JFK Library Plans Tributes Marking 50th Anniversary of November 22, 1963

For Immediate Release: November 18, 2013 
Further information: Rachel Flor (617) 514-1662, rachel.flor@jfklfoundation.org

BOSTON, MA – The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, the official memorial to President John F. Kennedy, will observe the 50th anniversary of November 22, 1963 with a number of events that celebrate the legacy of the nation’s 35th President. Observances will include a ceremony webcasted by satellite from the Kennedy Library’s IM Pei-designed glass pavilion; the presentation of a selection of artifacts from the President’s State Funeral that have never before been displayed; an interactive documentary and website celebrating the vibrant presence of JFK in the world today; and an award ceremony on November 25 during which Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson, will celebrate two young Americans who answered President Kennedy’s call for pioneers of the New Frontier. 

“The Kennedy Library seeks to honor the memory of John F. Kennedy every day by serving as a dynamic center for discourse, storytelling, and debate that inspires younger generations to engage fully as citizens of this world,” said Tom Putnam, Director of the Kennedy Library. “Fifty years after his death, we pause to look back at symbolic artifacts from this defining moment in our nation’s history and, looking forward, we hope to draw inspiration from the arts that he championed and from JFK’s timeless words. By offering our observance and programming to a worldwide audience online, we pay tribute to our fallen president and to the millions who came together to mourn him.” 

“Three years ago, we launched our campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Presidency,” said Tom McNaught, Executive Director of the Kennedy Library Foundation. “Using new technology and media to reach every corner of the globe, we have sought to inspire today’s youth as President Kennedy did half a century ago. We are grateful for the support of so many, whose generosity has been critical to helping us pass the torch to a new generation and to instill in them the ideals of public service and responsible citizenship.” 

A Nation Remembers: A Tribute to President John F. Kennedy 
November 22, 2013 
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET

On November 22, 2013, the Kennedy Library will invite the public to join a special live webcast of a musical tribute in honor of the memory of President Kennedy. Award-winning singer-songwriter James Taylor; award-winning saxophonist Paul Winter and the Paul Winter Sextext, which was invited by Jacqueline Kennedy to be the first jazz ensemble ever to play at the White House; and the United States Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club will each perform musical selections including two from the President’s State Funeral. They will be joined by Massachusetts Governor Deval PatrickElaine Jones, director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and former Peace Corps volunteer to Turkey; US Naval Commander, Navy SEAL, and NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy, who just returned from six months on the International Space Station; Richard Blanco, poet for the 2013 U.S. presidential inauguration; and Sarah Groustra, an 8th grade student from the Edward Devotion School in Brookline, Massachusetts that John F. Kennedy attended as a child, who will all read excerpts from a selection of President Kennedy’s most historic speeches. 

There will be no physical audience during these performances – simply the backdrop of the sea that the President loved so dearly as the ceremony is broadcast live at www.jfklibrary.org and via satellite by media outlets that wish to cover the event. The ceremony will include a moment of silence at 2:00 p.m., the time that the President’s death was announced to the nation. 

Media details for the ceremony and satellite uplink are available by request. 

A Nation Remembers: A Special Display of Artifacts from the President’s Funeral 
Open November 22, 2013 – February 23, 2014 

Opening on November 22, 2013, the Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will present a selection of artifacts from the President’s State Funeral. Items on display – many for the first time – will 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; and historic film footage and photographs of the State Funeral and national mourning. 

A press preview of the display will be held on November 19, 2013. Details of the preview are available by request. 

An Idea Lives On Legacy Project 
Launches November 18, 2013 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Foundation today announced the launch of AnIdeaLivesOn.org, an online tribute to President John F. Kennedy that aims to create a multigenerational conversation about the many ways in which the legacy of our nation’s 35th president lives on today. 

Named for President Kennedy’s poignant observation that, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on,” the project invites the public to participate in the creation of an interactive documentary, putting a modern, human face on the enduring impact of John F. Kennedy. Entries answering the question: “How do the ideals of John F. Kennedy live on in your life today?” can be uploaded as video, audio, photographs or written messages at www.anidealiveson.org, or by using the hashtag #anidealiveson on Twitter. 

Stories that will be introduced on the site throughout the week leading up to November 22, 2013 include Congressman John Lewis, comedian Conan O’Brien, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, actor Martin Sheen, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, journalist Luke Russert, poet Richard Blanco, among others. 

The site is being created in collaboration with The Martin Agency and Tool of North America. 

John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award Ceremony 
November 25, 2013

Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), one of the first two female combat veterans to serve in the U.S. Congress and an emerging leader on veterans’ issues, and Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, a pioneering online charity that connects individual donors with public school teachers to meet classroom teaching needs, have been named this year’s recipients of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards. The awards will be presented by Jack Schlossberg, John F. Kennedy’s grandson and a member of the New Frontier Award Committee, at 6:00 p.m. on November 25, 2013 during a ceremony at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

The John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards were created by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and Harvard’s Institute of Politics to honor Americans under the age of 40 who are changing their communities and the country with their commitment to public service. The awards are presented annually to two exceptional individuals whose contributions in elective office, community service, or advocacy demonstrate the impact and the value of public service in the spirit of John F. Kennedy. 

In remarks delivered on November 21, 1963 at the Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center in San Antonio, Texas, President Kennedy said: 

“For more than 3 years I have spoken about the New Frontier. This is not a partisan term, and it is not the exclusive property of Republicans or Democrats. It refers, instead, to this Nation's place in history, to the fact that we do stand on the edge of a great new era, filled with both crisis and opportunity, an era to be characterized by achievement and by challenge. It is an era which calls for action and for the best efforts of all those who would test the unknown and the uncertain in every phase of human endeavor. It is a time for pathfinders and pioneers.” 

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 John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded in 1984 to provide financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. 

For more information, visit www.jfklibrary.org.