The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum was officially dedicated on October 20, 1979.
Bright autumn sunshine, a brisk onshore breeze, and fanfare from the Boston Symphony Orchestra greeted an audience of 10,000 invited guests and many more spectators in boats crowding the waters of nearby Dorchester Bay.
President Kennedy's wife Jacqueline, and children Caroline and John Jr., watched as Senator Edward M. Kennedy, representing the Kennedy family and the John F. Kennedy Library Corporation, builders of the facility, presented the Library to the people and government of the United States.
President Jimmy Carter was present to accept the Library on behalf of the National Archives and Records Administration, the federal agency responsible for the Library’s operation and oversight.
Thirty million people had contributed to the Library's construction fund, a measure of the sense of loss experienced around the world following President Kennedy's death, and the universal desire to commemorate his life.
In the entry way to the Library, visitors will find the following inscription:
"This library is dedicated to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America, and to all those who through the art of politics seek a new and better world."