• Dining Room

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

A Kennedy "Campaign Tea"

Quote: "He floated into the Senate on an ocean of tea." - Henry Cabot Lodge
A ranger interpreting images for two children visitors

On July 25th, visitors were invited to immerse themselves in the Kennedy family history, beginning with a visit to their first home and ending with a tea celebration in honor of the 120th Birthday of Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Modeled after the convivial campaign teas used to unseat incumbent Senator Henry Cabot Lodge in the 1952 Massachusetts senate race, visitors gained a new appreciation for the depth of Mrs. Kennedy’s legacy. In addition to an exhibit featuring photos and campaign fashion, rangers presented special talks exploring Mrs. Kennedy’s role as a mother and a politician, especially the ways in which she shaped and encouraged the ambitions of all of her children. Eventually, she could claim the honor of having raised three senators, a president, an ambassador and the founder of the Special Olympics. In the spirit of a campaign tea, visitors were treated to tea and cookies as they considered the many facets of Mrs. Kennedy. Just like the Kennedy teas, the July 25th event was a tremendous success, with well over 300 visitors in attendance! Read more about Mrs. Rose F. Kennedy's role in the 1952 Senate campaign.

A ranger interpreting objects in the dining room of the JFK birthplace
A park visitor listens to a ranger talk about the campaign teas
Pattern from parlor drapes in the John F. Kennedy birthplace.
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Photos on this page by Joel Veak. Courtesy of NPS, John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site.

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