The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a fascinating look into the life and times of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Part museum, part library and research facility, this striking complex on the Charles River in Boston is filled with dramatic exhibits detailing his campaigns and his presidency and the events during those years. The complex houses important documents relating to the administration and acts as a resource for study on the JFK presidency. The museum also hosts many forums and talks on U.S. and presidential history as well as temporary exhibits related to these topics.
Permanent exhibits include a great collection of original campaign materials, a fascinating look into how the new medium of television played a role in the 1960 presidential campaign, and displays featuring many of the gifts that JFK received from heads of state on his many foreign visits. Another popular exhibit is the one dedicated to the oval office. Many of the president’s personal artefacts are on display, giving a sense of the man and the things that he surrounded himself with in this important room. A great deal of photographic history is on display as well as video footage featuring President Kennedy and some of his important speeches and press conferences.
The museum also pays tribute to Mrs. Kennedy who played a major role in the restoration of the White House and is still credited with her preservation efforts. The first lady was an international super-star and dazzled the world with her modern style and elegant fashions. Several outfits and items of jewellery that she wore are on display. An important new exhibit at the museum looks at Mrs. Kennedy’s oral history that she recorded soon after the assassination of JFK in 1963. This audio history, sealed for almost fifty years offers intimate details of her husband, his presidency and life in the White House as well as her often frank observations of political and world leaders.
The museum is located on Columbia Point on the banks of the Charles River. Public transport is available on MBTA Red Line to the JFK/UMass Station. From here, take the free shuttle bus #2 which runs every 20 minutes starting at 10 minutes past the hour during museum operating hours.