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front of the museum
John F. Kennedy Library and Museum
Closest available address
Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125
Open all week 9-5, closed major holidays
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum commemorates and interprets the life and administration of the 35th President of the United States. The museum focuses on Kennedy’s time in office with more information on the 1960 presidential election, The Cuban Missile Crisis and space exploration. There also are displays about Jacqueline Kennedy and the Kennedy family.
Kennedy was complex, brilliant, courageous and charismatic. Extremely privileged, immensely gifted, and hugely ambitious, Kennedy was recognized at an early age for his innate leadership abilities. Driven by his dreams, bedeviled by his passions and backed by his father's influence, he became the first television President and was the last to be killed in office. His influence on the office and popular culture was so profound and his assassination so tragic, that people seek to connect to his legacy by sharing their personal circumstances when they heard of his passing.
The library is in a bold and spacious building which opened in 1979 and was designed by the renowned I.M. Pei. It is next to Boston Harbor, relating to Kennedy’s love of the water. After a 20 minute film of Kennedy’s life up till the 1960 presidential election, the tour continues with displays downstairs that cover important aspects of his presidency and family life. This area resembles a White House corridor and there also is a partial Oval Office. In keeping with other presidential libraries, successes are accentuated while shortcomings are generally ignored. While the view is skewed, it’s still insightful and at times inspirational. Listening to Kennedy deliver famous speeches it’s hard not to feel excited, motivated and patriotic. Likewise, watching Kennedy’s casual and humorous exchanges with the Washington press corps will bring a smile to your face and sense of ease in your bearing. Three hours at this library are three hours well spent. A visit is recommended and especially so for those into history and government affairs.
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