September 23, 2016 – John F. Kennedy Library and Museum (Non-RV Post)

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,

kennedy-family-1931Kennedy Family (1931)

education (he was a friend and classmate of my dad’s at Harvard), military service (including his command of the ill-fated PT-109)


kennedy-pt-109and 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;



jfk-library-01-convention-a-boston-ma-2016-09-23Los Angeles Convention



The Campaign and Debate against Richard Nixon;



jfk-library-03-debate-a-boston-ma-2016-09-23Actual broadcast equipment from the debate

The Election results and Inauguration;

  Vice Presidential
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%
Unpledged Electors Democratic 286,359 0.42% 15 2.8%
Y Other (+) 216,983 0.32% 0 0.0%

Oath of Office



Actual (final) copy of JFK’s Inauguration Speech


jfk-library-04-inauguration-c-boston-ma-2016-09-23-copyJFK’s White House;



jfk-library-us-ussr-hotline-equipment-boston-ma-2016-09-23Washington-Moscow Hotline Equipment (circa 1963) – Although it was not used until 1967 during the Six Day War in the Middle East, it had to be tested every day

jfk-library-jfk-dictating-in-the-oval-office-a-boston-ma-2016-09-23President Kennedy dictating




jfk-library-photograph-of-jack-bobby-and-ted-kennedy-boston-ma-2016-09-23Jack, Robert and Ted Kennedy (1962)

jfk-library-painting-by-jackie-kennedy-for-jfk-1961-boston-ma-2016-09-23Painted by Jackie Kennedy for Jack (1961)

The White House  – An American Camelot;






Which included lavish of gifts from scores of world leaders

jfk-library-gift-pieta-from-the-pope-boston-ma-2016-09-23Replica of the Pieta from the Pope

jfk-library-gift-jewelry-from-the-president-of-pakistan-boston-ma-2016-09-23Jeweled necklace, earrings and ring from the President of Pakistan

jfk-library-gift-jeweled-pocketbook-boston-ma-2016-09-23Gold purse with openwork floral design bordered along front edges with inset alternating rubies and emeralds given to the First Lady by King Hassan of Morocco

A section dedicated to Jackie’s early years

jfk-library-jackie-kennedys-camera-cira-1953-boston-ma-2016-09-23Jackie’s camera (circa 1953)

JFK’s Civil Rights efforts;

kennedy-civil-riightsKennedy meets with leaders of the March on Washington in the Oval Office, August 28, 1963

kennedy-james-meredithIn 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;

kennedy-send-a-man-to-teh-moon“… I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

jfk-library-freedom-7-a-boston-ma-2016-09-23Mercury Astronaut, Alan Shepard’s Freedom-7 Capsule


The Peace Corps;

jfk-library-peace-corps-authorization-boston-ma-2016-09-23Peace Corps Authorization


jfk-library-peace-corp-sargeant-shriver-in-afghanistan-boston-ma-2016-09-23Sargeant Schriver, JFK’s brother-in-law, and the first head of the Peace Corps, in Afghanistan

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;


The Cuban Missile Crisis;


kennedy-cuba-3A U-2 reconnaissance photographs of Cuba, showing Soviet nuclear missiles, their transports and tents for fueling and maintenance.

kennedy-cuba-2JFK signing the Proclamation for Interdiction of the Delivery of Offensive Weapons to Cuba on October 23, 1962.

The Berlin Wall and;



jfk-library-presidential-briefing-book-on-berlin-wall-b-boston-ma-2016-09-23Construction beginning on the Berlin Wall

JFK’s visit to Germany and the Berlin Wall;



jfk-library-jfk-at-the-berlin-wall-b-boston-ma-2016-09-23JFK’s handwritten note card for part of his speech at the Berlin Wall; “Ich bin ein Berliner (I am a Berliner)

jfk-library-berlin-wall-a-boston-ma-2016-09-23A section of 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.

jfk-library-victura-a-boston-ma-2016-09-23The “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),

ernest-hemingwayborn 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,


jfk-library-hemingway-exhibit-wounded-in-wwi-boston-ma-2016-09-23was 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),

jfk-library-hemingway-exhibit-farewell-to-arms-boston-ma-2016-09-23the 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)

jfk-library-hemingway-exhibit-hemingway-3rd-wife-martha-gellhorn-boston-ma-2016-09-23Wife Number 3, Martha Gellhorn


Hemingway and his fourth wife, Mary (1947)

He was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1954.

This entry was posted in John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential LIbrary & Museum, Boston, MA. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *