By Nancy Finlay for Your Pubic Media
On November 6, 1960, forty-eight hours before the Presidential election, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts addressed a street rally in New Haven. A photograph taken that day shows the youthful-looking candidate riding through the streets in the back of a convertible. Barely three years later, on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy would be gunned down as he rode through the streets of Dallas in a similar open car.
Both JFK and his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy were educated in Connecticut. Jack spent the eighth grade at the Canterbury School in New Milford, then went to Choate in Wallingford for the next four years, graduating in 1935 and going on to Harvard. Jackie, a few years younger, attended Miss Porter’s School in Farmington from 1944 to 1947. She and Jack were married in 1953.
Kennedy defeated Richard M. Nixon by a narrow margin in the 1960 election but went on to become a popular president. Today he is remembered for his early support of the United States Space Program and for being the nation’s youngest president and its first Roman Catholic president. Kennedy’s popularity in Connecticut is reflected in the many schools, parks, and other buildings that still bear his name throughout the state.
Nancy Finlay, formerly Curator of Graphics at the Connecticut Historical Society, is the editor of Picturing Victorian America: Prints by the Kellogg Brothers of Hartford, Connecticut, 1830-1880.