100 Years of a Visionary

The JFK Memorial Library is truly one of a kind, but that's only fitting for the individual whose legacy is maintained behind this impressive building.

In honor of our 35th president's 100th birthday, the Library has been celebrating President Kennedy's life from May 2017 until May 2018.

That's a pretty awesome birthday party if you ask me!

Apart from the main collection, which you can read more about here, this special 100 years collection has been pulled together in the lower level's exhibition space.

Take a breather from the emotional ending of the main collection and check out the Boston waterfront from the atrium area before stepping into the gallery space to see more of the intimate moments of John Fitzgerald Kennedy's life.

"The Muckers Club." This is the infamous group of boys from Choate that Kennedy was a part of as a young adult.

For being a sickly child, Kennedy certainly made up for it when he got to school and was just as happy reading about history as he was playing pranks with his friends (nearly getting expelled too!).

From diabolical teenage plots involving piles of horse manure to the prestigious letter regarding his Navy and Marine Corps Medal for rescuing his fellow naval officers after a collision that sunk their vessel in 1943, you get the full picture of who this man was.

I'd measure him at 1/3 joker, 1/3 fierce competitor, and 1/3 absolute history nerd.

The dimly lit gallery space spotlights personal diaries, the invitation and footage from the Bouvier-Kennedy wedding, and items such as his iconic sunglasses and cufflinks — making you feel like you're stepping into truly private archives.

The choice of displays for this special exhibit is especially interesting.

In stark contrast to the reproduced White House and 60s era setting of the main Library collection, the objects here are totally removed from any context.

The 100 Years Collection is devoid of any set or backdrop and let's you see these items without the fuss.

And it's incredibly moving. You're left to only contemplate the items at hand and let their presence weigh on you.

Kennedy's hat and gloves for the Inauguration.

These seem so commonplace, but here you're given the chance to just think about the person who wore them and imagine what thoughts ran through his head, what happened that day, without any video footage compromising your imagination.

Yet, some of the pieces didn't need imagination, like the unread remarks that Kennedy was set to deliver on the afternoon of November 22, 1962, their silence deafening.

To say this collection is an intimate look into the real life of the 35th president is a bit of an understatement.

I wouldn't say that you walk away knowing exactly who Kennedy was, but you certainly understand that he was an impressive human to be around.

Be quick and catch these items on display (included in regular admission) before the end of May 2018!

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