A Guide to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Collection, 1960-1964
President of the United States John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (1917-1963) was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., and Rose Fitzgerald. After graduating from Harvard College in 1940, Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy and commanded a patrol torpedo boat, PT-109 during World War II. In 1945, he was honorably discharged with numerous decorations, including the Purple Heart as well as a Navy and Marines Corps Medal for his actions during a collision between PT-109 and a Japanese vessel in 1943. Kennedy’s political career began with his 1946 election to the U. S. House of Representatives, during which he served for six years. After defeating Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. for a U.S. Senate seat in 1952, Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier a year later.
In 1961, Kennedy became the 35th President, defeating Richard Nixon in a close presidential election. From 1961 to 1963, Kennedy’s presidency was marked by foreign affairs, including the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the start of the Vietnam War. President Kennedy was assassinated during a political trip in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. He was scheduled to give a speech to the Texas State Democratic Committee in Austin later that day.
Source: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “Life of John F. Kennedy.” Accessed June 30, 2011.http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/Life-of-John-F-Kennedy.aspx.
A pamphlet, “Neither the Fanatics nor Faint-hearted,” related correspondence, a program, and thank you card comprise the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Collection, 1960-1964, documenting familial affairs, President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas, and his intended speech in Austin on the evening of November 22, 1963. The pamphlet, written by John Holmes Jenkins, provides an early account of Kennedy’s tour of Texas and his assassination. Correspondence includes a critical response by Senator Ralph Yarborough towards the pamphlet (1964). A Texas State Democratic Executive Committee Memorial program contains text of Kennedy’s intended remarks to the committee in the Municipal Auditorium in Austin on November 22, 1963. Additionally, the collection includes a thank you card from Senator and Mrs. Kennedy thanking the recipient on the occasion of Caroline Kennedy’s birthday (1960).
This collection is open for research use.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Collection, 1960-1964, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
This collection was processed by CVK, February 1964, and CVK and BS, August 1964.
Subsequent revisions were made by Evan Usler, June 2011 and Maria Soscia, December 2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers