About the Series 

Kennedy Library Forums are a series of public affairs programs offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to foster public discussion on a diverse range of historical, political and cultural topics reflecting the legacy of President and Mrs. Kennedy's White House years.

How to Attend

All Forums are free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly recommended, and may be made by clicking the "Register" link in each upcoming Forum listing below, or by calling 617-514-1643. Registration guarantees a seat in the building, but not in the main hall. Doors to the main hall open approximately one hour before the start of each program. 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum does not sell or share your personal information or email address.

View Live Webcasts / Access Recordings

Kennedy Library Forums are webcast live and recorded whenever possible. Written transcripts of most recorded events are also available. Visit the Forum Video Archive or our YouTube channel to view past forums.


View Forum Video Access Forum Audio   View Live Webcast


Kennedy Library Forum sponsors

The Boston Globe Spotlight Team

The Boston Globe Spotlight Team: Confronting Racism and Disparities, What's Next?

February 27, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Join reporters and community and business leaders in a discussion of the recent series,"Boston. Racism. Image. Reality." As Boston builds out, how do we make sure there's a different blueprint for our future? How does Boston become a more welcoming city to all? Award-winning journalist and pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church Liz Walker leads the conversation. This program is supported in part by the Hyams Foundation, National Grid, and The Partnership, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Nine Irish Lives Book Cover

Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, & Artists Who Helped Build America

March 14, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Screenwriter and author Mark Bailey, president of the Save the Children Action network Mark Shriver, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalists Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan discuss their new book, Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, & Artists Who Helped Build America. Dr. Robert Mauro, director of the Boston College Irish Institute and Global Leadership Institute, moderates.

Fredrik Logevall, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ellen Fitzpatrick, Chris Appy

Vietnam 1968: The War, the Turmoil, and the Presidential Election

March 20, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Lawrence O’Donnell, author of Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics and host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell; Fredrik Logevall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam; and Christian Appy, professor of history at UMass Amherst and author of American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity discuss the critical events of 1968 in Vietnam and in American politics with Ellen Fitzpatrick, professor of history at the University of New Hampshire. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero introduces the program.

This forum is featured in the National Archives’ Remembering Vietnam initiative. Remembering Vietnam is presented in part by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, AARP, and the National Archives Foundation.

Susan Benesch, Carol Rose

The First Amendment: What Are Its Limits?

March 27, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project, and Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, discuss contemporary First Amendment issues.

Eileen McNamara, Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World

April 3, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Pulitzer Prize-winning former Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara discusses her new book, Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World, with award-winning journalist Larry Tye.

Scott Simon

PEN/Hemingway Award Ceremony

April 8, 2018 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Seán Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s grandson, presents the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award at this ceremony. Author and host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday Scott Simon (pictured) delivers the keynote address. The Kennedy Library is the major repository of Ernest Hemingway's personal papers. This program is presented in partnership with PEN/New England and PEN/America.

John Lithgow

A Conversation with John Lithgow

April 29, 2018 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor, author, and musician John Lithgow discusses his distinguished career and the importance of the arts. This program is supported in part by the Mass Cultural Council.

Please note: There is a 2 guest maximum per registration for this forum.

Bob Schieffer, Jill Lepore

A Conversation with Bob Schieffer and Jill Lepore

May 1, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Former longtime CBS journalist Bob Schieffer discusses his new book, Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News, with Harvard professor of history and author of These Truths: A History of the United States, Jill Lepore.

Thomas Forrest Kelly

Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy

May 10, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

In honor of the Leonard Bernstein centennial, Harvard professor of music Thomas Forrest Kelly explores the impact of the relationship between Bernstein and the Kennedy Administration, which continues to influence the artistic and cultural life of America. A performance of Bernstein’s music by artists from Boston Lyric Opera follows.

James and Deborah Fallows

The Heart of America

May 29, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Panelists including James and Deborah Fallows, authors of Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey into the Heart of America, shed light on contemporary issues facing the heart of America.

Kerry Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope

May 30, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, discusses her new book, Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope, a collection of interviews with world leaders, activists, and celebrities about her father’s influence.