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As the world has been reflecting on the lifetime and legacy of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, assassinated on November 22nd 1963 as he rode in a motorcade through Dallas, curiosity about the Kennedys has been rekindled. Although many have made a pilgrimage to Dallas to pay homage at the "grassy knoll" the real place the Kennedy story began was in Boston.

This is where the formidable couple, Rose and Joe Kennedy raised their children and you can visit the house where JFK was born and brought up. 83 Beals Street in Brookline is now a beautifully restored visitor attraction. The bedroom Jack shared with brother Joe Junior has been decorated as it was when they were children. A teddy bear sits on the bed and books about King Arthur sit stacked on a chair. It is charming and simple starting place for a boy who would go on to become the most powerful leader in the world. Downstairs in the "Quiz room" the table is laid for dinner, and here, every night, the children would be tested, as they ate, on current affairs and expected to debate. A taped recording of Rose's voice outlines the family's routine, which is precise and very organised, as she was. It is a wistful place, as it preserves the lifestyle of this famous clan before they would be struck by tragedy after tragedy in later years.

In the main city of Boston you can go on a guided tour of Kennedy landmarks. The official memorial is the Presidential Library and Museum, chosen by Jackie, and completed in 1979. Inside are many intriguing exhibits commemorating JFK's 1036 days of presidency. These include personal letters and videos. There is a complete replica of the Oval Office, where, in a curious contract to the recording of Rose in Brookline, there is one of Jackie outlining what life was like in the White House. There is also a fascinating installation about the Cuban missile crisis.

A big highlight on the tour is the Union Oyster House. Booth number 18 was where Jack came every Sunday when he was a senator in Boston, and here he would eat his clam chowder and work on his speeches. It is America's oldest restaurant and apart from the Kennedy connection, has other amazing history to it. The Omni Parker Hotel is another old institution. It was here that young Jack announced he would run for congress at the age of 6. Later he proposed to Jackie in the hotel and went on to hold his bachelor party there.

Down the coast at Hyannis on Cape Cod, is another must –see for Kennedy fans. This was where they would summer and where JFK developed his great loves of sailing and swimming. Again, there is a legacy trail you can follow and the small and pretty seaside town is largely unchanged since the Kennedys spent every holiday there. The small museum on Main Street has some touching footage to watch especially of the President goofing around with his own kids.

For those who really want to explore the Kennedy legacy a trip to Boston and Cape Cod is essential.

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