Presidents Day Our 35th President John F. Kennedy.

Today we mark the birthday of our first president, George Washington, which was actually February 22. The holiday, however, has become widely-known as Presidents’ Day to honor all who have held the office, and so is also an opportunity to remember our 35th president, John F. Kennedy.

In the 1960s, February 22 was a federal holiday, no matter what day of the week it fell (Lincoln’s February 12 birthday, incidentally, was never a federal holiday). On all three times it rolled around during his administration, President Kennedy found time to relax. In 1961, after a series of morning briefings at the White House, he played nine holes of golf in the afternoon, followed by a few more meetings and then dinner at a friend’s home. In 1963, he was at the Kennedy family compound in Palm Beach, Fla. He went to the beach in the morning and cruised on the yacht Honey Fitz in the afternoon.

On February 22, 1962, he was also in Palm Beach. He had flown down from Washington earlier in the day, accompanied by the family of astronaut John Glenn. They would all attend a medal ceremony in Glenn’s honor the next day at Cape Canaveral after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth on Feb. 20.

It was Kennedy’s first visit to the Cape, and he received a brief tour of launch facilities before pinning NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal on Glenn’s lapel. The president would come to the space center on two more occasions during his time in office. We cover all three visits with multi-page photo spreads in our new book, The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy, along with detailed captions providing the rich historical background for each image.   By John Bisney for Retrospaceimages Blog.  

This book is now available.  Follow the affiliate link below to view on Amazon. 


The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy




JFK Feb 22 President John F. Kennedy (at bottom of airplane stairs) and members of John Glenn’s family exit Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 22, 1962. Walking down the stairs behind Kennedy are Glenn’s wife, Annie; his daughter, Lyn; and his son David.



Book Related Activity Picking Up

Book activity is beginning to pick up with “The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy” being released next month, and “Picturing Apollo 11” in March. I have been getting book signings lined up. Got a “thumbs up” from folks at National Air and Space Museum and Udvar-Hazy yesterday, just need to get dates coordinated. It was great being in D.C. a few years ago with our previous books. John Bisney and I were joined by our good friend Jacques Tiziou, whom we lost two years ago next month. We also had a surprise visit from Andy Chaikin and Paul Fjeld (at right in photo). Both new books are pre-selling really well on Amazon, and John and I are looking forward to getting out on the road with them.

Picturing Apollo 11: Rare Views and Undiscovered Moments

The Space Aged-Presidency of John F. Kennedy










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The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy

“The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy” is an unprecedented photo history book that pulls together more than 520 images for the first time, many previously unpublished, to visually document JFK’s interactions with the American space program. The authors drew from NASA, the US Air Force, Los Alamos, White Sands, the Kennedy Library, and other sources to chronicle his space-related activities and travels from 1961-63. Project Mercury and X-15/X-20 fans will enjoy this book, but it also encompasses the new age of satellites, space probes, and nuclear missiles. Readers will go behind the scenes at the White House and on field trips to military and space facilities around the country as Kennedy explores his nation’s growing capabilities. Each photo is accompanied by a detailed caption providing historical depth. This short video will give you a taste of what’s inside.  Authors John Bisney and J.L. Pickering.



The book is available now for pre-order on Amazon with a release date of February 14.

The Space-Aged Presidency of John F. Kennedy


The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy

I am pleased to share a promotional video for the book “The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy” by John Bisney and myself. The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Please click the link below to watch the promotional video.

The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy

The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy.

I am pleased to announce that my next book with coauthor John Bisney, The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy – A Rare Photographic History, will be published in March by the University of New Mexico Press. The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy

This unprecedented work captures the compelling story of President Kennedy’s role in advancing the US space program, set against the Cold War with the Soviet Union. It chronicles his activities in Washington and his travels throughout the country during 1961-1963, a pivotal three years for NASA. It also further unveils Kennedy’s ambivalence toward the Apollo program as the centerpiece of America’s space race against the Soviets.

Filled with many unpublished photos of the president at civilian and military space facilities, it showcases rare photographs with exhaustively-researched captions. We also include excerpts from Kennedy’s speeches, news conferences, and once-secret White House recordings to provide more context through Kennedy’s own words.

We are very grateful to Dr. Christopher C. Kraft for providing the foreword. John and I hope you will enjoy our latest space history photo book.

JFK BookJFK Book Back Page