Brookline, MA - John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site will celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service on Thursday, August 25, 2016 with special programming and events. President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the National Park System Organic Act, which created the National Park Service under the Department of the Interior. Though much has changed over the past 100 years, the mission remains the same: to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources within the United States for the enjoyment of visitors now and in the future.
“August – our birthday month – will be a nationwide celebration of national parks, and we’re inviting everyone to the party,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We like to think that we look pretty good for 100, and with so many events and activities to commemorate this milestone, we hope all Americans will join us to celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and inspiring history in our nation’s parks and public lands. Whether it is in a distant state or in your own community, there are hundreds of ways and places to find your park!”
Throughout the day, special talks celebrating Kennedy’s connection to the National Park Service, living history tours, and crafts and activities for all ages will be offered.
Visitor hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Ranger-guided house tours are offered from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, with the final, ranger-led tour beginning at 3:30 PM. From 12:00-1:00 PM and 4:00 to 5:00 PM, visitors are welcome to follow Mrs. Kennedy's self-guided tour through the first and second floors of the house. Hand-held audio-players are available so that visitors may follow the tour in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. Admission is free of charge
In 1969, the National Park Service (NPS) took ownership of the 2½ story, wood-frame house at 83 Beals Street. This home was the gift of Mrs. Rose Kennedy to the people of the United States to memorialize the birthplace of her son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.
During the summer visitor season, National Park Service rangers provide tours of the nine-room house museum where Kennedy family furnishings, photographs, and significant mementos personally collected and arranged by the president's mother are on exhibit. A taped narrative, featuring Mrs. Kennedy in her own words, is a unique and evocative addition to both the ranger-led and self-guided tours.
Visitors may also step back in time to 1917 and share Mrs. Rose Kennedy's memories of her family's early home via cell phone. A ranger-guided cell phone tour is also available. The cell phone tour is free. Normal usage rates apply. To access the tour, dial 617-992-9172. The tour can also be accessed via the web at http://myoncell.mobi/16179929172.
A small visitor center in the house basement offers exhibits, a film, a bookstore, and a restroom. A self-guided tour of the neighborhood is also included in the site brochure and gives visitors the opportunity to see other nearby sites associated with the Kennedy family, including a second home in Brookline, the location of the family's Catholic church, the Edward Devotion School which John F. Kennedy attended, and the Coolidge Corner shopping district. Ranger-led neighborhood tours are also offered during the summer months. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/jofi/planyourvisit or call 617-566-7937.