We have both been to
Fluent in French, at age ten John Quincy accompanied his foreign minister father to
John's wife Abigail accompanied him on his foreign minister assignments to
Which brings us to our next activity—visiting the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, an awesome architectural statement by I.M. Pei on the U. Mass Boston Campus. What stands out about this museum for us is how much it uses televisions to tell its stories, perhaps because Kennedy was the first President to truly understand the power of the medium and to use it in a highly telegenic fashion (as did Jackie). The Nixon/Kennedy debates, which Kennedy pressured Nixon into doing, were the first televised Presidential candidate debates, and Kennedy did the first live televised news conferences—averaging one every sixteen days of his Presidency.
It was interesting to see that, like John Quincy Adams, JFK accompanied his foreign ambassador father on his missions, in Kennedy's case acting as his father's secretary. We were reminded how many positions President Kennedy handed to family members once he became President, and how well his patronage seemed to work out—those Kennedys and Shrivers sure are hard-working do-gooders.
We spent an evening in
Our next evening was spent far less eventfully and far more pleasantly at the Henry Derby House, a Bed and Breakfast Inn in
We couldn't help ourselves—we had to go to the city's most popular
After the show in the dark, we were released to a large exhibit gallery where a docent led us as a group through the exhibits, and made sure we got the following messages. Witches in early civilizations were wise women who knew how to use natural medicine. The Christian Church demonized them to take away their power, because it threatened the male-dominated church. Witches are in the world today and they look just like you and me. The Supreme Court recognized their Wiccan religion in 1985, so they deserve freedom of religion as much as anyone else. The final message was an equation: Fear + trigger = scapegoat. Beneath this equation were the witch elements: fear of the devil + doctor who couldn't diagnose illness = witch trials. These were followed by several more historic situations that fit the equation—fear of war leading to Japanese Americans being scapegoated and put in internment camps, McCarthy playing on fear of communism to get people blacklisted, fear of the AIDS epidemic leading to scapegoating gay people.
Although we agreed with most of what was said there, we were still amazed at the liberal agenda of the museum, and we could tell that we are becoming real Southerners, because we winced at the religious angle—this Museum really badmouthed Christians and scoffed at their belief in the Devil. How far the pendulum has swung in