Did Bill Clinton Ever Meet John F. Kennedy?

US President Bill Clinton met John F. Kennedy in 1963, four months before President Kennedy was assassinated. On July 24, 1963, a 16-year-old Clinton met Kennedy and shook his hand at the Rose Garden of the White House as part of his participation in the American Legion Boys Nation program, an educational program which teaches students about government by participating in mock governmental activities. Clinton has said on record that his meeting with Kennedy inspired him to want to become President of the US. He accomplished this goal when Clinton was sworn in almost 30 years later in January 1993 as the 42nd President of the US.

More about Bill Clinton:

  • Clinton appointed both the first female secretary of state, Madeline Albright, and the first female attorney general, Janet Reno.
  • When Clinton was appointed Governor of Arkansas in 1978, he was the nation’s youngest governor at the age of 32, but he only led for two years before losing his bid for reelection at age 34.
  • President Clinton went to graduate school in England at Oxford University, where he also played on the rugby team.

Discussion Comments


I saw a photo of this event featured in a Clinton biography titled "First in His Class." It said that he was not supposed to offer his hand to JFK (all the boys would want to do it also), but he did and it is a remarkable historic pic.

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