John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The official site of the JFK Presidential Library and Museum is a treasure trove of primary documents and online exhibits about the era and presidency of JFK. The digital archive contains searchable collection of images, documents, oral histories, and more. The site has links to multiple interactive exhibits, such as the Oval Office, integrating Ole Miss, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and virtual tour of the museum. Additional exhibits highlight the campaign trail of 1960, Kennedy’s inauguration, the space program, and Jackie Kennedy. Separate sections for teachers and students provide links for lesson plans, student research, and historical literature.
Sponsored by the Kennedy Presidential Library, this site provides an in-depth look of the Kennedy presidency. Multimedia files are separated by theme, including public service, the environment, civil rights, science and innovation, foreign policy, and the arts. Major events of JFK’s term are presented in an interactive timeline that utilizes a graphic novel format. JFK’s legacy is explored in the Legacy Gallery, with video interviews from current politicians, artists, and citizens discussion how the ideas of Kennedy still influence our lives today. The site also contains a subsection for downloading resources and creating an individual exhibit. For one stop overview of the term of our 35th president, JFK 50 is a the site to visit.
We Choose the Moon
For an overview of one of Kennedy’s greatest legacies, We Choose the Moon is indispensible. Beginning with lift-off, the site takes users through a step-by-step journey to the moon, accompanies by animation and the actual mission control transmission. Each stage contains a JFK gallery along with video and photos. While the site does take a bit to load due to the heavy use of animation and multimedia, it is more than worth the wait.
This companion site to the American Experience documentary The Kennedys focuses on the “storied political legacy” of the Kennedy family. The site includes a transcript of the documentary, biographies of each prominent members of the family, general articles on various topics, interviews with the biographers of John and Edward Kennedy, and some primary documents. While the site is not flashy or driven by multimedia, the transcripts and accompanying articles give insight into the family and the Kennedy Presidency.
American Radio Works – The President Calling – John F. Kennedy
This site features transcripts of telephone calls from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon White Houses. The Kennedy section details JFK’s political persuasion in handling the Mississippi Crisis of James Meredith enrolling at Ole Miss. The transcripts provide insight into Kennedy’s “ability to charm and – sometimes – the limits of his power to persuade.” A few of the recordings are included as audio files.
The American Presidency Project – John F. Kennedy
This collection of audio and video provides primary source recordings of many of the major remarks of JFK. A QuickTime plug-in is needed to play most of the media files.
Archive of American Television – John F. Kennedy Presidency
This site from the Television Academy Foundation is an interesting look at JFK’s relationship with television. Primary source footage is combined with interviews from historians and television executives to detail Kennedy’s use of television to deliver his message and gain support from the public. The Kennedy-Nixon Debates earns its own section of the site.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza
This online companion to the Dallas museum interprets the life, death, and legacy of John F. Kennedy. Many of the museum’s past and present exhibits have an online presence, including text, images, and video. The site also contains a small sample of the collections of the museum, including multimedia and artifacts. While not the most comprehensive source, the site provides some excellent information and media concerning the Kennedy assassination.
History Matters – The JFK Assassination
According to the website, the goal of the site “is to shed needed light on the darker aspects of post-World-War-II American politics, and in particular the tumultuous assassinations of the 1960s.” The site contains primary documents, side articles and essays, audio clips, and indexes to the various types of information presented. Analyzing the site for bias could be a great activity for an upper level history class.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Make this your first stop for examining the life presidency, and legacy of LBJ. The site includes a timeline of LBJ’s life, films detailing specific topics about LBJ, online companions to the museum’s actual exhibits, and a collection of documents and photos. LBJLib.org also has external links to a presidential timeline, LBJ’s daily diary, and examples of LBJ in the news today.
LBJ for Kids
Part of the LBJ Library and Museum, this site is an interactive study of President Johnson, aimed at students in elementary and middle school. The main focus is Johnson’s “Great Society”, providing an overview of Johnson’s various programs as well as “activity pods” that relate Great Society goals to the lives of students. Each subsection includes a photo and media gallery. The site also has a timeline of LBJ’s life, corresponding to other presidencies and major (and minor) inventions. The organization of the site makes it a very simple tool for examining the Great society.
American Radio Works – The President Calling – Lyndon Baines Johnson
According to historian William Doyle, “If there were one single tool of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency, it was the telephone.” This site examines Doyle’s thesis in detail by focusing on LBJ’s phone calls as he took office after JFK’s assassination, the crisis in Selma, and the Vietnam War. The calls, both it written transcripts and in audio format, bring Johnson the President to life as he faced dilemmas during his years in the Oval Office.
The Presidents – Lyndon B. Johnson
This companion site to PBS’ The Presidents documentary series provides an extended biography of the 36th President, some primary sources from his presidency, and an interactive “vote on the issues” activity. The site also contains a link to the full documentary on Johnson, visible in either QuickTime or Real Player.