John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum tells the story of President John F. Kennedy, who ran a successful presidential campaign in 1960 from his house in Hyannis Port. The Cape Cod museum also focuses on the legacies of other successful Kennedys, including Joseph P. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, who spent their summers on the banks of Cape Cod.

Joseph P. Kennedy and his family first came to Cape Cod in 1926, when Joseph rented a small cottage on the banks of Hyannis Harbor. It was the Roaring Twenties and Joseph was making millions working as an investor on Wall Street. The family liked the Cape and, in 1928, Joseph purchased the cottage in Hyannis Port and converted it into a large summer house.

In the coming decades, the Kennedys spent all their summers on the shores of Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port. JFK spent many of those summer days sailing in Lewis Bay. On his fifteenth birthday, JFK’s parents gifted him a 25-foot Wianno Senior sloop, which he named Victura and, at the age of seventeen, he won the Nantucket Sound Star Class Championship Cup.

In the 1950s, the Kennedys bought two new residences in Hyannis Port. In 1955, Ted Kennedy purchased a home on Marchant Avenue, next to his parent’s house, which he sold to Robert F. Kennedy in 1961. In 1956, JFK purchased a small house on Irving Avenue, next to Ted’s. These three residences make up the Kennedy Compound.

JFK made the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port the base for his 1960 presidential campaign. On November 9, he gave his victory speech at the Hyannis Armory. During his presidency, the Kennedy Compound was a Summer White House and a presidential retreat for JFK and his family. When he wasn’t in Washington DC, Ted also spent most of his time at the compound.

The JFK Hyannis Museum focuses on the Kennedy family’s deep personal connection to Cape Cod, as well as the legacies of family members like Joseph, JFK, Robert, and Ted. The museum, which hopes to inspire attendees to pursue civic commitment, features exhibits dedicated to politics, civil rights, and the “Camelot” legend of the Kennedy presidency.

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