letters | revisiting the kennedy administration

Museum open to many points of view on Camelot years

JOAN VENNOCHI’S column criticizing the Kennedy Library - for presenting what she views as an uncritical assessment of John F. Kennedy’s presidency that glosses over alleged sexual misconduct in the Kennedy White House - demonstrates a misunderstanding of the library’s mission (“Telling the real story of Camelot,’’ Op-ed, Feb. 16). Administered by the National Archives, the library houses the documents and artifacts of the Kennedy administration and provides access to them for study and discussion. Scholars and the general public are encouraged to use these records to draw their own conclusions.

Besides promoting research, the library shares its collections through exhibitions and programs, such as our current temporary exhibit which is based on Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1964 oral history. Last fall, the Globe applauded Caroline Kennedy’s decision to publish that history unedited. That the exhibit tells the story from Jacqueline Kennedy’s perspective does not make it myth. As the only extensive interview she granted, it provides an unparalleled glimpse into her life and world view including her understanding of gender roles 50 years ago.

Our educational programming features forums on a range of contemporary topics including discussions about women and power that have featured Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, and Condoleezza Rice, whose words and example inspire new generations to lives of leadership and service.


Tom Putnam

Director, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston