Remembering JFK

JFK, the name conjures the days of Camelot. Relive the life of America’s youngest elected president and see the worldwide memorials that followed John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
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Photo By: Photograph in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

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Photo By: Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

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Photo By: Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Photo By: Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

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The Kennedy Clan

The Kennedy Family in Hyannis Port, MA, 1948. L-R: John F. Kennedy, Jean Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Patricia Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy (kneeling). JFK was the second of 9 children.

JFK National Historic Site

See JFK’s birthplace in Brookline, MA. The Kennedy family moved into this 7-room, 2-and-a-half-story home in 1915; 2 years later John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in an upstairs bedroom. The home is closed during the winter, and reopens for summer.

PT 109

Lieutenant junior grade John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109 in the South Pacific, 1943. For heroic actions waged after his ship was rammed by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Hollywood later brought this story to the silver screen, in 1963’s biopic PT 109.

JFK Island

This small island, in the Pacific Ocean, is the area where the 26-year-old JFK aided his injured crew after his boat, the PT-109, was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Colloquially known as Plum Pudding Island, the tiny tropical island was later named JFK Island in honor of JFK’s heroism that day in 1943.

Bay of Pigs Invasion

In April 1961, President Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion, an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro's Cuban government. In this photo, a Cuban tank is positioned near the area where 1,500 anti-Castro rebels came ashore.

Kennedy Compound

President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, John Jr. and Caroline, in Hyannis Port, MA, August 1962. The Kennedy Compound comprises 6 acres of waterfront property, and was once the home of JFK’s father. The grounds also served as a base for JFK’s 1960 presidential campaign.

Cuban Missile Crisis ... and 13 Very Tense Days

President Kennedy wrote "Missile Sites" on this map of Cuba and marked them with "X"s when he was first briefed by the CIA on the Cuban Missile Crisis on Oct. 16, 1962. JFK's brother, Bobby, later wrote a memoir about this flashpoint moment, when the US was pushed to the brink of nuclear war, in Thirteen Days.

'Ich bin ein Berliner'

On June 26, 1963, Kennedy visited West Berlin and gave a historic speech to a massive audience of 450,000 people promising American support to West Germany, in the wake of the Soviet Union erecting the Berlin Wall 22 months before. The speech is known for its famous phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner!" (“I am a Berliner!”)

Passing the Torch

President Kennedy and daughter Caroline aboard the "Honey Fitz" off the coast of Hyannis Port, MA, Aug. 31, 1963. Caroline later named her firstborn son, John ‘Jack’ Schlossberg, in honor of her father.

JFK’s Final Moments

President John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and Texas governor John Connally ride through Dallas moments before Kennedy was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963. Kennedy was shot twice, Connally in the chest, wrist and thigh. A 10-month investigation led by the Warren Commission concluded, in September 1964, that a lone gunman was the culprit; but 50 years later, many doubts remain in the American public’s mind.

Dealey Plaza -- and the Grassy Knoll

Dealey Plaza, a 15-acre public park in Dallas where the JFK assassination occurred. The northwest side of the plaza is home to the infamous "Grassy Knoll," from which, the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined there was a “high probability” that a second assassin also fired at JFK but missed. Dealey Plaza was named a National Historic Landmark in 1993.

Sixth Floor Museum

Explore the details of JFK’s assassination, as well as his legacy, at the Sixth Floor Museum. Located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building, the museum houses a collection of 40,000 items related to JFK’s assassination. The museum also has a webcam that features a live view from the sniper spot.

JFK Eternal Flame

An eternal flame marks JFK's grave at Arlington National Cemetery. Just 11 days prior to his assassination, JFK had visited the cemetery for Veterans Day services, and remarked, “I could spend eternity here.” JFK’s family honored his wish; his wife, Jackie, and 2 infant children, would later join him at this burial site. JFK’s brothers, Senators Robert Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy are buried a few yards away.

Kennedy Center

“I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft,” said JFK less than a month before his death. Today, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1971, stands as a living memorial to America’s 35th president. The center is the nation's busiest performing arts facility and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly 2 million.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, located on Columbia Point in Boston, is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration. At the dedication ceremony in 1979, JFK Jr. read from the Stephen Spender poem, “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great.”

Montreal’s President Kennedy Avenue

That greatness translated into widespread international appeal. Following JFK’s assassination, the world joined the United States in mourning. This included Canada, where the predominantly Roman Catholic Montreal named the street west of Saint-Urbain Street as Avenue du President-Kennedy, in honor of America’s first Catholic president.


Eight days after Kennedy’s assassination, a square in front of city hall in West Berlin was renamed John F. Kennedy Platz. It was here that JFK had delivered his rousing speech to Berliners, proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner.” The renaming of the square is noted in this large plaque, at the entrance to the old-time city hall.

Yad Kennedy in Jerusalem

And on a lone hill, on the southwest edge of Jerusalem, the Yad Kennedy memorial was dedicated in JFK’s honor on July 4, 1966. The flat-topped memorial offers up a powerful image: 53 concrete “ribs,” separated by high, narrow windows, depict the huge stump of a tree cut down in its prime.

John F. Kennedy Memorial in England

“This acre of English ground was given to the United States of America by the people of Britain in memory of John F. Kennedy.” Those words, etched across this limestone memorial, were dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II in May 1965, in Runnymede alongside the River Thames. JFK’s widow, Jackie, attended the dedication.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park

“This is not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection.” JFK was speaking about Ireland, which he visited in June 1963 -- he would later call his 4 days there the best 4 of his life. Visit Kennedy’s ancestral homeland, in New Ross, Co Wexford, and you’ll find the 623-acre John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

Kennedy Memorial in Dallas

When news hit of JFK’s assassination, Dallas became the undeserved target of a shocked nation’s grief. Cars bearing Dallas license plates were turned over and Dallas became known as the “City of Hate” for years to come. In 1970, wounds began to heal when this memorial to Kennedy was erected in downtown Dallas. Now, on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, local artists have put together the Dallas LOVE Project, a collection of 30,000 works of art throughout the city that show Dallas as “a city where love thrives.”

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