April 11, 2017 Library Marks 100th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy's Birth

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jason Yasner (202) 707-2255
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The Library of Congress will mark the centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birthday with special programming, including a film, lectures and a three-month display of the former president’s biographical materials and books.

All programs are free and open to the public.  Tickets are not needed.  Except for the film, the events will take place in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  The film will be shown in the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington D.C.

Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917.  He served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963.  The establishment of the Peace Corps, the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the development of the space race and the growth of the Civil Rights Movement occurred during his presidency.  His challenges included the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the building of the Berlin Wall.

The Library’s activities will include:


April 3, 2017 – June 30
JFK Materials
This display includes special biographical materials about JFK and books written by the former president. Also featured are books about Kennedy in foreign languages. Great Hall, South Gallery, first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building

 Lectures, Gallery Talks and Book Talks

Tuesday, May 9, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Book talk on “A Time to Act – John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech.” The picture book’s author, Shana Corey, will speak briefly about her work and sign books. Young Readers Center, ground floor, Jefferson Building

Thursday, May 18, 6:30 p.m.
Third Annual Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture, “Inspiring a Sense of Service and Idealism.” Speakers will be Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, and Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation. Moderator will be Ann Compton, former ABC White House correspondent. Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Jefferson Building

Wednesday, May 24, noon
“JFK and Hope: Nurturing ‘This Collaboration between Government and the Arts’”. Alan Gevinson, curator of the “Hope for America: Performers, Politics and Pop Culture” exhibition, will discuss Kennedy’s attempt to foster an atmosphere of “collaboration between government and the arts.”  Gevinson will also address Kennedy’s assessment of the revolutionary impact of television on politics and his appreciation of Bob Hope’s dedication to entertaining U.S. military personnel around the world. Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment, ground floor, Jefferson Building


Tuesday, May 30, noon
"Primary,” a documentary. The film follows Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey as they contend against each other in Wisconsin during the 1960 primary season.  The film captures Kennedy’s political charm and appeal in a manner that still is riveting when viewed today. Mary Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building

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PR 17-053
ISSN 0731-3527