50 years later: Three cities loom large for Kennedy history buffs
Three cities loom large in the life and death of John F. Kennedy: Washington, D.C., where he was president and senator; Dallas, where he died; and Boston, where he was born.
With the 50th anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963, assassination at hand, all three offer places where you can learn more about him or honor his legacy. Here’s a list of museums, monuments, historic sites and events in those cities and a few others around the country.
TOUR: A walking tour of downtown Boston looks at JFK as an emerging politician in the context of his Irish immigrant ancestors and family political connections, with stops at the JFK statue on the Boston State House lawn; the Union Oyster House, where he often dined in an upstairs booth; the Parker House hotel, where he proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier; and Faneuil Hall, where he gave his last speech in the 1960 campaign. The $12 tour meets Wednesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m., Boston Common Visitor Center, 139 Tremont St.; www.kennedytour.com.
PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM: The I.M. Pei-designed museum houses permanent displays on the campaign trail, Kennedy’s family and the first lady, along with special exhibits on the Cuban missile crisis and Jackie’s White House years; www.jfklibrary.org/.
BIRTHPLACE: Kennedy, one of nine children, was born at 83 Beals St., in Brookline, a Boston suburb, in 1917. The house is a National Park site; www.nps.gov/jofi.
HYANNIS: In the 1920s, JFK’s father, Joseph, bought a waterfront vacation home for his family in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, about 75 miles from Boston. Other family members including JFK bought property nearby. A seasonal cruise operates through Oct. 27 offering views of the Kennedy Compound from the water; www.hylineharborcruise.com. The privately operated JFK Hyannis Museum, open through November, has an exhibit on his last visits to the Cape; http://jfkhyannismuseum.org.
SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM AT DEALEY PLAZA: Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired at the president’s motorcade from a window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. The site is now the Sixth Floor Museum. The privately operated museum has exhibits about the assassination and is hosting a series of talks by individuals connected to the events of that day, including authors of several new books; 411 Elm St., www.jfk.org.
MEMORIAL CEREMONY: On Nov. 22, church bells will toll citywide at 12:25 p.m., followed by a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m., the time of the shooting. Events in Dealey Plaza will include Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough reading JFK speeches, a performance by the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club, a military flyover and prayers. Public viewing screens will be set up around the city to broadcast the event for members of the public who were not among the 5,000 lucky enough to get tickets; http://50thhonoringjohnfkennedy.com/.
OTHER SITES CONNECTED TO THE ASSASSINATION: Love Field airport (where JFK landed in Dallas and where Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president to replace him); Parkland Hospital (where Kennedy was taken and where Oswald died after being shot by Jack Ruby); and a marker in the Oak Cliff neighborhood at 10th and Patton streets where Oswald shot to death a police officer, J.D. Tippit. A 99-cent app, “JFK in Dallas 50,” offers an interactive map of Dallas and video and images related to the shooting; https://itunes.apple.com/app/jfk-in-dallas-50/ id694762432?mt8.
DALLAS LOVE PROJECT: Dallas was branded the “City of Hate” after the killing. Some 30,000 works of art reflecting on Dallas as a city of love are going up around town this fall to mark the anniversary; http://dallasloveproject.is/.
JFK TRIBUTE: This sculpture of Kennedy in Fort Worth marks the spot where JFK spoke the morning of Nov. 22 to crowds gathered outside his hotel, now the Fort Worth Hilton; www.jfktribute.com/.
AMON CARTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART: Through Jan. 12, the museum hosts “Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy,” which includes a Picasso and other works of art that were originally loaned by local collectors for a display in the hotel suite where the Kennedys spent the night before his assassination; www.cartermuseum.org/.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON LIBRARIES: An exhibit of 80 photos shows JFK and the first lady during their visit to Fort Worth, just before he arrived in Dallas; www.uta.edu/news/releases/2013/08/JFK-FWST-exhibit.php.
WASHINGTON D.C. AREA
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY (VIRGINIA): Kennedy’s gravesite is marked with an eternal flame, in accordance with his widow’s wishes; http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/VisitorInformation/MonumentMemorials/JFK.aspx.
NEWSEUM: Through Jan. 5, this privately operated museum hosts three exhibits related to JFK: “Creating Camelot,” family photos; “Three Shots Were Fired,” including artifacts like the Zapruder movie camera, which captured the shooting on film; and “A Thousand Days,” a short documentary about JFK’s 1,000-day administration; http://newseum.org/exhibits-and-theaters/temporary-exhibits/jfk/.
On Nov. 22, the Newseum will host a “JFK Remembrance Day” including discussions and a three-hour rebroadcast of CBS News’ live coverage of the assassination.
An evening program, “Eyewitness to History: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” is scheduled for Nov. 20.
SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY: Items related to the Kennedys can be found in exhibits on presidential elections and first ladies’ inaugural gowns, http://americanhistory.si.edu/.
HENRY FORD MUSEUM IN DEARBORN, MICH.: The museum houses the limousine Kennedy was riding in when he was shot.
A lecture series about JFK and the assassination is scheduled for Nov. 18 through 22; www.thehenryford.org/research/kennedyLimo.aspx and www.thehenryford.org/jfkremembered.
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE’S BAKER-BERRY LIBRARY, IN HANOVER, N.H.: Through Dec. 20, “The Grassy Knoll Revisited: On the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK,” offers artifacts connected to the assassination, along with a digital forensic analysis of a photo of Oswald holding a rifle and Marxist newspapers, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/exhibits/bakerberry/index.html.