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President Kennedy Visits Europe - History

President Kennedy Visits Europe - History


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Kennedy in Berlin

President Kennedy made a truimphant visit to Europe. He visited West Germany and West Berlin, where he was met by a degree of enthusiasm usually reserved for a movie star. While in West Berlin stated" Ict Ben Berliner" I am a Berliner. He also visited his ancestral home, Ireland. While in Rome, John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was greeted by the Pope as President Kennedy, Head of State. The trip took place between June 23- July 2, 1963.


June 23, 1963 Arrival in Bonn

June 25, 1963 Frankfurt meeting US Troops

June 26th, 1963 West Berlin

June 27 Ireland Dublin

June 28th Cork

June 29, 1963 Galaway, Shannon

June 30th England-

July 1, Rome

July 2 Vatican City

Visiting Ireland

Meeting the Pope


The Real Meaning of Ich Bin ein Berliner

In West Berlin in 1963, President Kennedy delivered his most eloquent speech on the world stage. The director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum tells the evocative story behind JFK&rsquos words.

Other than ask not, they were the most-famous words he ever spoke. They drew the world’s attention to what he considered the hottest spot in the Cold War. Added at the last moment and scribbled in his own hand, they were not, like the oratory in most of his other addresses, chosen by talented speechwriters. And for a man notoriously tongue-tied when it came to foreign languages, the four words weren't even in English.

These words, delivered on June 26, 1963, against the geopolitical backdrop of the Berlin Wall, endure because of the pairing of the man and the moment. John F. Kennedy’s defiant defense of democracy and self-government stand out as a high point of his presidency.

To appreciate their impact, one must understand the history. After World WarII, the capital of Hitler’s Third Reich was divided, like Germany itself, between the communist East and the democratic West. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev described West Berlin, surrounded on all sides by East Germany, as “a bone in my throat” and vowed to “eradicate this splinter from the heart of Europe.” Kennedy feared that any future European conflict, with the potential for nuclear war, would be sparked by Berlin.

At their summit meeting in Vienna in the spring of 1961, Khrushchev warned Kennedy that he would sign a treaty with East Germany restricting Western access to West Berlin. In response, Kennedy announced a major military buildup. In a television address to the nation on July 25, 1961, he described the embattled city as “the great testing place of Western courage and will” and declared that any attack on West Berlin would be viewed as an attack on the United States.

The speech had its desired effect. Khrushchev backed down from signing the treaty, even as thousands of East Germans continued crossing into West Berlin in search of freedom. In the early morning of August 13, 1961, the East German government, with Soviet support, sought to put this problem to rest, by building a wall of barbed wire across the heart of Berlin.

Tensions had abated slightly by the time Kennedy arrived for a state visit almost two years later. But the wall, an aesthetic and moral monstrosity now made mainly of concrete, remained. Deeply moved by the crowds that had welcomed him in Bonn and Frankfurt, JFK was overwhelmed by the throngs of West Berliners, who put a human face on an issue he had previously seen only in strategic terms. When he viewed the wall itself, and the barrenness of East Berlin on the other side, his expression turned grim.

Kennedy’s speechwriters had worked hard preparing a text for his speech, to be delivered in front of city hall. They sought to express solidarity with West Berlin’s plight without offending the Soviets, but striking that balance proved impossible. JFK was disappointed in the draft he was given. The American commandant in Berlin called the text “terrible,” and the president agreed.

So he fashioned a new speech on his own. Previously, Kennedy had said that in Roman times, no claim was grander than “I am a citizen of Rome.” For his Berlin speech, he had considered using the German equivalent, “I am a Berliner.”

Moments before taking the stage, during a respite in West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt’s office, JFK jotted down a few words in Latin and—with a translator’s help—the German version, written phonetically: Ish bin ein Bearleener.

Afterward it would be suggested that Kennedy had got the translation wrong—that by using the article ein before the word Berliner, he had mistakenly called himself a jelly doughnut. In fact, Kennedy was correct. To state Ich bin Berliner would have suggested being born in Berlin, whereas adding the word ein implied being a Berliner in spirit. His audience understood that he meant to show his solidarity.

Emboldened by the moment and buoyed by the adoring crowd, he delivered one of the most inspiring speeches of his presidency. “Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was ‘Civis Romanus sum,’ ” he proclaimed. “Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’ ”

With a masterly cadence, he presented a series of devastating critiques of life under communism:

There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the communist world. Let them come to Berlin … There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin … And there are even a few who say that it’s true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lasst sie nach Berlin kommen— let them come to Berlin!

