1. Welcome

The National Park Service welcomes you to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site. This was the first home shared by President Kennedys father and mother, Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, and represents the social and political beginnings of one of the nations most prominent families. In 1966, following the death of President Kennedy, the family purchased the birthplace as a memorial and Rose Kennedy restored the home to her recollection of its 1917 appearance. According to Mrs. Kennedy, it was her intention and hope to make a gift of this home to the American people so that future generations would be able to visit and get a better appreciation of the history of this wonderful country. In an effort to capture Mrs. Kennedys memories of that period, the National Park Service produced an audio tour of the birthplace in which she describes family activities and furnishings, and shares personal anecdotes that convey the spirit of the place. The taped narrative is a popular aspect of the guided interpretive tours and has been translated into several languages. Mrs. Kennedys distinctly personal reminiscences provide historical context and allow visitors to imagine the early influences that helped shape the character and ambitions of Americas 35th president. The National Park Service has cared for the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site since its dedication in 1969. As you move through the house, we ask you to share in our preservation mission. Please leave all large bags, as well as any food or drink in the lockers that are provided in the visitor center. Please use the handrails as you ascend the stairs, but please do not touch any of the objects or lean against the walls in the museum. While still photography is permitted, flash photography and video-recording are prohibited. During guided tours, please remain with the group. During self-guided tours you need not follow the prescribed order of Mrs. Kennedys narrative, but rather may move about the museum at the pace and in the order that you wish. A ranger is stationed on each floor to answer questions. Now we invite you to step back into 1917 and to share Mrs. Kennedys memories.