Leadership for the 60's Campaign Button

Campaign Trail

After narrowly losing the vice presidential nomination in 1956, Senator John F. Kennedy sought the presidency in 1960. After hard-fought primary victories, JFK won his party’s nomination and faced-off against sitting Vice President Richard Nixon in a campaign that featured the first live-broadcast television debates between presidential candidates. After his election as the 35th president of the United States, JFK set out to redeem his campaign pledge to “get America moving again.”

more...
Radio and Television

The Briefing Room

John F. Kennedy was the first president to effectively use the new medium of television to speak directly to the American people through live televised press conferences. Video samples of his responses to reporters' questions and exhibits of objects and documents illustrate the wide range of issues he confronted as President.  Also included is his speech to the people of West Berlin denouncing the construction of the Berlin Wall.

 

more...
Launch of the Mercury MR-3 Space Capsule Freedom 7

The Space Race

In 1961 responding to the Soviet Union’s lead in the exploration of space, President Kennedy challenged the United States to keep up in the "Space Race" and not fall behind the Soviets.  He said: “We have a long way to go in the space race. We started late. But this is the new ocean, and I believe the United States must sail on it and be in a position second to none”.  Kennedy set the goal of landing an American on the Moon before the end of the decade and initiated the programs to make it possible.

more...
Robert F. Kennedy's US Treasury Badge

Attorney General's Office

President Kennedy appointed his 35-year old brother Robert Francis Kennedy as the attorney general of the United States. The close working relationship of John and Robert Kennedy was one of the most unusual and successful in the history of American public life. When Robert Kennedy became attorney general, the civil rights struggle was entering a new phase of activism which precipitated the Justice Department involvement in protecting and upholding the rights of many African Americans.

more...
Carolina Rocking Chair

The Oval Office

The Oval Office has been the President’s office since 1909.  The preference for an oval room dates back to George Washington, who greeted his guests standing in a circle around him, equally distant from the President.  The circle became a symbol of democracy.  President Kennedy personalized his Oval Office with his collections of ship models and scrimshaw, reflective of his lifelong affection for the sea and sailing.  In this setting visitors view a video covering the struggle against racial segregation in 1963.

more...
Watercolor Painting of the White House Treaty Room

First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

After becoming first lady at the age of thirty-one, Jacqueline Kennedy embarked on extensive historic restoration of the White House interiors, in which she sought to make the White House a museum of the presidency. Mrs. Kennedy also used the prestige of her position to champion American arts and culture, often inviting prominent actors, artists, writers, poets, and musicians to participate and perform at White House events. Her simple-yet-elegant sophistication and interest in other cultures made her well-known and beloved around the world.

more...
KFC 460P

The Kennedy Family

John F. Kennedy was the offspring of two families, the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, whose roots stretched back to Ireland. They immigrated to Boston in the 1840's seeking greater economic opportunity, religious and political liberty in America. The Irish in particular readily adapted to the American political system. By the end of the nineteenth century the President’s two grandfathers had become successful Boston politicians, establishing the Kennedy tradition of political involvement.

more...