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Nov 21, 2023 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association released a new episode of The White House 1600 Sessions podcast today, “Remembering President John F. Kennedy: A 60th Anniversary Special,” featuring a conversation about the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. On November 22, 1963, the world was forever changed when President Kennedy was assassinated. In this anniversary episode, Stewart McLaurin, president of the Association, sat down with Luci Baines Johnson, John Dalton and Robert McGee to reflect on how the 35th president of the United States inspired a generation to reach for a new frontier.

“It's amazing how all of these early memories and relationships in Washington eventually led to significant moments in American history,” said McLaurin. “We're honored to share these personal experiences from President Kennedy’s life so that they will never be forgotten.”

President Kennedy had barely served one thousand days of his term before his death, but his impact would live on for decades through the many lives he touched. For those who were alive sixty years ago, it is a day they will never forget. The episode explores the personal experiences of three individuals with not only a front row seat to history, but who were a part of it.

Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was in a high school class when she heard the president had been shot: “With the election of President Kennedy, people around the world saw a new frontier, saw a hope and a promise,” said Johnson. “But with his passing, the nation turned that devastation into a force for good. We said, ‘Let's come together and try to leave the world a better place because we love this man, and we will try to fulfill his dreams as we begin to make our own.’”

Former secretary of the Navy, John Dalton, marched as a midshipman with the United States Naval Academy in both President Kennedy’s inaugural parade and funeral procession: “He was bookends to my time at the Naval Academy. He was elected my plebe year, and assassinated in my senior year,” said Dalton. “John F. Kennedy was the first Naval officer ever to be elected president of the United States. He was a great president and served our country well.”

Robert McGee, the son of a United States senator who was a friend of the president, witnessed First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and daughter Caroline pay their respects to their husband and father as he lay in state at the Capitol rotunda: “Mrs. Kennedy and Caroline walked up to the casket, and we were within probably 30 or so feet from her, with nobody in between,” said McGee. ”Of course, it was just a devastating moment when Mrs. Kennedy walked out there, and she put her hands on the casket. And Caroline, who was still very little, tried to do the same thing.”

The full video of the podcast episode is also available on The White House Historical Association’s YouTube channel.

The White House 1600 Sessions podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

For more information, please contact press@whha.org.

The White House 1600 Sessions

White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin is the host of The White House 1600 Sessions, the Association’s official audio and video podcast devoted to exploring the history, cultural impact, untold stories, and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and highest office.

P.D.F. Resources

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About the White House Historical Association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $115 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.

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