Kennedy cast a spotlight on West Berlin as an outpost of freedom and on the Berlin Wall as the communist world’s mark of evil. “Freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect,” he stated, “but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in.” He confidently predicted that, in time, the wall would fall, Germany would reunite, and democracy would spread throughout Eastern Europe.

The words rang true not only for the hundreds of thousands of people who were there but also for the millions around the world who saw the speech captured on film. Viewing the video today, one still sees a young statesman—in the prime of his life and his presidency—expressing an essential truth that runs throughout human history: the desire for liberty and self-government.

At the climax of his speech, the American leader identified himself with the inhabitants of the besieged city:

Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe.

His conclusion linked him eternally to his listeners and to their cause: “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner.”


Notes

  1. Harold Macmillan, Riding the Storm, 1956-1959 (London: Macmillan, 1971), Appendix III, pp. 756-9.Back to (1)
  2. James Ellison, Threatening Europe: Britain and the Creation of the European Community, 1955-58 (London: Macmillan, 2000), p.167.Back to (2)
  3. Ellison, ibid.Back to (3)
  4. See in this connection Frédéric Bozo, Two Strategies for Europe: De Gaulle, the United States and the Atlantic Alliance, transl. Susan Emanuel (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).Back to (4)

Nigel Ashton is pleased to accept Dr Ruane's review and does not wish to comment further.

Erin Mahan is pleased to accept Dr Ruane's review and does not wish to comment further.


Remarks of President John F. Kennedy at the Rudolph Wilde Platz, Berlin, June 26, 1963

Listen to speech. View related documents.

President John F. Kennedy
West Berlin
June 26, 1963

[This version is published in the Public Papers of the Presidents: John F. Kennedy, 1963. Both the text and the audio versions omit the words of the German translator. The audio file was edited by the White House Signal Agency (WHSA) shortly after the speech was recorded. The WHSA was charged with recording only the words of the President. The Kennedy Library has an audiotape of a network broadcast of the full speech, with the translator's words, and a journalist's commentary. Because of copyright restrictions, it is only available for listening at the Library.]

I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."

I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!

There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.

Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.

What is true of this city is true of Germany--real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.

Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."


President Kennedy Visits Europe - History

In June of 1963, President John F. Kennedy embarked on a visit to five Western European nations for the purpose of spreading good will and building unity among America's allies.

His first stop was Germany, a nation that some 20 years earlier had been engaged in a quest for world conquest under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Following Germany's defeat in World War II, the country had been divided in half, with East Germany under the control of Soviet Russia and West Germany becoming a democratic nation allied with the U.S.

East-West Germany became the focus of growing political tensions between the two postwar superpowers, the United States and Soviet Russia. Berlin, former capital of Hitler's Reich, became the political hot spot in this new "Cold War." Although Berlin was located in East Germany, the city had been divided into four occupation zones when World War II ended. As a result, East Berlin was now under Russian control while West Berlin was under American, British and French jurisdiction.

In 1948, the Russians had conducted a blockade of West Berlin's railroads, highways and waterways. For the next eleven months, the U.S. and Britain conducted a massive airlift, supplying nearly two million tons of food, coal and industrial supplies to the cut-off Germans.

In 1961, East German authorities began the construction of a 12-foot-high wall that eventually stretched for 100 miles, preventing anyone from crossing into West Berlin and thus to freedom. Nearly 200 persons would be killed trying to pass over or dig under the Berlin Wall.

President Kennedy arrived in West Berlin on June 26, 1963, following appearances in Bonn, Cologne and Frankfurt, where he had given speeches to huge, wildly cheering crowds. In Berlin, an immense crowd gathered in the Rudolph Wilde Platz near the Berlin Wall to listen to the President who delivered this memorable speech above all the noise, concluding with the now-famous ending.

Photos: Left - At the Berlin Wall, President Kennedy looks across at a guard from East Germany. Right - In Berlin, the President speaks to the enormous crowd of Germans.

I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."

I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!

There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.

Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.

What is true of this city is true of Germany--real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.

Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."

President John F. Kennedy - June 26, 1963

Terms of use: Private home/school non-commercial, non-Internet re-usage only is allowed of any text, graphics, photos, audio clips, other electronic files or materials from The History Place.


