November 1963: Remembering JFK

President Kennedy waves to a crowd of more than 300,000 gathered to hear his speech where he declared "Ich bin ein Berliner." (AP)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a self-proclaimed “son of Massachusetts,” was assassinated 50 years ago this month. His death set off a period of mourning for the entire nation — and especially for the Bay State.

Fifty years later, the 35th president of the United States remains a subject of fascination. According to some, his legacy permeates politics today.

On the 50th anniversary of his passing, WBUR is commemorating John F. Kennedy with a special series called “November 1963.”

How JFK Affected Patrick, Tsongas, Others

November 22, 2013
U.S. President John F. Kennedy reports to the nation on the status of the Cuban crisis from Washington, D.C. on Nov. 2, 1962. (AP)

BOSTON — Many Massachusetts public servants and activists were galvanized by the Camelot era.

Poem: ‘The Colonel And The President’

November 22, 2013
John F. Kennedy, winner of the Democratic Nomination for Congress in the 11th Massachusetts District, relaxes with his dog, Mo, June 22, 1946, Hyannisport, Mass. (Peter J. Carroll/AP)

In memoriam of John F. Kennedy and Sir Denis Hamilton.

The Draw Of John F. Kennedy, 50 Years Later

November 22, 2013
President John F. Kennedy sits at the helm of the United States Coast Guard boat "Manitou" while sailing off the coast of Johns Island, Maine. (Courtesy JFK Library)

What is it in the end that still draws us? John F. Kennedy seems more like a dream drifting across the ages than a figure of history.

Kennedy Records Private Thoughts On Vietnam

November 21, 2013
Rioting South Vietnamese civilians smash shop windows in Saigon, Vietnam on Nov. 5, 1963 during military coup that toppled the regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem. (AP)

On Nov. 4, 1963, Kennedy recorded his private concerns over a military coup in South Vietnam that ousted President Diem. It was a precursor to the U.S.-Vietnam war.

Kennedy Remembers Frost, Champions The Arts

November 20, 2013
President John F. Kennedy presents a Congressional Gold Medal to poet Robert Frost in the Fish Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 1962. (Courtesy JFK Library)

President Kennedy traveled to Massachusetts for the last time on Oct. 26, 1963. He received an honorary degree from Amherst College and spoke at the groundbreaking of the school’s Robert Frost Library.

JFK’s Civil Rights Reluctance Ends With Address

November 19, 2013
President Kennedy as he starts his radio-television address to the nation on civil rights, June 11, 1963 in Washington. (Charles Gorry/AP)

On June 11, 1963, hours after Gov. George Wallace tried to block two African-American students from enrolling in the University of Alabama, President Kennedy went on national television to announce civil rights legislation.

Audio Timeline: From 'Ask Not' To Cuban Missiles, JFK's Speeches

November 18, 2013
President Kennedy reports to the nation on the status of the Cuban crisis from Washington, D.C. on Nov. 2, 1962. (AP)

A compilation of sounds from WBUR’s series commemorating the death of John F. Kennedy, “November 1963.”

Commander In Chief Kennedy Calls For Peace

November 18, 2013
President John Kennedy wears academic robe and hood after receiving the honorary degree of doctor of laws from American University at graduation exercises in Washington June 10, 1963. (AP)

On June 10, 1963, Kennedy gave a commencement address at American University — often referred to as his “Peace Speech” — that redirected the trajectory of the Cold War.

The Women In Kennedy’s White House

November 15, 2013
Jean Lewis holds a framed photograph of herself meeting John F. Kennedy for the first time. (Kelly Horan/WBUR)

While John F. Kennedy’s womanizing is well-documented, the women who worked for him — and the president’s policies on women – are not as well-known.

‘There Will Never Be Another Camelot’: The Kennedys’ White House

November 14, 2013
Igor Stravinsky, music composer and conductor and Mrs.Vera Stravinsky are greeted at door of the White House by President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy on Jan. 18, 1962. (Harvey Gorry/AP)

As part of our ongoing series “November 1963,” we peeked inside the Kennedy White House — and the “Camelot” mystique.

Timeline: The Life Of President John F. Kennedy

November 13, 2013
President John F. Kennedy with his daughter, Caroline Kennedy, in Hyannisport. (Courtesy JFK Library)

The highlights of President John F. Kennedy’s life, from birth to death.

Kennedy Narrowly Avoids Nuclear War In Cuban Missile Crisis

November 13, 2013
U.S. President John F. Kennedy reports to the nation on the status of the Cuban crisis from Washington, D.C. on Nov. 2, 1962. (AP)

We go inside the Kennedy White House at the height of the Cuban missile crisis.

Kennedy’s Public Service Legacy Still Moves Some Millennials

November 12, 2013
At 2 a.m. on Oct. 14, 1960 Kennedy delivers a campaign speech about his vision for the Peace Corps at the University of Michigan Union. (University of Michigan/Flickr)

One of JFK’s most tangible legacies is the Peace Corps, which speaks to his commitment to public service.

At Rice, JFK Asks Americans For The Moon

November 11, 2013
President John F. Kennedy delivers an address to approximately 50,000 people at Rice University stadium in Houston. (AP)

In Houston, on Sept. 12 1962, before a crowd of 35,000 people, the president made an impassioned speech outlining his goals for the nation’s space effort.

Violence Transformed JFK’s Civil Rights Push

November 08, 2013
A 17-year-old civil rights demonstrator, defying an anti-parade ordinance of Birmingham, Ala., is attacked by a police dog on May 3, 1963. President Kennedy discussed this photo, which had appeared on the front page of that day's New York Times. (Bill Hudson/AP)

Kennedy made efforts to protect the rights of African-Americans even before he became president. But violence accompanied civil rights protests and ultimately ended Kennedy’s life, radically transforming the push for equality.

Kennedy’s Inaugural Call To Action

November 06, 2013
U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1961. (AP)

On Jan. 20, 1961 John F. Kennedy was sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He proceeded to deliver some of his best known remarks.

John F. Kennedy’s ‘City Upon A Hill’

November 04, 2013
President-elect Kennedy as he spoke to a joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature. (AP)

Before an audience of legislators, officials and 700 spectators in the State House, Kennedy looked back on his political career, and ahead to the presidency.

John F. Kennedy, A Son Of Massachusetts

November 01, 2013
John F. Kennedy's birthplace, a National Historic Site at 83 Beals St. in Brookline, Mass. (dbking/Flickr)

We trace JFK’s Massachusetts roots, from the Brookline home where he grew up to a pithy presidential campaign speech at Harvard Law School.

John F. Kennedy’s Final Footsteps At Home

October 18, 2013
John F. Kennedy kisses his father in Hyannisport in this 1963 photo. (AP)

A Harvard-Columbia football game. A graveside visit. A sundae stop. Final time with his father. We trace President John F. Kennedy’s final trip home, 50 years ago Saturday.


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