AP English Students Take Trip to JFK Library

Kaylee Hill, Contributing Writer

On Thursday, December 15th, Hingham High School’s AP English Language and Composition classes took a field trip to the John F. Kennedy Museum in Boston. A great opportunity to learn something new, beyond the classroom setting.

Students promptly left the High School at 8:30 in the morning to catch the 9:15 exhibit start. Upon arriving at the museum, guides ushered everybody into the auditorium for a brief viewing of John F. Kennedy’s life and background. The quick clip depicted his childhood to serving in the war to then campaigning his start into politics. Junior Ethan Ayer really enjoyed the video, “it was a good introduction to the exhibits and interesting perspective of that time period”.

After the clip, students were handed out blue booklets to guide their excursions around the museum. The first stop was about the Kennedy family and JFK’s first interests. JFK grew up in a wealthy Irish Catholic household with many siblings. His first career choice was journalist or professor, but after serving in the Navy during World War II, his life changed and so began his race in politics.

JFK’s tactics for campaigning compared to today’s were extremely different. There were buttons with slogans “If I were 21, I would vote for Kennedy” and signs with his name all over the country. His campaigners used a combination of persuasive appeal to younger and older generations to capture the votes. Women wore festive red, white, and blue dresses to help support their candidate, either JFK or Nixon.

Next, students got an inside look at a replica of the Oval Office, where some of the action took place during JFK’s presidency. Here, JFK worked tirelessly to propose and fulfill plans for the ongoing civil rights crisis and deter the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviets had begun constructing nuclear missile sites in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, inciting US fear of attack.

Moving on, the last exhibit students looked at was focused on JFK’s push for scientific advancement. JFK was very adamant about competing in the Space Race and being the first country to land on the moon. As students began to make their way toward the exit, students got to see a replica of the Mercury Space Capsule named Freedom 7 that was used to take the first American into space.

As a wrap up, students and teachers held a brief overview of all the exhibits and a discussion about JFK’s life and presidency. Junior Sydney Boer “thought it was a very eloquent museum, romanticized, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it.”. Overall a wonderful learning experience and students fairly enjoyed the visit to the JFK Museum.