April 05, 2020

The Associated Press story, “Kennedy’s summer White House sold” (BDN, Jan. 1), needs clarification.

In 1958, United States Sen. John F. Kennedy married Washington Star features writer Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, R.I. The newlyweds’ high-society wedding was followed by a reception at nearby Hammersmith Farm, a sprawling oceanside estate owned by the bride’s stepfather, High Auchinclose.

During his five-year marriage — the last 1,000 days of which he was president — JFK may have visited his inlaws once or twice, but Hammersmith Farm was never called the “summer White House.”

Most of Kennedy’s leisure-time days away from Washington were spent in Hyannisport, Mass., at the manicured beachfront estate of his father, ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy. The four-acre site, purchase by the elder Kennedy in 1932, became widely known as the “Kennedy Compound” following the 1961 installation — by the Secret Service — of a high stockade fence around the perimeter of the property.

Spread out within the compound were three spacious houses: the Kennedy’s patriarch’s porchy manor house; President and Mrs. Kennedy’s home — the summer White House; and another, occupied by Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s family. Leonard Healy Edmunds

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