Caroline Kennedy will hold a press conference January 13 at the National Archives to launch digitalized JFK archives – the first ever online digitalized presidential archives.
The “Access to a Legacy” digitalized archives will be available online that day at www.jfklibrary.org, website of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
That’s part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, which was held on January 20, 1961. (Click here for a video of his swearing-in.)
Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, will launch the digitalized archives — more than 200,000 pages; almost 1,250 official recordings of telephone conversations, speeches and meetings; 300 museum artifacts; 72 reels of moving images; and 1,500 photos that have been digitized, described and loaded electronically.
One of these documents, President Kennedy’s first Executive Order, will also be on display at the National Archives’ East Rotunda from January 11 through 31.
That Executive Order, signed on the President’s first full day in office January 21, 1961, called on the Secretary of Agriculture to increase the amount and variety of food allotted to impoverished Americans.
Here’s a brief sampling of other documents in the “Access to a Legacy” digitalized archives:
— A map of Cuba that President Kennedy used at the time of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Click here to hear him discussing the crisis with his national security advisers. The Soviet Union’s putting missiles on Cuba brought the US to the brink of nuclear war with Russia. Kennedy eventually persuaded Krushchev to withdraw the weapons.
— Doodles President Kennedy made during an October 1962 meeting of the EXCOMM, the Executive Committee of the National Security Council.
— A memo to Vice President Lyndon Johnson, requesting LBJ’s evaluation of the space program, a top JFK priority.
— His handwritten note card with a phonetic spelling of “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) from his 1963 speech at the Berlin Wall at the height of the Cold War. Some said his pronunciation of “Berliner” meant “I am a jelly doughnut”. But linguistic experts have said that he pronounced “Berliner” correctly. He wrote it phonetically as “Bearleener”.
Also on January 13, in another event marking the 50th anniversary of his inauguration, the National Archives will screen “John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums” at 7 PM at the American Film Institute’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, a Washington suburb.
The film chronicles the 1000 days of the Kennedy Administration, documenting accomplishments in foreign policy, the space race, and civil rights. It also offers intimate and poignant glimpses of the President, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline and John F. Kennedy, Jr.
John F. Kennedy, at age 43, was the youngest man elected President, and he was the youngest to die, assassinated at age 46 on November 22, 1963.
These digitalized archives will offer unprecedented access to the numerous accomplishments of one of America’s greatest Presidents.
For more info: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, www.jfklibrary.org.