A Summit with the Soviets

In June 1961, President John F. Kennedy traveled to Vienna, Austria, for a summit with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Not only was the summit unsuccessful in its goal of building trust, but it also increased tensions between the two superpowers—particularly in discussions regarding the divided city of Berlin.

During the summit, Khrushchev threatened to cut off Allied access to West Berlin. Kennedy was startled by Khrushchev's combative style and tone and unsettled by the threat. In an address to the American people on July 25, President Kennedy announced that the United States might need to defend its rights in Berlin militarily:

So long as the communists insist that they are preparing to end by themselves unilaterally our rights in West Berlin and our commitments to its people, we must be prepared to defend those rights and those commitments. We will at times be ready to talk, if talk will help. But we must also be ready to resist with force, if force is used upon us. Either alone would fail. Together, they can serve the cause of freedom and peace.

President Kennedy ordered substantial increases in American intercontinental ballistic missile forces, added five new army divisions, and increased the nation's air power and military reserves.


A History That Never Happened: The Yugoslav Space Program

Harm Rudolph Kern reviews director Žiga Virc’s Houston, We Have a Problem, a work of docufiction that blends real archival footage with fantasy, reality with myth, and new revelations about history with the ubiquitous and beloved Balkan conspiracy theory.

The fantastic story that Yugoslavia developed a secret space program during the Cold War was launched in 2012 with a sensational trailer on YouTube. Footage of President Tito, rockets, and an underground base are accompanied by a heavy voiceover that tells us that Yugoslavia was the forgotten third player in the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The filmmakers promise to reveal how Tito sold the complete Yugoslav space program to the Americans in 1961, thereby allowing President Kennedy to announce that very same year that the US would land the first man on the moon.

The first trailer for Houston, We Have a Problem was seen by almost a million viewers in less than a week. The media in former Yugoslavia in particular paid serious attention to the story. Filmmaker Žiga Virc got the chance to further amaze the audience with his bizarre story in several interviews. Virc claimed the genre of the movie to be docufiction. He explained that the story is based on a hypothesis that will be confirmed in the movie through facts and unseen archival materials. The subtle combination of irony and sensation confused many and led to great curiosity among both skeptical and convinced viewers.

The premiere of the movie was initially announced for spring 2013, but it took until May this year before Houston, We Have a Problem finally hit the theatres. In years gone by, everything seemed to indicate this viral YouTube sensation was a hoax. The filmmakers, however, emphasize that the three-year delay was necessary for extensive research in the Yugoslav archives.

Between facts and fiction

The use of archival materials in Houston, We Have a Problem is indeed amazing. We see never-before-seen footage of Tito in his speedo and interviews in which the Yugoslav president makes tongue-in-cheek comments and grimaces. The first-ever Yugoslav rocket seems to have launched a pig into the stratosphere. The poor pig survives the emergency landing in the Adriatic but is then roasted on a spit in the next images of a joyful visit by American astronauts to Yugoslavia. These are authentic images. Members of the Apollo 15 mission actually visited the Slovenian lake of Bled in 1972, and NASA astronaut David Scott gave a spot-on interview about Yugoslav hospitality and gastronomic delights.

Filmmaker Žiga Virc demonstrates sublime mastery of his sources. Original footage and audio clips are creatively edited into a context that leaves no doubt that the cunning Tito sold a non-functional Yugoslav space program to the naïve Americans. With $2.5 billion and their own pigs, the Yugoslavs thereafter start their Yugoslav dream. This fantastic history is visualized with a dazzling display of Yugoslav wealth in the 1960s. Pounding factories, Adriatic vacations, Western pop culture, and Cuban cigars convince us that Yugoslavia indeed could only be a miraculous NASA creation.

The history of Yugoslavia in the 1960s perfectly suits this creative narrative. Yugoslavia had a unique non-aligned position between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The balancing act between East and West even had certain implications for Yugoslavia’s attitude in the Space Race. Achievements in space were omnipresent in the Yugoslav media, and the 1969 moon landing inspired a cosmic sevdah tribute to the Apollo 11 crew. The most important consequences of Yugoslavia’s non-aligned position were, however, of an economic and political nature. Yugoslavia did indeed receive economic support from the United States. This, however, had nothing to do with the purchase of rockets. The independence and stability of Yugoslavia were of strategic importance to the US. Politically, the Yugoslavs developed a unique kind of Coca-Cola Socialism with genuine devotion to Marxism and equally sincere pride in a near-Western living standard.

