• Mary Evans Seeley

Remembering JFK on His 100th Birthday

Updated: Oct 2, 2018

The art chosen for President and Mrs. Kennedy's 1963 Christmas card was also the image chosen for my ornament that honored his birth.

May 29, 2017 commemorated the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth.

It was in his memory that White House Holidays launched its annual ornament. The 2017 White House Holidays Christmas ornament featured the Creche displayed in the East Room of the White House. Each year since 1961, an 18th century Neapolitan Creche has been on display in the Executive Mansion.

For the first Kennedy White House Christmas, Loretta Hines Howard, a noted collector of religious figures installed the Creche in a niche in the East Room against a backdrop of gold curtains. The scene was comprised of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, angels, animals, kings, and cherubs arranged in a pyramid shape. In 1967, a permanent gift of the Nativity was given to Mrs. Lyndon Johnson and is currently part of the White House Collection.

President and Mrs. Kennedy chose a colored photo of the Creche in the East Room for the image on what became their last Christmas card. I found it fitting to create an ornament which commemorated the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's birth.

For detailed documentation of the Christmas card head over to "Collections" titled "Signed, but never sent."

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