Visiting the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum in Boston

I love to visit the various Presidential museums around the country. It is really interesting to see where our Presidents have come from, and just how they made their way into office. For many men the Presidency is just a dream, but for some it can become a reality. John F. Kennedy was one of those who probably never thought that he would be President. A Kennedy was supposed to be President, but it was his brother Joe. When Joe was killed in the war suddenly Kennedy found himself running for office even when his body was still healing from his own war injuries. When his time came though John was an amazing figure that captivated a nation. His idea of Camelot was one that many Americans aspired to. At least one future President looked at Kennedy as an example of how to get into the office. I have wanted to visit this museum for quite some time, and I was finally able to do so. This was the only thing that I visited in Boston that I could not walk to. In other words I went out of my way to see the museum.

The Layout of the Museum

The museum itself does not spend much time on John before the Presidential run. You watch a video that deals with that time period, but that is it. Some Presidential museums spend time on how they got there, but the Kennedy Museum just deals with his time in office. It is still a great museum with a lot to look at. When you think about it that was not a large portion of time that Kennedy spent in office. In that time though he managed to inspire millions. You get to see bits of what the Kennedy White House looked like. You also get to see his brother Bobby’s office as well.

Beautiful To Look At

This museum was built to both inform and impress. You can learn a lot just by walking around it. You can also go to it if you do not want to learn anything just to observe the beauty. It was designed by I.M. Pei, and it a work of art. I knew that it was beautiful from some of the photos on the museums website, but you have to actually be in some of the places to really soak in the building. As you exit the exhibits you walk into this grand room filled with windows and a large American flag. I don’t know what this room was intended to be about, but I had visions of the space program that Kennedy championed when I looked up. It looked like it could have been a part of the vehicle assembly building at Cape Kennedy.

Worth Waiting For

It is hard to believe that it took over 16 years after his death before the museum and library would open. About a month before his death Kennedy toured a site at Harvard for the library. He had a vision of a place that was more than an archive. Somewhere that would let everyone come and see what being the President was all about. At first Harvard was on board with the project, but then backed out. The library would end up on the campus of UMass. It was finally opened in 1979, eight years after Kennedy’s successor opened his library and museum in Austin. I had to wait for it a while as well. A planned trip to Boston was cancelled in 2003 when I took a new job out in Iowa. I suddenly did not have the time, and the trip was put on hold. It is hard to believe that it took me thirteen years to finally follow through on that trip. In the end it was worth it though. I took the time to soak in the city, and the library.

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