Reliving the Kennedy Days in D.C.

As the 50th anniversary of the late president's asssassination approaches, visitors to the city can retrace Kennedy's steps throughout the capital

In late November, much of the country looks back at the life and legacy of the late president John F. Kennedy. Assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, Kennedy was just 46 years old. At the time of his election in 1960, he was 43, the youngest man ever elected President. November in D.C. will include several events to remember the late president, but visitors can also follow the timeline below to view some of the places around the city that played a role in the politician's life.

Please note that all addresses are of private residences which may only be viewed from the street.

November 1946
Massachusetts elects John Kennedy to Congress. He rents a Georgetown house at 1528 31st Street NW, then from 1949 to 1951, lives with sister Eunice at 1400 34th Street.

Martin's Tavern

1951-53
Jack rents a house at 3260 N Street, begins a run for the Senate and meets Jacqueline Bouvier at a Georgetown dinner party. Bouvier is a columnist and “Inquiring Camera Girl” for the Washington Times-Herald. He proposes, some say by telegram, most say in booth #3 at Martin’s Tavern, still booked by romantics.

1954
The new senator and his bride live for a short time at 3321 Dent Place.

1957
Having won the Pulitzer for his book Profiles in Courage, Kennedy plots his presidential campaign while renting 2808 P Street.

3307 N St NW

Expecting their first child, the Kennedys purchase a Federal-style mansion at 3307 N Street NW. They depart from here for the White House. (Note: a Post-it tells the house number.)

1958
To document the family, JFK hires young photographer Jacques Lowe who eventually shoots 40,000 behind-the-scenes images.

November 8, 1960
Kennedy, at 43 the youngest ever elected to this office, defeats Richard Nixon by a slim margin—118,000 votes.

November 25, 1960
The Kennedys’ second child is born and named for his father. Within months, America warms to scenes of a toddler and an infant in the White House.

January 20, 1961
Kennedy attends mass at Holy Trinity Church, 3513 N Street, then heads to the Capitol to take his oath as 35th president. Notable attendees include Robert Frost who, hampered by snow glare, cannot read a poem written for the occasion and so recites from memory his heartfelt “The Gift Outright.”

1961-63
These golden times of hospitality, politics, diplomacy and glamour are often called "A Thousand Days," now the title of a 16-minute film produced by the Newseum and shown on its panoramic screen.

Jacqueline Kennedy presides as hostess at state dinners and intervenes when Lafayette Square is threatened with partial demolition to make way for massive office buildings. Her influence saves the Renwick Gallery plus nearby townhouses.

Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy

The Kennedys sometimes escape to an estate near Middleburg, where Jacqueline and Caroline ride horses. Howard Allen photographs family events, recounted in his new book Unforgotten Times: Jackie Kennedy's Happy Days in the Virginia Hunt Country.

March 1962
While Jacqueline travels abroad, Jack allows Stanley Tretick, who works for Look, to photograph the children. Tretick’s images, including one of John beneath his father’s desk, factor in Kitty Kelley’s Capturing Camelot.

November 22, 1963
Air Force One lands at Andrews Air Force base near Washington, carrying the president’s body, Jacqueline and newly-sworn President Lyndon Johnson.

November 24, 1963
The Kennedy family follows the casket up the stairs of the U.S. Capitol. Through the night, thousands form a silent procession into and out of the rotunda.

November 25, 1963
The casket travels by caisson to the White House, then to St. Matthew’s Cathedral. The Kennedys, friends and foreign dignitaries walk to the church at Connecticut and Rhode Island avenues. From there the cortege proceeds to Arlington Cemetery.

Mid-December 1963
Jacqueline and the children move into a Georgetown residence loaned by statesman Averill Harriman. Her mother Janet Auchincloss receives a box containing the bloodied suit worn in Dallas and stores it in the attic of her Georgetown mansion at 3044 O Street, where it remains until sent years later to the National Archives.

Early 1964
Jacqueline purchases a mansion at 3017 N Street. Within a few months, besieged by tour buses and gawkers, she sells it and moves to a secure apartment in Manhattan.

Jacqueline Kennedy and Leonard Bernstein

September 8, 1971
Jacqueline Kennedy (now Onassis) attends the opening of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, her husband’s “living memorial.” She enters with Leonard Bernstein, composer of Mass, commissioned for the occasion.

May 1994
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies in New York City and is buried in Arlington Cemetery beside her husband, stillborn daughter Arabella and infant son Patrick.

Jean Lawlor Cohen
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