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Book linked to JFK is decades overdue

Lincoln biography borrowed in '50s

This Lincoln biography was apparently borrowed by John F. Kennedy or a member of his US Senate staff. This Lincoln biography was apparently borrowed by John F. Kennedy or a member of his US Senate staff.
Globe Staff / February 4, 2009
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Did Jack Kennedy read the book, learning some deep lesson about leadership and the Lincoln presidency? Did he skim the book? Or did he open it at all? Those questions are shrouded in mystery.

But one thing's for sure: The volume is seriously overdue.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum said it will display, as part of a weeklong celebration of Presidents' Day, a 1930 biography of Abraham Lincoln that was apparently borrowed by Kennedy, or a member of his staff, when he was serving in the Senate in the 1950s.

The Library of Congress book, "A. Lincoln" by Ross F. Lockridge, was found in Kennedy's pre-presidential papers. It has been listed as missing in the Library of Congress online catalog, and will be returned to its collection after the display.

"It has just always been assumed to have been one of his books," said library spokesman Tom McNaught, but the library recently learned "it had been checked out since he was a senator and he had just kept it."

Other events will include an exhibit opening Feb. 12 of letters owned by JFK from former presidents, including missives by Lincoln, George Washington, and Andrew Jackson. The museum will also host a talk on Feb. 16 by newspaper cartoonists on their favorite cartoons from the 2008 presidential campaign, and their favorite subjects among presidents and candidates.

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