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Kennedy Library Forums are a series of public affairs programs offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to foster public discussion on a diverse range of historical, political and cultural topics reflecting the legacy of President and Mrs. Kennedy's White House years. They are conducted as conversations rather than lectures.


To view videos or read transcripts from past forums, select a year or All Forums from the pull down menu above.


Please check this page for latest updates, or click here to sign up for JFK eNews and begin receiving periodic email alerts about upcoming forums and special exhibits.

Ken Burns

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

September 5, 2014 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Join filmmaker Ken Burns, who will show excerpts from his upcoming PBS documentary on the Roosevelt family, followed by a discussion with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Kirsten Gillibrand by Rainer Hosch
Elizabeth Warren by Kelly Campbell

A Conversation with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

September 14, 2014 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand discusses her memoir, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World, with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Robert Redford

A Conversation with Robert Redford

September 15, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Robert Redford discusses his career and lifelong commitments to the environment, civil rights and the arts with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

Elephant Company

WBUR Special Event: Elephant Company

September 16, 2014 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Vicki Croke, host of WBUR's blog The Wild Life, will discuss her New York Times bestseller, Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II, with Robin Young, host of Here & Now.

This event is free, but registration with WBUR is required. Please click here to reserve your spot.

Paul Bridges

Reforming Immigration

October 7, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

While Congress and the President continue to debate efforts to overhaul our nation’s immigration policy, Paul Bridges, winner of the 2014 Profile in Courage Award, New York Times best-selling author Luanne Rice, and others offer insights on these deliberations.

This forum is co-sponsored with The Boston Globe.

Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande on Why Doctors Fail

October 16, 2014 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Physician Atul Gawande delivers the first of the annual BBC Reith Lectures entitled, “Why Do Doctors Fail?” Following his remarks, BBC host Sue Lawley moderates a discussion.

Forum attendees are invited to a free pre-forum reception in the Pavilion beginning at 6:30 PM.

On His Own Terms
Richard Norton Smith

The Life of Nelson Rockefeller

October 27, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Richard Norton Smith discusses his new biography, On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller, with Bill Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts; Larry Rockefeller, nephew of Nelson; and Sam Tanenhaus, New York Times writer and author of Death of Conservatism.

When Lions Roar

The Churchills and the Kennedys

Margaret Marshall

Created Equal: Striving Toward Justice for All

November 9, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Congressman Barney Frank and former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Margaret H. Marshall discuss legislative and judicial efforts to create a more equitable society with Rutgers Law Professor David Dante Troutt, editor and publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel, and journalist Todd Purdum.

This forum is co-sponsored by Mass Humanities.

Peniel Joseph

Civil Rights and the Black Power Movement

November 18, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Tufts Professor Peniel Joseph, author of Stokely: A Life; Harvard Professor John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln; and civil rights activist Elaine Jones discuss the civil rights challenges facing the nation in 1964 and beyond, which led to the rise of the Black Power movement.

Jimmy Carter

A Conversation with President Jimmy Carter

November 20, 2014 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Jimmy Carter discusses his new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, with Ronan Farrow, who served as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and currently is host of MSNBC's Ronan Farrow Daily.

Timothy Shriver

A Conversation with Timothy Shriver

December 9, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D., Chairman of Special Olympics, discusses his new book, Fully Alive, about people living with intellectual disabilities and the legacy of his parents, Eunice and Sargent Shriver, and their lifelong advocacy in this area.

Pope Francis

Politics and the Pope

December 11, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Boston Globe writers James Carroll and Neil Swidey, author Mary Gordon, and Sister Simone Campbell, organizer of “Nuns on the Bus,” discuss Pope Francis and what the shifts initiated by his papacy might mean for both domestic and world politics.