A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. —
-John F. Kennedy
Share your stories about JFK at An Idea Lives On from the JFK Library
At 1:30pm on November 21st, the President and Mrs. Kennedy touched down at the San Antonio Airport for a two-day trip to Texas.
Pictured, JFK and Mrs. Kennedy greet the crowds in San Antonio.
-from the JFK Library
Marine One taxiing in front of the U.S. Capitol. 11/21/85.
More — Marine One and Airforce One photos from the Reagan Library
Walk the Line with Johnny Cash and June Carter
Johnny and June dropped by the Oval Office for a visit with President Ford on November 21, 1975.
Cash had been scheduled to appear at the White House the previous month during a state dinner for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat who was a fan of country western music. An illness prevented him from performing at the last minute, however.
Johnny Cash had also been among the thousands of Americans who wrote to President Ford after he pardoned Richard Nixon in September 1974. “June and I support you and your decisions concerning pardons and Amnesty,” he wrote. “We are much pleased to see that you are praying for guidance and wisdom, for that is our daily prayer for you.”
-from the Ford Library
On the Great American Smokeout—
“Did President Eisenhower smoke in the White House?”
This “Ask an Archivist” question from the Eisenhower Presidential Library comes from New York.
President Eisenhower gave up smoking in 1949 by his own force of will. He would not take up residence in the White House until 1953.
Eisenhower’s strategy for “kicking the habit” is revealed in a 1951 letter to a personal friend.
“Actually, I think the whole thing is far more psychological than it is physical – if you can succeed in throwing out of your mind any feeling of self-pity or privation or hardship, I think that you will be amazed how quickly you accustom yourself to a new regime. In my own case, I adopted the habit of feeling just a bit sorry for people who had this fault and so I attained a slight feeling of superiority. My ability to sneer, internally, I nursed to the utmost.”
Photo: General Eisenhower at Camp Kilauea, Hawaii. U.S. Army. 5/17/46.
November 20, 1959 — Presidential Time Management
JFK and the Green Berets
On October 12, 1961 President Kennedy visited Fort Bragg and the US Army Special Warfare Center, home of Army Special Forces. In the course of his meeting with Brigadier General William P. Yarborough, the President commented on their hats: “Those are nice. How do you like the Green Beret?” General Yarborough replied, “They’re fine, Sir. We’ve wanted them a long time.”
Soon after, the President authorized the “Green Beret” as the official headgear for all US Army Special Forces and these Unconventional Warriors were thereafter and ever known as “The Green Berets.”
Read more about President Kennedy and the Green Berets on the Kennedy Library Website.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her children John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy horse (and pony) riding. 11/19/62.
-from the JFK Library
"Again my thanks, my pledge and my passionate hope that your words may become history. And I believe they will!"
— John Steinbeck to JFK
A letter from author John Steinbeck to President Kennedy, thanking him for his dedication to the arts.
(From the White House Central Subject Files, Box 711, Folder: PP 6-1 Entertainers)
At the urging of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, John F. Kennedy made intellectual disabilities a priority for his new administration. Before his inauguration, he created a transition task force and once in office, he followed its recommendation to establish the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Still in existence today, the institute was charged with conducting and supporting research on intellectual disabilities as well as all aspects of maternal and child health and human development.
Read more about JFK and People with Intellectual Disabilities on the Kennedy Library website.
Image: 24 October 1963 Bill Signing, H. R. 7544, Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments of 1963. President Kennedy hands signing pen to Eunice Kennedy Shriver.