These and other facts in Houston, We Have a Problem form the basis of a classic conspiracy theory. The conspiracy is so classic that the movie even explains how Kennedy was assassinated by the Yugoslav secret service. After the sale of the non-functioning Yugoslav space program, relations between Tito and Kennedy deteriorate. Tito visits Washington to smoothen things out but is almost assassinated. In a follow-up phone call, Tito invites the US president to visit Yugoslavia. This invitation was in vain since the attempt on Kennedy’s life only one month later did succeed. When historian Roger McMillan, the main narrator in Houston, We Have a Problem, is asked about the connection between these events, he answers with a grin, an uncomfortable silence, and a suggestive “no comment”.

Tito’s visit to Kennedy, the failed assassination attempt, and the follow-up phone call did indeed take place in 1963. When placed in the right context, however, these events demonstrate that the bilateral relations at that time were much better than presented in the movie. Houston, We Have a Problem nevertheless intelligently continues its conspiracy theory. The filmmakers make sure that the audience is inclined to ignore the lack of real evidence by emphasizing the secrecy of the whole episode.

The secret transfer of the complete space program, for example, takes place during Tito’s state visit to Morocco. While the audience only sees how the Moroccan king receives Tito, the voice-over tells how the whole state visit was of course a clever distraction from the unloading of the Yugoslav technology in the American army base in Casablanca. Also, impressive footage of an underground Yugoslav airbase merges so swiftly into images of American and Russian rockets that the audience has no time to wonder what exactly Yugoslav jetfighters have to do with space traveling.

The conspiracy theory finally even escalates into an ironic echo of already known – and debunked theories that hold the United States responsible for the violent collapse of Yugoslavia. The Americans supposedly were so angry about the failing Yugoslav space technology that they wanted their money back. The billions that the United States had paid for the Yugoslav space program were turned into a burdensome loan. President Nixon even declares by telephone: “We’ll bomb those Yugoslav bastards right out off the earth. I really mean it.” This quote relies on outright falsification since the word “Yugoslav” is carefully added to a conversation about Vietnam. The idea of an American conspiracy against Yugoslavia furthermore holds no ground given that the presented piece of evidence actually emphasizes that the United States supports an independent and stable Yugoslavia.

Never happened but still true

Altogether, Houston, We Have a Problem stands out for its creative and humorous narrative of true facts in an untrue context. Tito’s delightful grimaces repeatedly provoke laughter among the audience, and it appears that the filmmakers are not that serious after all. But, appearances can be deceiving. Houston, We Have a Problem definitely has a serious message.

No one less than the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek formulates this message. With his socks in a leather chair, Žižek tells the audience that if one asks parents if they believe in Santa Claus, they of course say no. Parents pretend to believe for the sake of their children’s belief in Father Christmas. But if one asks the children if they believe in Santa, it turns out that they in fact also pretend in order to satisfy their parents and receive gifts. What follows is a situation in which nobody believes, but the belief is still preserved. This is the case between the Americans and the Yugoslavs. None of them believed in the Yugoslav space program. It would have been a true miracle if the Yugoslav technology actually worked. And so is the case with the movie itself. Neither the filmmakers nor the audience believe that the Yugoslav space program really existed. Still, this belief is preserved in order for the movie to be entertaining. Žižek closes with the remark that the point isn’t only that the viewers feel that they are manipulated in the movie. This movie demonstrates more than that about our social reality. The strong ending of Houston, We Have a Problem states: although it didn’t happen, it is still the truth.

Houston, We Have a Problem (2016) Director: Žiga Virc Writers: Boštjan Virc, Žiga Virc Production: Studio Virc, Nukleus Film, Sutor Kolonko


b: July 22, 1890, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
m: October 7, 1914, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
d: January 22, 1995, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts

Grandchildren

Children

Joseph Patrick Kennedy

b: July 25, 1915, Hull, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
d: August 12, 1944, in a bomber over the English Channel

stillborn Kennedy
b:
August 23, 1956, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island
d: August 23, 1956, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island

Caroline Bouvier Kennedy
b: November 27, 1957, New York City, New York County, New York
m: July 19, 1986, Centreville, Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Edwin Arthur Schlossberg
b: July 19, 1945

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.
b: November 25, 1960, Washington, District of Columbia

m: September 21, 1996, Cumberland Island, Georgia

d: July 16, 1999, Off the Coast of Massachusetts (plane crash)

