Collection title: Collection on John F.
Kennedy's visit to the University of Maine
Collection number: SpC MS 273
Dates of collection: 1963-1983 (bulk 1963)
Size of collection: 1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Provenance: appears to have been transferred to Special Collections by the Office of the President at the University of Maine
Restrictions on access and use: Stored in the library's remote storage area. One week's notice requested for access.
John F. Kennedy visited the campus of the University of Maine for a special convocation program on October 19, 1963, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Materials in the collection were created by members of the staff of the office of University of Maine President Lloyd H. Elliot. According to a press release included in the collection, “arrangements for President Kennedy’s visit to the university were made by Senator Edmund S. Muskie, who felt that the State University was the logical site for a presidential address during the chief executive’s visit to Maine for an inspection flight over the proposed Passamaquoddy Power project site.”
Scope and Content Note
Materials include correspondence, telegrams, photographs, convocation program, press kit, and transcript of remarks of President Kennedy. Correspondence prior to the event includes letters to government officials helping to arrange the visit, including Maine's Governor John H. Reed, Senator Ed Muskie and Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Correspondence following the event include many letters congratulating President Lloyd Elliott on the success of the progam, although some letters note that "in the eyes of some alumni and friends of the institution," the choice of Kennedy to receive an honorary degree was controversial. Information is included about a film that was produced to document Kennedy's visit, as well as President Elliott's remarks following President Kennedy's assassination.
Several photographs of President Kennedy's visit can be found in the University Photograph Archive. Contact Special Collections for assistance. The department also holds the cap and gown worn by President Kennedy during the ceremony.
f1 University of Maine publications
f2 Convocation program, citations, speech transcripts
f3 Convocation preparations, stage party list, seating arrangement
f4 Press kit
f5 Transcript of remarks, President Kennedy
f6 Related correspondence, Office of UMaine President Lloyd Elliott, October 16-October 31, 1963
f7 Related correspondence, November 6, 1963-November 4, 1965
f8 Telegrams, October-November, 1963
f9 Remembrance, 1983
f10 News clippings
f11 Newspapers, Bangor Daily News, October 19-20, 1963
f12 Newspapers, Bangor Daily News, October 21, 1963
f13 Additional Press Materials