Robert Frost's Original Poem for JFK's Inauguration Finds Way to Kennedy Presidential Library

For Immediate Release: April 20, 2006
Further information: Brent R. Carney (617) 514-1662,

Boston, MA – Today the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum announced that it has acquired Robert Frost's handwritten version of the poem he wrote for the January 20, 1961 Inauguration for President John F. Kennedy.  This handwritten version was the one he wrote out for the President and gave to him.

Frost had planned to read a typed copy of the poem during President Kennedy’s Inauguration, but due to sun glare reflecting off the snow, he was unable to read his own draft.   Instead, he recited The Gift Outright from memory.   On the backside of the framed poem, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy wrote in pencil, “For Jack.  First thing I had framed to be put in your office.  First thing to be hung there.” 

The poem Dedication arrived in the mail unannounced on April 18, 2006.  The framed poem was given to the Kennedy Presidential Library through the will of a former Kennedy Administration staff member who passed away in 2005.  The poem will be sent out immediately for conservation.  After the poem’s restoration, it will be displayed in the Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through scholarship, educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

General Admission to the Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is $10.00. Admission for seniors over the age of 62 and college students with appropriate identification is $8.00, and for children ages 13-17, $7.00. Children ages 12 and under are admitted for free.

The Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the exceptions of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Library is located in the Dorchester section of Boston, off Morrissey Boulevard, next to the campus of the University of Massachusetts/Boston. Parking is free. There is free shuttle-service from the JFK/UMass T Stop on the Red Line. The Museum is fully handicapped accessible. For more information, call (866) JFK-1960.