John F. Kennedy: Two Days in June

January 28, 2015

Well-known author and longtime columnist Andrew Cohen spoke about his new book, Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours that Made History, to a joint event sponsored by the Churchill Society and the Harvard University Club of Ottawa on January 28th, 2015, at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. Of that book, David Shribman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has written: "He may have served for a thousand days but it was two days that made John F. Kennedy's presidency. No one before Andrew Cohen has recognized that, and because of his signal achievement in Two Days in June, no one will be able to write about -- no one will be able to think about -- John Kennedy ever again in quite the same way."

Andrew Cohen, who, like President Kennedy, is an alumnus of Choate Academy in Wallingford, Connecticut, has contributed much to newspapers and magazines on the subject of the President over the years. This book reflects his interest and expertise and as Kennedy author Sally Bedell Smith has written, Cohen's work is "astute and constitutes an entirely original perspective. His research has been prodigious. Even Kennedy devotees and experts will find new tidbits throughout, judiciously placed in the author'’s seamless and riveting narrative, which is beautifully written and weaves together the consequential and the quotidian, with verve and authority."

The connection between President Kennedy and Harvard was obvious, as Kennedy was a graduate of that University (Class of 1940) and a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard before and during his entire presidency. As to Winston Churchill, it was President Kennedy who made Churchill the very first Honorary Citizen of the United States, just two months, almost to the day, before the two speeches about which Andrew Cohen has written. In his remarks, the President said (in part): "[Sir Winston Churchill] is the most honored and honorable man to walk the stage of human history in the time in which we live. ... The record of his triumphant passage will inspire free hearts for all time. By adding his name to our rolls, we mean to honor him – but his acceptance honors us far more."

The joint SWCSO-Harvard Club event was a great success.