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JUNE 21, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report of Chapter 10 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy.  It is published by Little, Brown & Company.

The title of Chapter 10 is THE WHITE HOUSE.

Kenneth O’Donnell tells us that during the White House years “very few small details about the running of the government escaped (JFK).”

Sometimes, however, JFK made so many appointments for visitors that Kenny & Dave “ran out of waiting room space.”

One such day was September 25, 1962 which Kenny describes as “the longest & busiest working day of any President of the United States in modern times.”

JFK had 15 appointments during the day & then a theater & dance appearance that evening.

One of the appointments was with old PT109 shipmate Barney Ross who brought along BEN KEVU, the Solomon Islands native who carried JFK’s coconut shell message.

JFK’s Coconut Shell Desk Display, JFK Library Image

JFK gave Ben 6 PT-109 ties clasps, one for each of his children.

As Ben was leaving the Oval Office, JFK said to Dave Powers:

“Just think of it, Dave.  If it wasn’t for Ben Kevu, you wouldn’t be here in the White House today.”*

*JFK also met with the Prime Minister of Australia, Robert G. Menzies & attended the swearing-in of W. Willard Wirtz as his new Secretary of Labor. 

He also manged to attend the performance of a group of Mexican dancers in the Rose Garden.


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