Thursday, November 16, 2006

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

The JFK Library and Museum only tells part of the story of JFK's life. A good place to start is at the JFK Birthplace in Brookline, MA, which is run by the national park system. The birthplace is full of interesting information about his family and childhood. Unfortunately it is only open seasonally. The JFK Library and Museum has a twenty minute video about his life up until the point where he was nominated to be the democratic party's candidate for president. The Museum has interesting footage of his nomination acceptance speech and part of his first debate with Richard Nixon as well as period memorabilia.

Much of the JFK Library and Museum consists of noisy original footage of his speeches. After a few hours I began to get a headache from the competing videos. But the sections including Jackie speaking Spanish and her visit to India were great. Early photos of her are charming as are her grammar school essays. Her nationally televised video introducing the White House to the American Public is a definite highlight of the Museum. Both she and Jack were so photogenic and charming. This comes across in the video clips and the still photographs. I wish that they could have included pictures and writing samples from Jack when he was a boy. Jackie comes across in much more depth because of the long timespan that the exhibits cover.


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