his siblings and their children. During winters, it is stored in Osterville, Massachusetts where it was built in 1932.
As was the case with the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Presidential Museums, some of the more controversial aspects of their administrations and personal lives while in office were not addressed.
There is also a special exhibit on Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961),
born in Oak Park, Illinois, started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of seventeen. After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. Serving at the front, he was wounded,
was decorated by the Italian Government, and spent considerable time in hospitals. After his return to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers and was soon sent back to Europe to cover such events as the Greek Revolution.
During the twenties, Hemingway became a member of the group of expatriate Americans in Paris, which he described in his first important work, The Sun Also Rises (1926).
Equally successful was A Farewell to Arms (1929),
the study of an American ambulance officer's disillusionment in the war and his role as a deserter. Hemingway used his experiences as a reporter during the civil war in Spain as the background for his most ambitious novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940).
Among his later works, the most outstanding is the short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), the story of an old fisherman's journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat.
Photographs of three of Hemingway's four wives are also featured.
Ernest and first wife, Pauline Piffier (1927)
Hemingway and his fourth wife, Mary (1947)
He was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1954.