Iconic Artifacts from Funeral of President Kennedy to be Displayed at JFK Library

For Immediate Release: November 19, 2013
Further information: Rachel Flor (617) 514-1662

Iconic Artifacts from Funeral of President Kennedy to be Displayed at JFK Library

Boston, MA – The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum today announced that on November 22, 2013 it will unveil a special new display, A Nation Remembers, presenting a selection of artifacts from the state funeral of President Kennedy. Several of the objects featured have never before been displayed publicly.

“The artifacts presented are iconic; they have a quiet power on their own,” said Stacey Bredhoff, curator of the Museum at the Kennedy Library. “On the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, they help to evoke those sad days of shock and grief. They recall the majesty and stark beauty of the funeral ceremonies, and reflect a proud tradition of honoring those who serve. Ultimately, the display is a tribute, not only to the memory of President Kennedy, but also to the nation that mourned him.”

The exhibit opens by setting the scene following the events of November 22, 1963:

Across the country, everything stopped. It seemed impossible that the young President who had ushered in a new era of American leadership with such dash and vision, was suddenly gone. The nation entered a state of suspended animation over the next three days as it paid its final respects.

President Kennedy’s funeral and procession to Arlington National Cemetery were filled with the solemn pomp and pageantry befitting an epic tragedy. Dignitaries from 92 countries attended, some in full military regalia. A million people lined the streets, while nearly the entire adult population of the United States followed the event on television in a shared experience that is seared into the nation’s memory. If the vile act of the assassination shook the nation, the beauty and decorum of the state funeral steadied it.

Highlights of the display include:

  • The American flag that draped the President’s coffin and was presented to Jacqueline Kennedy;
  • The saddle, sword, and boots from Black Jack, the riderless horse that followed the President’s horse-drawn coffin in the funeral cortege;
  • The Green Beret left by a serviceman on the President’s gravesite;
  • Notes handwritten by Jacqueline Kennedy as she planned the funeral;
  • Historic film footage and photographs of the State Funeral and national mourning.


A Nation Remembers runs from November 22, 2013, through February 23, 2014.

One of Boston’s most popular destinations for visitors from all nations, the architectural masterpiece designed by I.M. Pei sits on a 10-acre waterfront site on Columbia Point offering panoramic views of Boston’s skyline and Harbor Islands.

General admission to the Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is $12.00. Admission for seniors over the age of 62 and college students with appropriate identification is $10.00, and for children ages 13-17, $9.00. 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 or access www.jfklibrary.org on the Internet.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and supported, in part, by the Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization.