I always come back to the Cape and walk on the beach when I have a tough decision to make. The Cape is the one place I can think and be alone. – President John F. Kennedy
door STAN BOS
A summer house in Hyannis Port, Massachussetts
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy purchased their Hyannis Port summer house in 1928. Located on the shore, the house played an important role during the presidential campaign of their son John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960. Later, John and Bobby purchased their own house close to the family home. To the Kennedy family, the compound has always been a special place for privacy, vacation and family gatherings. Caroline Kennedy held her wedding reception at the compound, while Senator Ted Kennedy lived at the compound until his death in 2009: he called it ‘home’. Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert Kennedy, is still living in the neighbourhood, at 109 Irving Ave. It is said that she still visits the nearby store often. Although the compound isn’t open to the public, a walk on the beach to get close to the main house is possible. Address: 50 Marchant Avenue.
In 1960, after JFK and his wife Jackie voted in Boston, they flew back to Cape Cod to await the outcome of the presidential election at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port. After Vice President Richard Nixon conceded, then Senator and President-elect John F. Kennedy held his victory speech at the Hyannis Armory at 225 South Street. The building was erected 2 years earlier. Today, the Hyannis Armory is an old building, especially after the American economy collapsed in 2008.
St. Francis Xavier Church
After Joe and Rose Kennedy bought their summer house in Hyannis Port they attend mass at the Saint Francis Xavier Church, located on 347 South Street. Until her death in 1995, Rose Kennedy always sat in the front row. She considered the church as the catholic spiritual center. When their oldest son Joe jr. died after his plane was shot down during World War II the service was held in St. Francis Xavier Church. The main altar is a memorial to him. John F. Kennedy attended the Sunday mass in this church during the summertime. When Eunice Kennedy Shriver died in 2009, the funeral service was held here.
On 397 Main Street in Hyannis Port, a special JFK Museum tells about the years of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the Kennedy family on Cape Cod. The museum has special exhibits on a frequently basis. In front of the museum, a statue of JFK was erected by his brother Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy in 2007. Parking is free at the parking lot behind the museum.
Hyannis Port breathes the Kennedy’s. Beside the compound, the JFK Museum, the armory and the church, visitors have the possibility to do the self-guided walking tour. The tour is 1,6 miles in one direction and takes approximately one and a half hours. The tour brings you also to Main Street, Roses for Rose Kennedy, Cape Cod National Seashore Information, Peace Corps Memorial, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Hyannis Harbor and the JFK Memorial at Veterans Beach (shown in the picture).
November 22nd, 2013
As the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination comes close, Hyannis Port and the JFK Museum are remembering the life and legacy of the 35th President. On Friday November 22 the JFKMuseum will be open all day with extended hours into the early evening. The front portico will have black bunting wrapped around the pillars as it was done fifty years ago. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church on South Street at 2 pm. At that same time, the moment President Kennedy was pronounced dead, churches in Barnstable county will be asked to ring their bells.