About the Series 

Kennedy Library Forums are a series of public affairs programs offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to foster public discussion on a diverse range of historical, political and cultural topics reflecting the legacy of President and Mrs. Kennedy's White House years.

How to Attend

All Forums are free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly recommended, and may be made by clicking the "Register" link in each upcoming Forum listing below, or by calling 617-514-1643. Registration guarantees a seat in the building, but not in the main hall. Doors to the main hall open approximately one hour before the start of each program. 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum does not sell or share your personal information or email address.

View Live Webcasts / Access Recordings

Kennedy Library Forums are webcast live and recorded whenever possible. Written transcripts of most recorded events are also available. Visit the Forum Video Archive or our YouTube channel to view past forums.


View Forum Video Access Forum Audio   View Live Webcast


Kennedy Library Forum sponsors

Susan Benesch, Carol Rose

The First Amendment: What Are Its Limits?

March 27, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project, and Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, discuss contemporary First Amendment issues. Award-winning journalist and senior correspondent for WBUR's Bostonomix Bruce Gellerman moderates.

Eileen McNamara, Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World

April 3, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Pulitzer Prize-winning former Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara discusses her new book, Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World, with award-winning journalist Larry Tye.

Scott Simon

PEN/Hemingway Award Ceremony

April 8, 2018 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Seán Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s grandson, presents the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award at this ceremony. Author and host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday Scott Simon (pictured) delivers the keynote address. The Kennedy Library is the major repository of Ernest Hemingway's personal papers. This program is presented in partnership with PEN/New England and PEN/America.

John Lithgow

A Conversation with John Lithgow

April 29, 2018 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor, author, and musician John Lithgow discusses his distinguished career and the importance of the arts. This program is supported in part by the Mass Cultural Council.

Please note: There is a 2 guest maximum per registration for this forum.

Bob Schieffer, Jill Lepore

A Conversation with Bob Schieffer and Jill Lepore

May 1, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Former longtime CBS journalist Bob Schieffer discusses his new book, Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News, with Harvard professor of history and author of These Truths: A History of the United States, Jill Lepore.

Thomas Forrest Kelly

Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy

May 10, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

In honor of the Leonard Bernstein centennial, Harvard professor of music Thomas Forrest Kelly explores the impact of the relationship between Bernstein and the Kennedy Administration, which continues to influence the artistic and cultural life of America. A performance of Bernstein’s music by artists from Boston Lyric Opera follows.

James and Deborah Fallows

The Heart of America

May 29, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Panelists including James and Deborah Fallows, authors of Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey into the Heart of America, shed light on contemporary issues facing the heart of America.

Kerry Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope

May 30, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, discusses her new book, Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope, a collection of interviews with world leaders, activists, and celebrities about her father’s influence.