Carolyn Bessette

b: January 7, 1966, White Plains, New York
d: July 16, 1999, Off the Coast of Massachusetts (plane crash)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

b: May 29, 1917, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
d: November 22, 1963, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
b: July 28, 1929, Southampton, Suffolk County, New York
m: September 12, 1953, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island
d: May 19, 1994, New York City, New York County, New York

Rosemary Kennedy

b: September 13, 1918, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Kathleen Agnes Kennedy

b: February 20, 1920, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
m: May 6, 1944, London, England
d: May 13, 1948, Ste-Bauzille, Ardeche, France

William John Robert Cavendish
b: December 10, 1917
d: September 10, 1944, Heppen, Belgium

Robert Sargent Shriver III
b: April 28, 1954

Maria Owings Shriver
b: November 6, 1955
m: April 26, 1986, Hyannis, Massachusetts
Arnold Schwarzenegger
b: July 30, 1947, Graz, Austria

Timothy Perry Shriver
b: August 29,1959
Linda S. Potter
b: January 13, 1956

Mark Kennedy Shriver
b
: February 17, 1964, Washington, District of Columbia
Jeannie Ripp
b: November 30, 1965

Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver
b: July 20, 1965, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Alina Mojica
b: January 5, 1965

Eunice Mary Kennedy

b: July 10, 1921, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
m: May 23, 1953, New York City, New York County, New York

Robert Sargent Shriver
b: November 9, 1915, Westminster, Carroll County, Maryland

d: January 18, 2011, Bethesda, Maryland

Sydney Maleia Lawford
b: August 25, 1956

James P. McKelvy

Victoria Francis Lawford
b: November 4, 1958
Robert B. Pender Jr.
b: 1953

Robin Elizabeth Lawford
b: July 2, 1961

Patricia Kennedy

b: May 6, 1924, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
m: April 24, 1954, New York City, New York County, New York

Peter Lawford
b: September 7, 1923, London, England
d: December 24, 1984, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Kathleen Hartington Kennedy
b: July 4, 1951
David Lee Townsend
b: November 17, 1947

Robert Francis Kennedy Jr.
b: January 17, 1954
Emily Ruth Black
b: October 15, 1957
m: 1982
Mary Richardson
b: 1960
m: 1994

David Anthony Kennedy
b: June 15, 1955
d: August 25, 1984, Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida

Mary Courtney Kennedy
b: September 9, 1956
Jeffrey Robert Ruhe
b: 1952
m: 1980
Paul Michael Hill
b: August 13, 1954
m: 1993

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy
b: February 27, 1958
d: December 31, 1997
Victoria Denise Gifford
b: February 20, 1957
m: 1981

Mary Kerry Kennedy
b: September 8, 1959
m: 1990
Andrew Mark Cuomo
b: December 6, 1967

Christopher George Kennedy
b: July 4, 1963
Sheila Sinclair Berner
b: December 4, 1962
m: 1987

Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy
b: January 11, 1965
Victoria Anne Strauss
b: February 10, 1964
m: 1991

Douglas Harriman Kennedy
b: March 24, 1967
Molly Elizabeth Stark
m: 1998

Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy
b: December 12, 1968
Mark Bailey

Robert Francis Kennedy

b: November 20, 1925, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
b: June 6, 1968, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Ethel Skakel
b: April 11, 1928, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
m: June 17, 1950, Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Stephen Edward Smith Jr.
b: June 28, 1957

William Kennedy Smith
b: September 4, 1960, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Amanda Mary Smith
b: April 30, 1967
Cart Harmon Hoo

Kym Maria Smith
b: November 29, 1972, Vietnam
Alfred Tucker
b: 30 May 1967

Jean Ann Kennedy

b: February 20, 1928, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
m: May 19, 1956, New York City, New York County, New York

Stephen Edward Smith
b: September 24, 1927, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York

Kara Anne Kennedy
b: February 27, 1960
Michael Allen
b: 1958

Edward Moore Kennedy Jr.
b: September 26, 1961
Katherine Gershman
b: June 9, 1959
m: 1993

Patrick Joseph Kennedy
b: July 14, 1967

Edward Moore Kennedy

b: February 22, 1932, Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Virginia Joan Bennett
b: September 9, 1936, Riverdale, Bronx, New York
m: November 29, 1958, Bronxville, Westchester County, New York

Victoria Anne Reggie
b:
February 26, 1954
m: July 1992


Exhibit Highlights

On display is a recreation of a Kennedy Campaign office filled with campaign paraphernalia and a display of buttons, posters, and handouts which were produced during the course of the campaign. Also on display is the& original TelePrompter text used by Senator John F. Kennedy while delivering his acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic National Convention, the actual audio control and television camera used by CBS affiliate WBBM-TV for the first televised Presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, and a map of the election return results.

