1. The Kennedys and Cape Cod

In 1928, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy & Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. purchased their Hyannis Port summer home, now known as the Kennedy Compound. Located on the shore, less than three miles from where you are standing, it served as a getaway for the Kennedys, including U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and U.S. Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy. The JFK Hyannis Museum, behind you, is a multi-media exhibit designed to open a window on the days JFK spent on Cape Cod, and features over 80 photographs spanning the years 1934–1963.

The JFK Forever Statue

President John F. Kennedy once said, “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.” This statue captures JFK doing just that, walking on the Cape’s sandy shores. The statue was created and designed by noted sculptor, David Lewis. It was unveiled on May 29, 2007, on what would have been JFK’s 90th Birthday. A crowd of several hundred people, including his brother Senator Ted Kennedy, gathered here for the unveiling.

The Kennedy Compound

In 1928 Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy & Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. purchased a six acre property and house in Hyannis Port. Twenty years later JFK and his brother Robert expanded the family footprint by purchasing nearby homes. John used the compound as a base for his successful 1960 Presidential campaign and later as a Presidential retreat. It was here that his family came to seek peace after JFK’s assassination in 1963. Many important events in the Kennedy Family Legacy center around the compound. JFK’s daughter, Caroline, held her wedding in nearby Centerville at Our Lady of Victory Church and the reception was hosted at the compound.  The family retreated to Hyannis Port to mourn the tragic death of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and sister-in-law, killed in a plane crash off Martha's Vineyard in 1999. JFK’s brother, US Senator Ted Kennedy, called the compound home from 1982 until his death in 2009. Robert’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, keeps a house next to the main residence. The public cannot access the compound, but images of the home are on display at the JFK Museum. The best way to view the compound is from the water. Private boat tours to view the compound depart from Bismore Park in Hyannis Harbor, stop # 9 on the Kennedy Legacy Trail.