Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Andrew Feffer




JFK, presidential campaign, fontier, image


The motivation for this project came from my desire to investigate the substance behind President John F. Kennedy’s careful self‐presentation during his presidential campaign and incumbency, and to demonstrate how his memory is still prevalent in today’s society. I applied Robert Slotkin’s language from Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth­Century America as a framework to my discussion on the language Kennedy conveyed to the American public, starting with his creation of the New Frontier at the 1960 Democratic National Convention. By establishing an image evocative of the American Frontier and hero‐tales, Kennedy constructed a site for which the American public could witness an ideological historical narrative play out, a public arena to which Slotkin refers as mythic space. I attempt to show how this space is extended to the Kennedy White House, and how it is preserved in the monumental John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, MA.