Every month, we’re going to take a deep dive into history, looking at one event that was important, remarkable, or impacted things in the world.
This month, we’re going to look at the life of President John F. Kennedy, and his assassination on November 22, 1963.
Birthplace of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the second of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, and one of three brothers who had successful careers in politics.
His family lived in the home for six years, but moved a few blocks away, as they needed more room when Rose was pregnant with her fifth child. The Kennedys lived in the Boston suburb for the first ten years of John’s life.
Riverdale, New York Home
The Kennedys moved to New York City, in part to avoid some of the discrimination against Irish Americans in Boston. Their home had 20 rooms spread across three floors, and sits on 1.3 acres, a massive estate in New York City. However, the family only lived here two years, as Joseph wanted an even grander house for his family, to demonstrate their upward mobility.
The Kennedy family spent their summers in the “Kennedy Compound” in Hyannis Port, MA.
The compound is made up of three houses on six acres of waterfront property on the island of Cape Cod. John F. Kennedy used the compound as his presidential campaign headquarters, and later as a “Summer White House” while he was president.
Edward “Ted” Kennedy, who represented Massachusetts as a US Senator for nearly 50 years, also had a home on the property. He lived there from 1982 until his death in 2007.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ Childhood Homes
While John was growing up in New York, his future wife, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, was growing up in Virginia and Rhode Island. She was born on July 28, 1929, in Southampton, New York, but moved at a young age to Merrywood in McLean, Virginia when her mom married Standard Oil heir Hugh Auchincloss.
Jacqueline’s family also spent time in Newport, Rhode Island, in a home called Hammersmith Farm. This is where she married John F. Kennedy when he was a US Senator on September 12, 1953.
Later, the family spent part of their summers here during his tenure as president, giving it the nickname of “Summer White House” alongside the Kennedy Compound.
Hickory Hill, McLean, VA
John and Jacqueline bought a home named Hickory Hill in the DC suburb of McLean, Virginia, in 1955. However, they only lived here for about a year before selling the property to Robert Kennedy and his wife Ethel, to house their growing family.
The White House
On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president, and was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 1961. He and his family moved into the White House, where they lived for nearly three years.
During that time, Jacqueline made a great effort to restore the “People’s House” to its original grandeur and created the Rose Garden, a beautiful and lasting legacy of their time as First Family.
In November 1963, President Kennedy and his wife took a trip to Texas to work out some political issues and visit the people of Texas. On November 22, the couple, along with the Governor of Texas John Connally and his wife, were in a motorcade driving through Dealy Plaza in downtown Dallas when, at 12:30 pm, the president and the governor were both shot.
X Marks the Spot
In an effort to preserve the memory of the president and the tragic events, many of the signs, buildings, and other features near Dealy Plaza have been protected. Additionally, an X painted on the street marks the spot where the 35th president was shot and assassinated.
Parkland Memorial Hospital
The Secret Service quickly realized what had happened, and the president was rushed to Parkland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about thirty minutes after being shot.
Later that day, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.
Dallas Municipal Building
Less than 90 minutes after the shooting, Dallas police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald for the shooting. He was held at the Dallas Municipal Building, where the police were headquartered.
On November 24, Oswald was being moved to another jail when he was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. This murder prevented Oswald from being given a fair trial and the opportunity to confirm many of the details of the assassination.(Map ID not defined: [vgt id=1])
Burial Spot in Arlington Cemetery
President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia.
His wife felt his final resting place should be a public memorial to him and his legacy, as he died serving the American people. At his tomb is an eternal flame to keep his memory alive.
Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester, MA
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is located next to the University of Massachusetts in the Dorchester area of Boston.
The building was designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei.
This is the official repository for Kennedy’s papers, presidential material, and correspondence. It is also a museum to the 35th president and his term in office.
John F. Kennedy only lived to be 46, but he has left an imprint on the national memory, and will always be remembered as a dynamic, forward-thinking leader who was not afraid to face the challenges of his day head on and work to advance the causes of democracy and freedom around the world. He started the Peace Corps, advanced the US space program, appointed the first African American Supreme Court Justice, and raised the reputation of the US around the world.
For this and more, he will always be remembered.