JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos

May 26, 2017 - November 28, 2019

JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos is the exhibition commemorating President Kennedy’s centenary. Featuring a compelling selection of items drawn mostly from the Kennedy Library’s collections, the exhibition will chronicle historic milestones in the President’s career and administration, as well as the events of his personal and family life. Highlights of the exhibition include family items from his childhood and adolescence; a flag from PT 109 (the boat commanded by JFK during World War II); items relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and notes jotted down by the President in preparation of his landmark address to the nation on civil rights.

Several items have never before been displayed, including some of JFK’s personal belongings, such as his sunglasses, several of his neckties, and gifts from his young children. The stories revealed in these materials complement the stories presented in the permanent galleries of the museum. Cumulatively, this special exhibition reflects the arc of President Kennedy’s life—the challenges, burdens, and opportunities of his life and times—as well as the sweep of history over the last century. The exhibition is slated to run through November 2019.

JFK poses with members of the “Muckers Club” at Choate, c. 1934. Left to right: Ralph Horton, Lem Billings, Butch Schriber, and John F. Kennedy

United States flag from PT 109 motor torpedo boat, which flew on the vessel during Lieutenant John F. Kennedy's command in April-August of 1943. This flag was removed from PT 109 by Charles Harris, a crew member, in Tulagi Harbor when the boat was being overhauled in July, 1943. Cotton, 15 3/4 x 25 inches. MO68-46

President Kennedy's sunglasses, cuff links, tie, tie clasp.

View highlights of JFK100: Milestones and Mementos on Google Arts & Culture.

Items featured in the exhibition include:

  • Scrapbook compiled by JFK as a high school student while attending Choate, 1934-35;
  • Suitcase used by JFK while on the road campaigning in 1960;
  • President Kennedy’s Cabinet Room chair;
  • Selection of JFK’s neckties;
  • President Kennedy’s handwritten notes in preparation for his 1963 address to the nation on civil rights;
  • President Kennedy’s undelivered remarks prepared for the Dallas Trade Mart, November 22, 1963.

JFK100: Milestones and Mementos is generously supported by the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation.

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