Return to Camelot

WOSU looks back at the Kennedy White House years, a time when the mansion was filled with youthfulness, gaiety, and elegance, and the guest lists included novelists, painters, musicians and poets mingling with diplomats, politicians and statesmen on a scale larger than any presidency had done before.

With their leadership and engaging style, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy encouraged Americans to participate along with them in exploring and enjoying music in its many forms. Likewise, WOSU invites you to explore and to enjoy our "Return to Camelot."

The Camelot Myth

Nov 22, 2013
Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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"I felt as though I were inside a golden coach drawn by four 
pure-bred white horses into the glitter of mythic Camelot."

-- Isaac Stern on meeting President Kennedy

Firsts in the Arts

Nov 22, 2013
Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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“The first American President to give art, literature, and music a place of dignity and honor in our national life.” --Lewis Mumford 

Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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In large measure, the musical reputation the Kennedy White House enjoyed was due primarily to Jackie Kennedy. In spite of his contributions towards musical appreciation, the President himself was less than a music enthusiast.

While he took piano lessons as a child, “Anybody studying this boy’s character when he was practicing scales would have said he’d never grow up to become President of the United States.”

Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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The Kennedy White House had many notable highlights from 1961 to 1963. 

Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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President Kennedy spoke often about the importance of the arts to the national health and well-being. We've collected here his more pertinent and famous remarks, letters, speeches and articles.

Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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"I can tell you that there is no city in the United States where a Democrat gets a warmer welcome and less votes than in Columbus, Ohio!"

--John F. Kennedy, Remarks in Response to New York's Birthday Salute to the President, May 19, 1962

In Remembrance

Nov 22, 2013
Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."

Leonard Bernstein, November 1963

Return to Camelot Music of the Kennedy White House
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"The National Cultural Center is the most significant cultural undertaking in the history of this city and has enormous importance to the cultural life of the nation as a whole."

-- President Kennedy, March 9, 1961 in letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the proposed National Cultural Center

The Dream