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13 Ways We Remember JFK Today

He appears to be the most memorialized president. Did his premature death lead to his global preeminence?

November 21, 2013

If the recent buzz surrounding the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death isn't enough to calibrate Kennedy's popularity, try counting only a fraction of the monuments, places, and things that are named after him around the world.

Jan. 25, 1968, photo of the Apollo VI program launch at the Kennedy Space Center.(AFP/Getty Images)

THE JOHN F. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER NASA's Launch Operations Center at Cape Canaveral was renamed after the president, a nod to his goal to land a man on the moon by 1970. 

(Glyn Lowe Photoworks/Flickr)

THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS opened in 1971 in Washington. The center offers free performances every day.

(Matthias Shapiro/Flickr)

THE HALF DOLLAR Since 1964, Kennedy has graced the 50-cent piece. A few months after the Mint release, circulation plummeted due to the number of hoarding collectors and memento-seekers.


The Belfer Center, on the John F. Kennedy School of Government campus.(Aidan Wakely-Mulroney/Flickr)

THE JOHN F. KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT at Harvard University. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 100 schools are named after Kennedy, more than any other president.

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT The New York International airport, previously Idlewild Airport, was renamed after the late president just one month after his assassination. Or, as it is better known by its IATA code, "JFK."

(Wally Gobetz/Flickr)

THE JOHN F. KENNEDY NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, or 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Mass., is the birthplace and childhood home of young John.


(Daniel Brim/Flickr)

ROUTE DU PRESIDENT KENNEDY is the official name of Québec Route 173, in Québec, Canada. Kennedy was well liked in predominantly Roman Catholic Québec. This road is also known as the old path from Québec City to Boston, not far from the fallen President's Brookline birthplace.


THE JOHN F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL In May 1964, the former Lord Mayor of Melbourne dedicated the stone and plaque, located in Fitzroy Gardens, Victoria, Australia.


YAD KENNEDY is on the same grounds of the John F. Kennedy Peace Forest, in Jerusalem, Israel. The memorial resembles the stump of a fallen tree, symbolizing a life cut short. An eternal flame burns inside the 51 concrete columns, one for each U.S. state, and one for Washington, D.C.


(Alexander Glintschert/Flickr)

JOHN F. KENNEDY PLATZ Kennedy's famous words "Ich bin ein Berliner" resonated in this public square in his 1963 speech.


A LIFE SIZE STATUE in Puerto Rico, across from the Capitol in San Juan, preserves the public memory.

(Gareth Simpson/Flickr)

THAT STREET IN BACK TO THE FUTURE Though fictional, the 1985 film references a "John F. Kennedy Drive" that replaced the 1955 street name, "Riverside Drive." This new dedication prompts Marty McFly's grandfather to question, "Who the hell is John F. Kennedy?"


(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

THE ETERNAL FLAME Perhaps the most intimate way we remember JFK is with the eternal flame that burns at his gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery. Jacqueline Kennedy requested an eternal flame for her late husband's grave the day after he died. It was built overnight. Mrs. Kennedy lit the eternal flame at the end the burial service on Nov. 25, 1963.

In line with the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Memorial, Kennedy's grave is one of only two presidential gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery.

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