Press/Journalists

Press Release
December 1, 2005

U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein Honors John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Staff

Washington, DC…At the National Archives annual State of the Archives Address and Awards Ceremony today, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein recognized six staff members of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston for their outstanding contributions to the agency.

In his remarks, Professor Weinstein addressed NARA employees saying, "Your professionalism, your commitment to the work at hand, your response to NARA customers and partners, your sense of mission, have all been exemplary. I thank each and every NARA employee who has contributed to my understanding of the agency. Our customers recognize, as I do, the high quality of work performed at NARA."

The following John F. Kennedy Presidential Library employees were given the "Outstanding Accomplishments in Achieving Organizational Goals" group award for recovering millions of dollars worth of original Kennedy papers and presidential artifacts: Kennedy Presidential Library Director Deborah Leff and Library staffers Megan Desnoyers, Allan Goodrich, Maura Porter, and Frank Rigg.

For nearly 10 years, the Kennedy Presidential Library and the National Archives have been aware that President Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, took items that belonged in NARA’s presidential collection and either sold or gave them to others.

One such item, a striking, color map of Cuba used and annotated by President Kennedy when he was first briefed by the CIA on the Cuban missile crisis, was discovered on sale on the web for three-quarters of a million dollars by a NARA researcher. NARA sought the support of the Department of Justice in filing a lawsuit for the map’s return. The Kennedy Library staff spent long days reviewing files and papers. The work of this group brought about a successful settlement that led to the return of the map.

The settlement of the map case also helped to bring about the settlement with the Estate of Robert White, a case which yielded thousands of pages of papers – including many of enormous interest to researchers -- as well as priceless artifacts, including the glove that President Kennedy wore to his inauguration.

Kennedy Library staff spent months researching and documenting the missing items that were in White’s estate, and long months of negotiations led to the recovery of the items. Professor Weinstein presented Nancy McCoy, the Director of Education at the John F. Kennedy Library, with the "Outstanding Customer Service to External NARA Customers" award for her innovative work in developing new and unique ways of reaching out to visitors who come to view the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum’s special exhibit on JFK and World War II. Ms. McCoy created an interactive exhibit guide for family audiences with elementary school-aged children. The detective-like guide challenges visitors through questions based on maps, photographs, and objects. In doing so, it helps them uncover the story of PT 109, and the character of the young man who would become the 35th president. Ms. McCoy also created an outdoor exhibit, in the form of a WWII Victory Garden so that visitors can learn more about life on the Home Front during the War.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.

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