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Harvard Releases Earliest Known Recording Of JFK

John F. Kennedy, in his junior year at Harvard University, is shown at Harvard's Winthrop House in Cambridge in 1939. (AP)
John F. Kennedy, in his junior year at Harvard University, is shown at Harvard's Winthrop House in Cambridge in 1939. (AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Harvard University says it has uncovered what it believes is the earliest known recording of the late President John F. Kennedy.

The crackling recording was restored by a Harvard archivist from a 1937 aluminum disk recording made by Kennedy's professor in a public speaking course. It's part of an exhibit at the Harvard Archives on Kennedy's ties to the school.

On the recording, a 20-year-old Kennedy speaks about President Franklin Roosevelt's appointment of Hugo Black to the Supreme Court. It became a controversial appointment after it was revealed that Black had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

The university has known of the recording since it arrived a few years ago as part of a collection related to Kennedy's professor, Clifton Packard. He had been recording students in Harvard's Holden Chapel since the 1920s.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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