Kennedy Library plans events to mark JFK’s 100th birthday

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will host a year-long celebration to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy, who was born in Brookline on May 29, 1917. To commemorate his centennial year, the JFK Library is spearheading a series of events and initiatives aimed at inspiring new generations to find meaning and inspiration in the enduring American values that formed the heart of the Kennedy presidency.

The centennial celebration will be presented in partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration, which administers the presidential library system, and will feature collaborations with a number of institutions including the US Navy, Peace Corps and National Peace Corps Association, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, United States Postal Service, Smithsonian American Art Museum, White House Historical Association, John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Centennial collaborators across Massachusetts include the Massachusetts State House, City of Boston, Town of Brookline, John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Boston Red Sox, Massport, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, University of Massachusetts Boston, Brandeis University, Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, and TEDxBeaconStreet.

In May, the JFK Library will unveil a special exhibition titled “JFK at 100: Milestones and Mementos.” Featuring a compelling selection of items from the JFK Library’s collections, the exhibition will chronicle historic milestones in the President’s career and administration, as well as events of his personal and family life. Highlights of the exhibition include family items from his childhood and adolescence; the flag from PT 109 (the boat commanded by JFK during World War II) that was replaced just a month before the boat was sunk; President Kennedy’s Cabinet chair; items relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis; and the handwritten notes jotted down by the President in preparation for his landmark address to the nation on civil rights.

Several items have never before been displayed, including some of JFK’s personal belongings.

“President Kennedy inspired a generation that transformed America – and they in turn passed that inspiration on to their children and grandchildren,” said Jack Schlossberg, President Kennedy’s grandson. “Now, as we mark the Centennial of my grandfather’s birth, we renew his call for service, courage, innovation, and inclusion, and help a new generation use his example to embrace the challenges of our time.”

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