As a high school student, Jack Kennedy was an underachiever with a rebel streak. But he grew up to be one of the most compelling figures of the twentieth century. More than fifty years after his Presidency ended in tragedy, John F. Kennedy's vision, intellectual intensity, and personal magnetism continue to fire the public imagination.
Visitors to the new exhibit will catch glimpses of "Young Jack" as a boy, a student, a decorated war hero, a young man seeking his life's path. Drawn from the collections of the Kennedy Library, the exhibition presents touchstones of JFK's early life.
Highlights from the new exhibition include:
John F. Kennedy's Navy "dog tag" from World War II, which he wore with a St. Christopher's Medal and an 1854 gold dollar coin given to him for good luck.
The Coconut inscribed by JFK with the message that led to his rescue after his patrol torpedo boat, PT 109, was rammed by a Japanese destroyer during World War II.
This past spring, two of the Kennedy Library's most treasured artifacts - JFK's World War II Navy dog tag and the coconut inscribed with the rescue message - were on loan to the National Archives of Japan in Tokyo, where they were featured in a major exhibition about the life and legacy of President Kennedy.
The opening of Young Jack celebrates their return to the Kennedy Library, where they are now prominently displayed.