Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The Mudd Manuscript Library celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s election in 2010 with an exhibition and more than 30 Public Policy collections contain material related to Kennedy.
Within the University Archives, his undergraduate alumni file contains his application to the University, details his brief time on campus and reasons for his departure, and some later correspondence with and about him.
The first page of JFK’s Princeton Application
The file contains his application essay that is very similar to his Harvard essay, which was released in 2011. This digitized file is part of the Mudd Library’s ongoing digitization efforts.
by: Dan Linke
Behind the scenes tours of Mudd Manuscript Library offered
On Saturday, October 23, Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library will host a special Open House from 9 a.m. until noon. This event will feature the library’s current exhibit, John F. Kennedy: From Old Nassau to the New Frontier, which highlights objects, photographs, and documents created during Kennedy’s time as a Princeton student and throughout his political career.
John F. Kennedy: From Old Nassau to the New Frontier is the first exhibit to feature objects from both major collections of the Mudd Library, the Princeton University Archives and the 20th century Public Policy Papers. Highlights include his handwritten application to Princeton, a Jackie Onassis letter to Adlai Stevenson, and documents from the Warren Commission.
Memorabilia from John F. Kennedy’s brief stint as a Princeton student and items from his political career- including a 1935 Christmas card depicting Kennedy with his Princeton roommates dressed in top hats and suits in homage to Fred Astaire from the motion picture Top Hat (which opened earlier that year), and photographs and documents from the Warren Commission’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding Kennedy’s assassination- are part of a new exhibition in the Wiess Lounge at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Running through September 2, 2011, John F. Kennedy: From Old Nassau to the New Frontier commemorates the 50th anniversary of the election of our 35th President and his Princeton connections.
This exhibition showcases the rarely-seen Princetonian side of Kennedy, who attended the University late in the fall semester of 1935 despite his father’s desire that he attend Harvard University. Unaware of his future in politics, Kennedy had declared his intended profession to be "banking" on his application and stated that the campus environment of Old Nassau was "second to none." Kennedy was admitted to the entering freshmen class in 1935 and shared a dormitory with his former Choate high school classmates Kirk LeMoyne Billings and Ralph Horton, Jr. in #9 Reunion Hall South. However, after a brief few weeks as a member of the Class of 1939 he left Princeton due to health reasons and later graduated from Harvard with the Class of 1940. The other presidents to have attended Princeton were James Madison and Woodrow Wilson.