John F Kennedy Historical Sites

Trip Historic can help you follow in the footsteps of President John F Kennedy and visit sites that relate to the life of  this iconic US leader.

To find out more about these John F Kennedy historical sites, you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below. Once you’ve selected those historical places you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook.

Our database of historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other historic sites relating to President Kennedy , you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

John F Kennedy: Site Index

Photo by pastorbuhro (cc)

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is an iconic burial site and a US national monument. It is the resting place of President John F Kennedy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is both a military burial site and an iconic monument to fallen soldiers. Initially, the site of Arlington Cemetery began as a house – Arlington House – built in memory of President George Washington. The house, which still stands today, then became the property of Mary and Robert E. Lee.

During the American Civil War, Lee was asked to be a Union leader but refused, waiting to see how Virginia would side. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Lee became a commander of the Confederate army and fled from Arlington House shortly before the Union crossed the Potomac River and took the land around Washington. Eventually captured, Arlington House would become a Union army base.

In January 1864, the government legally purchased Arlington House and, later that year, desperately in need of space to bury the increasing number of war casualties, Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs designated Arlington a national cemetery – a function for which it had unofficially already been used. By the end of the conflict in 1865, Arlington housed the graves of over 5,000 soldiers.

Over the years, Arlington National Cemetery has come to represent a memorial to all US soldiers who have died for their country and is still an active cemetery. In fact, there are approximately 300,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery, neatly aligned and each with a white headstone.

With its status as a nationally heritage site, Arlington National Cemetery has also formed the location of numerous monuments. Amongst these are The Arlington Memorial Amphitheatre, where memorials and funerals are held, the United States Marine Corps Memorial, an iconic statue depicting soldiers raising the American flag and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

Arlington National Cemetery is also the home of The Tomb of the Unknowns, a burial place for one unidentified soldier from each of World War I, World War II and the Korean War. There was a soldier from the Vietnam War, but he was later identified and moved.

Many famous Americans are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, from military heroes to astronauts and leaders such as President John F Kennedy. Those visiting Arlington National Cemetery can start at the visitor centre, where there are guide books, maps and exhibits. Arlington House itself is also open to the public, with a museum and guides chronicling this building’s unique history.

Photo by freddthompson (cc)

Bay of Pigs Museum

The Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami relates to the failed 1961 attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro which became notorious during Kennedy’s presidency.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami, Florida is dedicated to the 2506 Brigade, the group which undertook the failed attempt by to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The Bay of Pigs invasion was undertaken by Cuban exiles supported by the CIA and US government under President John F Kennedy. In April 1961, approximately 1,400 exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of removing Castro.

The vast majority of the 2506 Brigade were taken captive, many other having been killed in the attack. Overall, the Bay of Pigs invasion was a major source of humiliation to Kennedy’s administration and only served to worsen the tensions of the Cold War.

The Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami houses a small collection of items, photographs and documents relating to the Bay of Pigs.

Photo by siyublog (cc)

Berlin Wall

On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy delivered his famous declaration “Ich bin ein Berliner” at Rudolph Wilde Platz near the Berlin Wall.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Berlin Wall was an 87 mile long concrete barrier between East and West Berlin, a symbol of the Cold War and an embodiment of the so-called ‘Iron Curtain’ between eastern and western Europe.

Originally just a barbed wire fence erected within 24 hours on 13 August 1961, a more robust, concrete version of the Berlin Wall was built on 15 August 1961.

The origins of the Berlin Wall can be found following World War II, when what remained of Nazi Germany was divided between the Allied Powers, being the Americans, British, French and the Soviet Union. Berlin, which sat in the Soviet sector, was similarly divided between the four nations.

However, when differences arose between the Soviet Union and the other three countries as to their approach to reconstructing Germany, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin declared the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and in August 1961, erected first a barbed wire barrier and then a concrete barrier, closing the border between east and west Berlin to stop Berliners from the east escaping to the other Allied controlled areas of the city.

The Berlin Wall was a matter of great controversy throughout its existence, with world leaders continually calling for it to be torn down, including John F Kennedy’s famous declaration of “Ich bin ein Berliner” and Ronald Reagan’s 1987 speech when he implored, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!".

The fall of the Berlin Wall finally occurred on 9 November 1989 and the wall was almost completely dismantled in the days and weeks that followed.

Very few segments of the wall remain. The largest, 1.3 kilometer, section can be found at the open air East Side Gallery, although small sections are dotted throughout the city. The Berlin Wall is featured as one of our Top Tourist Attractions of Germany.

Photo by MadMarlin (cc)

Dealey Plaza

Dealey Plaza in Texas was the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas was the site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at 12:30pm (CST) on 22 November 1963. Kennedy was the thirty-fifth President of the United States of America and served during the Cold War, his premiership encompassing events such as the Invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the building of the Berlin Wall.

At the time of his assassination, Kennedy was being driven through Dealey Plaza in an open-top car with his wife Jacqueline in the presidential motorcade. He was shot and later declared dead in the emergency room of Parkland Hospital.

The circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy remain a source of contention. Official investigations at the time found that his killer had been Lee Harvey Oswald, who is said to have hidden on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, from where he fired the deadly shots. Oswald denied the crime. However, he was never tried as he himself was fatally shot two days later.

In the years since Kennedy’s assassination there have been numerous conspiracy theories as to who was responsible for his murder.

Dealey Plaza has changed little from the day of Kennedy’s assassination. There are several nearby monuments, such as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. There is also a small museum, known as the Sixth Floor Museum, in the adjacent Texas School Book Depository where Oswald is alleged to have hidden. This chronicles the life of John F Kennedy. The museum also offers audio guides to Dealey Plaza and nearby sites, which is included in the entry fee.

Photo by hoyasmeg (cc)

Museo Playa Girón

Museo Playa Girón is a history museum in Cuba focusing on the Bay of Pigs invasion.

DID YOU KNOW?

Museo Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs Museum) in Cuba is dedicated to the Bay of Pigs invasion.

In April 1961, during the Cold War, approximately 1,400 Cuban exiles invaded the Bay of Pigs - Playa Girón – with the aim of overthrowing Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

This attack failed in its entirety, with most of the force being taken prisoner and around one hundred being killed. The Bay of Pigs invasion was particularly humiliating for the US government under President John F Kennedy, who supported the exiles in their attempted coup by land and by air as well as training them.

Today, Museo Playa Girón is a small museum near the exiles’ landing site and battle sites. It houses a collection of photographs and other historic pieces relating to the invasion, whilst outside there lie the remains of an American aircraft as well as other military vehicles. Museo Playa Girón does not currently offer any English translation of its exhibits.