This week I thought a lot about a period of history that took place before I was even born. The life and accomplishments of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy, was on my mind because his wife and former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy’s soft-spoken voice accompanied me in my car through my travels of the week. I purchased Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy a week ago. As I listened to the recorded CDs that accompanied the book, I enjoyed hearing her reflect on the past of her husband’s political life. She reminded me of many things I learned when my son and I visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston and the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.
One thing I remember from reading the book Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss was that Mrs. Kennedy had stated that “history made JFK who he was.” The President had spent a lot of time reading as a young boy when he had been sick. He believed “history was full of heroes.” It was important to Mrs. Kennedy that her husband’s life be studied by “other little boys.”
Four years ago when my “little boy” was introduced to social research in the third grade, he became fascinated with the American Presidents. He remains intrigued and loves to learn about the Presidents and American History. Visiting the JFK museums in Boston and Hyannis served as a great place to bring the years of President Kennedy to life for my son.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy becoming president. The anniversary serves an excellent opportunity to visit the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Some exhibits can teach kids about the importance of public service and human rights. They also will learn how our generation is still reaping the benefits of JFK’s decisions regarding science and the environment. If you can’t make it to Boston, your kids can always learn about President Kennedy by visiting www.JFK50.org.
John F. Kennedy wrote about many heroes in his book Profiles in Courage. Visiting these museums will allow your children to learn that John F. Kennedy was the epitome of courage. One of his greatest lessons was to “take a stand” for what is right. My son realized after learning about President Kennedy that it is everyone’s responsibility to encourage peace and equality. A good lesson for today’s world.