TwHP Lessons

Birthplace of John F. Kennedy:
Home of the Boy
Who Would Be President

[Cover photo] JFK's Boyhood Home
(Photo by C.W. Stroughton, National Park Service)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was a man who made a difference. He was both the youngest man ever elected president of the United States and the first Roman Catholic to hold that office. Those qualities reinforced for many the belief that any American could become president.

Although JFK was a member of an extraordinary American family of entrepreneurs, statesmen and civic leaders, he spent the first four years of his childhood in a modest home in Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Brookline's lovely tree-lined streets, good schools, and space for children to play made it an attractive place to raise a family. It was there that Rose Kennedy and her husband Joseph began instilling the high standards and ambition that would make the Kennedys one of America's most famous families.

1From an oral interview with Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, 1969.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. John F. Kennedy National Historic Site
 in Brookline, Massachusetts

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. The Kennedy Family Background
 2. Daily Life at 83 Beals Street
 3. Excerpts from JFK's Inaugural Address
 4. JFK's Health Card

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. The Kennedy Family Home at 83 Beals Street
 2. John and Joseph Kennedy, Jr., c. 1919
 3. John F. Kennedy and Family, 1921
 4. John F. Kennedy, c. 1925
 5. Kennedy Family Photograph

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Why Do We Remember JFK?
 2. People Make a Difference
 3. Who Am I?

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John F. Kennedy National
Historic Site

This lesson is based on the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.




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