Explore numerous exhibits and extensive collections that recreate President Kennedy’s life, leadership and legacy during your self-guided tour of the JFK Library and Museum. You’ll get a first-hand look into Kennedy’s presidency and gain a better appreciation for the contributions he made to America.
Explore exhibits that take an intimate look into the life of President Kennedy and the era in which he lived, from his journey that eventually won him the presidency to significant historical and political happenings of the 60s.
Relive one of the most exciting presidential campaigns in American history. Listen to President Kennedy as he accepts his party’s nomination at the Democratic Convention of 1960. Travel the main streets that Kennedy and Nixon once travelled down during their hard-fought battle. Stay up late with news anchors like David Brinkley on election night as they reveal the results of the 1960 presidential election.
The Briefing Room
Kennedy was one of the first American presidents to use live televised press conferences as a means to communicate with the American public. Discover television footage, documents and artifacts that demonstrate this distinctive feature of JFK’s presidency.
The Space Race
When the Soviet Union took a lead in the exploration of space, President Kennedy challenged the American nation to keep up in the race to space. While President John F. Kennedy never got the chance to see the first American walk on the Moon in 1969, he initiated the programs that made this great mission possible. See the original Freedom 7 space capsule that confirmed man could function in space and other documents and photographs that capture key events during the nation’s space program. The Freedom 7 Space capsule is on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum through December 2015.
Attorney General’s Office
Discover the unusual yet successful relationship between John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, President Kennedy’s brother. Centered on documents and personal belongings of Robert Kennedy, unravel what made this close working relationship between two brothers such a success.
The Oval Office
The circular form of the Oval Office has represented democracy since it was used by George Washington in the 18th century. During the Kennedy Administration, Kennedy had a significant part in the civil rights movement, standing true to what the Oval Office represents to this day. From footage of various civil rights demonstrations to Kennedy’s 1963 address to the nation on civil rights, learn about what the word democracy meant to President Kennedy.
First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
From the days of her childhood to her role as an effective cultural ambassador, discover who First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was through video footage, photographs, clothing and artwork.
The Kennedy Family
Learn about the roots of the Kennedy family that stretch back to Ireland and discover what drove President John Kennedy to take up politics. Artifacts like a blackthorn walking stick and Kathleen Kennedy’s Red Cross uniform jacket can be seen on display in the Kennedy Family exhibit.
Museum Artifacts Collection
The JFK Library and Museum boasts over 20,000 three-dimensional objects and works of art in their artifacts collection. See gifts given to Kennedy by important individuals like the carved giraffe presented by Dr. Abdirashid Ali Shermarke and heart-filled handmade gifts given to Kennedy by individuals who valued his leadership. Personal belongings including Kennedy’s scrimshaw and ship models as well as pieces from Mrs. Kennedy’s wardrobe worn during her time in the White House are all of great significance and irreplaceable value.
Shopping in the Museum Store
Find exclusive items you can’t get anywhere else at the Museum Store. From books and DVDs to authentic JFK rocking chairs, take a piece of Kennedy’s presidency home with you.
Whether you are looking for lunch or a snack, the JFK Café offers its guests great food, service and incredible views of the Boston city skyline and its inner harbor. Enjoy one of the hot, daily lunch specials, or choose from a variety of salads, soups and sandwiches. A number of snacks, sweet treats and drinks are also available for those who just need a little pick me up.
Wheelchair rentals can be found at the JFK Library and Museum’s admissions desk and are available on a first come first served basis. Make sure you let your reservations agent know ahead of time if you or someone in your party is handicapped, so that they can make sure to accommodate your group in the most convenient and comfortable setting.
There is a lot of information to take in at the JFK Library and Museum. Reading about what you will be seeing and doing ahead of time will help you get the most out of your time at the JFK Library and Museum.
Don’t forget your camera. Whether it’s the ten acres of breathtaking scenery that surrounds the JFK Library and Museum, or one of the museums’s striking exhibits, there will be moments during your tour you don’t want to miss.
Learn about the life, leadership and legacy of one of America’s greatest presidents.