Paper red, white, and blue Democratic National Convention coaster printed with a cartoon drawing of a donkey imposed over the United States Capitol building in the background.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 94.190.8.13

Rectangular red, white, and blue 1960 Presidential campaign button with the slogan "Leadership for the 60's Kennedy*Johnson" printed across top and bottom edge and the faces of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in black and white in the center.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO94-1906-3

Although the Democrats have never officially adopted the donkey as a party symbol, they have used various donkey designs on campaign buttons to promote the Democratic party.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 73.1575

1960 presidential campaign flyer titled "See and Hear Senator and Mrs. John F. Kennedy at Glenwood Park" advertising Kennedy's appearance on April 26, 1960 at 7:30 pm.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 76.231.2

Red, white and blue Kennedy for President campaign button with black and white profile of John F. Kennedy in center.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 96.247.4

1960 Campaign button in center reads "LOVE THOSE DEMOCRATS" against a psychedelic background.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 73.1574

Through his oral history interview with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the artist, Donald Wilson, shared his experience designing the Kennedy for President poster:

"President Kennedy was fascinated with pictures of himself and extremely critical of them and so the poster was of great interest to him. The big problem in the summer of 1960 was whether to have a serious, mature poster or a smiling poster. At that particular time one of the major arguments being made by the Republicans was that he was not experienced enough to become president, and therefore, this led a lot of people around him--and himself included--in the beginning to think that he should have a rather serious mature poster. I convinced him that he looked wonderful smiling, but it wasn't easy. The smiling one was produced in the millions and millions that appeared all over the United States."

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 95.77

Perhaps most popular campaign item was the tie-clasp replicating the form of PT 109, the boat captained by JFK during the Second World War. In an effort to quell public concerns about what some called candidate Kennedy’s "inexperience," the Kennedy campaign sought to publicize his heroic service in the Navy. In addition to the tie clasps, thousands of booklets retelling the events of the sinking of PT 109 and Kennedy’s efforts to save his crew in the days that followed were mailed to hundreds of thousands of homes across the country.

This tie clip was left by John F. Kennedy Jr. on his father's grave on May 29th, 1964, the anniversary of President Kennedy's birth.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 67.235

A 1960 Presidential campaign button for John F. Kennedy. In the center there is a black and white image of John F. Kennedy flanked by red, white and blue lettering that reads "We Want, We Need Kennedy."

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. Accession number MO 65.11


5. The Gravesite You Visit at Arlington Today is Not JFK&rsquos Original Gravesite

Honor Guard prepares to fold the American flag covering President John F. Kennedy&rsquos casket and present it to his widow, Jackie Kennedy. Photograph by Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

While grieving the sudden loss of her husband, dealing with the tragic loss of her infant son, and tending to her two small children, First Lady Jackie Kennedy played an active role in her husband&rsquos funeral arrangements. She requested an eternal flame for JFK&rsquos grave, which was fueled by copper tubing from a propane tank a football field&rsquos length away from the gravesite.

President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963, as dignitaries from around the world paid their respects and millions of viewers watched by television. Toward the end of the graveside service, Jackie lit the eternal flame.

In the three years that followed, more than 16 million visitors stopped at JFK&rsquos gravesite. Cemetery officials wanted to better accommodate the crowds and implement a safer, more permanent eternal flame. After two years of construction, officials exhumed JFK&rsquos casket in March 1967 and moved his body to its current location just a short distance away.

Related Article: Everything You Need to Know BEFORE You Visit Arlington National Cemetery

In a private ceremony attended by just a few people, including Jackie, JFK&rsquos two surviving brothers, and President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 35th president was interred in his present location. At the same time, the couple&rsquos two infant children, Arabella and Patrick, were moved from Massachusetts to their current resting place next to their father.

The eternal flame lit during JFK&rsquos burial in November 1963 was replaced with a permanent natural gas line. It features a continuous electronic spark that reignites the flame in case it is extinguished by rain or wind.



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