JFK Hyannis Museum Kicks Off Season with Stamp Commemoration

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: From Left: Post Office Operations Manager for Cape Cod and the Islands John Fitzpatrick, President of the JFK Hyannis Museum Board of Directors Dick Neitz, Congressman William Keating and JFK Hyannis Museum Executive Director John Allen at the commemoration event for the new JFK forever stamp at the museum Monday.

HYANNIS – The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum opened for the season yesterday with a special dedication of the new U.S. Postal Service forever stamp honoring the centennial of JFK’s birth.

The stamp, which features a 1960 photo of Kennedy taken by Ted Spiegel while he was campaigning for president in Seattle, was unveiled in Boston on Presidents’ Day and went on sale the next day.

“He’s such an important part of Cape Cod here that we felt we needed to do something to commemorate what he has meant to Cape Cod and the Islands,” said John Fitzpatrick, the former postmaster of Hyannis and current post office operations manager for Cape Cod and the Islands. “So we wanted to do something in addition to the initial day of issue.”

Fitzpatrick said JFK embodied the spirit of America.

“He was really the ideal that we were all kind of aiming and striving for,” he said. “And his vision of the country was terrific and very patriotic.”

Bourne Congressman Will Keating said honoring the life of JFK is more relevant today than in any previous decade with issues like non-proliferation, the relationship with Russia, civil rights and religious tolerance.

“I come here. I walk around. I remember another era that, to me, doesn’t seem that far away and helped inspire me into public service,” Keating said. “But also I’m just so struck more than at any time as to how that message is so important today.”

Fitzpatrick said the stamp is selling very well.

“We’ll only probably sell it for a year or two before we rotate something else in, but it’s a very popular stamp.

The artwork accompanying the stamp, which shows the 35th President in a reflective pose, is a 1970 oil painting by Aaron Shikler.

The commemoration event officially kicked off the season for the JFK Hyannis Museum which will have the added significance of the centennial of Kennedy’s birth.

“We’re excited,” said John Allen, the museum’s executive director. “We’re excited because we will have a new exhibit in which will really focus on his legacy and his life in its entirety.”

The new exhibit, which opens May 22, will also bring out some of the themes of his presidency and commitment to public service.

“People come here to be inspired,” Allen said. “There’s a real sense of inspiration for working through some of the challenges that may be around us and they look to him for leadership and hope – those who were alive when he was here.”

The new exhibit opens one week before the centennial of JFK’s birth on May 29.

The museum is also partnering with the Cape Symphony for a JFK Centennial Commemoration Concert on May 28 at 5 p.m. at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

“Maestro Jung-Ho Pak has done a great job putting together a very exciting program and a moving program,” Allen said. “We’ve had extremely brisk sales. In fact, we are probably over half without any real advertising.”

The son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Sergie Khrushchev, will be in Falmouth as a guest speaker in Falmouth on July 19 and for a collaboration with the Museum on the Green. Khrushchev will be in Hyannis the following day for a reception at the JFK Hyannis Museum and another event at the Cape Codder.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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