Massachusetts celebrates JFK centennial birthday

Massachusetts is pulling out all the stops for JFK this year

2017 marks the centennial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s (JFK) birth. The state of Massachusetts has many connections with the 35th President of the United States. As a result, the state are celebrating the centennial of his birth this year – a great addition to a trip to Massachusetts.

Where JFK’s relationship with Massachusetts began:

JFK was born at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, on 29 May 1917. He lived here until he was 10 years old. Throughout his childhood the Kennedy family spent summers in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. In September 1936, he enrolled at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Kennedy family also dined frequently in the Union Oyster House, Boston, JFK’s favourite booth to dine here has since been named ‘The Kennedy Booth’, and today visitors can dine here too. Also in the Omni Hotel Boston at table 40, by the street-side window, is where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier on 24 June 1953 and today visitors can dine here.

The events taking place to mark the centennial of JFK’s birth include:

Greater Boston

In May 2017, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and 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.  They will also be holding significant events throughout the year including the JFK Forever Stamp Ceremony on 20 February 2017. The U.S. Postal Service will dedicate a Forever stamp in JFK’s honour at the library during the President’s Day Ceremony alongside other festivities. 

His birthplace, Brookline will have ongoing events, exhibits and programs throughout the year. Including the JFK Centennial Celebration with speeches, tours, music, cake and more on his birth date (29 May 2017). Visitors can also join the JFK Remembered Ceremony on 22 November 2017 in Brookline and visit the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, his boyhood home throughout the year.

Cape Cod & the Islands

From his boyhood years sailing his boat Victura in Nantucket to his final summer as President, Cape Cod was a place John F. Kennedy loved and often called home. A special Exhibit will open in the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum mid-May 2017 entitled “JFK at 100: Life and Legacy”. The exhibition will tell JFK's story through the lens of his years at the Cape including the time with parents, brothers and sisters, entertaining friends, summers with his wife Jacqueline and their children, political campaigns and above all, the Presidency. Also on 28th May the JFK Commemorative Concert in collaboration with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra will take place at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

Getting there:

There is an even wider choice of flights from the UK to Boston this year:  Norwegian Air via Gatwick, both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic via Heathrow and seasonal services from Manchester with both Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic (new for 2017). Sample prices for holidays to Massachusetts to discover the legacy of JFK and to celebrate the centennial of his birth are available on request.


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Issued by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism’s UK office. 

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