On display March 25, 2017 - November 12, 2017 at the Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon.
John F. Kennedy powered into the White House on the energy of a country seeking change. Stuck in a recession and dismayed by perceived political stagnation, voters embraced the vibrancy and wit of Kennedy and his young family, emboldening the president to edge toward a new frontier, both on the homefront and internationally - and even to outer space. The fervent hope that Kennedy brought to the White House and to the United States was quickly confronted by broad geopolitical threats, as well as by personal challenges.
But Kennedy was up to the task: his early life, education, heroism in the Navy, the loss of his brother in the Second World War, and his grasp and perspective of needed government reform had prepared him to lead the country through existential threats and toward a progressive future.
The arc of John F. Kennedy’s life has become American legend, from the challenges and remarkable feats, all the way up to the potential that was relinquished in his abrupt, tragic end. This exhibition looks deeper into Kennedy’s story, through the words and images of John F. Kennedy himself.
Curated here are a selection of items from the Shapell Manuscript Foundation that are currently on display at the exhibition.