The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Inauguration with a variety of special programs for visitors. In addition, all visitors on January 20th will receive a commemorative copy of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.
Re-live the Moment: The 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Inaugural Address
The Kennedy Library invites the public to watch historic footage from Inauguration Day 1961. Selections from the television coverage of the Day include his swearing in, the inaugural address, poetry by Robert Frost, music by Marian Anderson, and commentary by Edward R. Murrow. Museum Theater, 12:30pm-2:00pm.
Click here to reserve your seat in the Museum Theater.
“You be the President” Interactive Museum Activity
Beginning on January 15, 2011 and continuing through Sunday, February 27, 2011, museum visitors of all ages will have the chance to step up to a podium set before a background featuring the January 20, 1961 inaugural scene of the east front of the U.S. Capitol and deliver some of the most stirring passages of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. Notably, President Kennedy presented his speech without a teleprompter, but visitors will be guided by computerized visual prompts as they recite portions of the address to family and friends. Museum Theater Lobby
View Treasures from the Inaugural Events
Special Exhibits at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The special display of two iconic treasures from the Kennedy Library will mark the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s inauguration: the Fitzgerald Family Bible upon which John F. Kennedy took the oath of office as President of the United States, and a draft of the Inaugural Address handwritten by then President-elect Kennedy just three days before the inaugural ceremony.
The timely display of these artifacts enhances the Museum’s two special exhibits celebrating the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s Inauguration: Passing the Torch – the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy, featuring treasures from the Inaugural events, and Poetry and Power: The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy, which chronicles how President Kennedy’s meticulously crafted speech was composed and the steps in the drafting process. Click on the exhibit names to learn more about each exhibit.
Special Exhibit Tours and Programs
On January 20, 2011, the programs below will all be free of charge with Museum admission.
• Curator Talks: Kennedy Library Museum Curator Stacey Bredhoff will hold special Curator Talks focused on archival material relating to President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
• Family-Friendly Highlights Tour: the popular docent-led tour of the Museum’s exhibits will begin at 11:30 a.m.
• “Stranded at Sea: The PT-109 Story”: this 25-minute hands-on experience for visitors of all ages gives participants the opportunity to read Kennedy’s letters home describing Navy life, follow the path of the collision and rescue, and examine a battle lantern like the one JFK used to signal passing ships for help. The program will be held at 1:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. on January 20, 2011.
Tell Us Your Story
Visitors to the Kennedy Library often have personal stories to share about their recollections of JFK or how they have been inspired by his life and work. From Thursday, January 20th through Sunday, January 23rd, visitors will be invited to share memories of President Kennedy and his legacy in special “memory” books that will then become a permanent part of the Library’s archives. Museum Pavilion
Join Us for a Special Inaugural-Inspired Lunch
Enjoy lunch in the Museum café with beautiful views of Boston's Inner Harbor. On January 20th, a special buffet with a Massachusetts-Texas theme, inspired by the 1961 Inaugural Luncheon hosted by President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson, will be served from 11:30 until 2:00 p.m.
Shop the Museum Store
The Museum Store has a beautiful assortment of merchandise developed for the 50th Anniversary, from book marks and desk accessories to mugs and collectors’ items. The newly released publication, John F. Kennedy: The Inaugural Address (Words That Changed America) with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy is also for sale.
Watch the Kennedy Library Forum Webcast
A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Presidency
Watch a live webcast of this special forum with Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation and BOOM!: Voices of the Sixties. Mr. Brokaw reflects on how JFK’s Presidency shaped and influenced the culture of the 1960s with broadcast journalist Jane Pauley.
Note: reservations for this event are no longer available. Log-on to the webcast here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/webcast