Inside the 1962 DOUBLE Birthday Party at the Kennedy White House

The young Kennedy family had many events at the White House that other First Families would never experience. When President Kennedy moved his family into the White House, Caroline was only 3 years old and John, Jr. was less than a year old.

Because the birthdays of John, Jr. (Nov. 25th) and Caroline (Nov. 27th) were so close together, in 1962 there was a joint birthday party held for both of them at the White House. Notably absent is the President himself, who was still in negotiations with Nikita Khrushchev over the fallout from the Cuban Missile Crisis. The President also hosted the Prime Minister of Somalia on the day of the birthday party.

Still, the celebrations seem to have gone over quite well with the kids. Have a look inside the children’s birthday party to beat all other parties!

Caroline walking to the party with friends, including Maria Shriver in blue. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Jacqueline Kennedy brings John, Jr, into the party. Via/ JFK Presidential Library


Young children gather in the Family Theater of the White House. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

White House Executive Chef René Verdon (left) and Pastry Chef Ferdinand Louvat pose with matching cakes for Caroline and John, Jr. Caroline’s cake has 6 candles and John’s has 3. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Cutting into John, Jr.’s cake. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

The tables had gingerbread house centerpieces. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

This lavish double birthday party is the stuff of kid’s dreams with balloons and matching gourmet cakes!
The stacks of presents are a bit unreal and the wrapping paper mayhem afterwards looks like a whole family had Christmas! In some of the photos you can see that someone gave Caroline a Betty Crocker Junior Baking Kit!

The affair was held in the President’s Dining Room, but spilled out into the hallways and into the West Sitting Hall, like any children’s birthday party is want to do!

Pulling party favors from a ruffled basket. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Post-cake party favors. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

It’s hard to tell if the kids are enjoying the music from the United States Marine Band. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

The carnage in the hallway from wrapping paper and boxes with the band playing the background. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Playing with a toy phone in West Sitting Hall. The debris looks about right for a birthday! Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Playing in West Sitting Hall, Caroline in White and John, Jr. in red shorts. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

The kids were allowed to ride tricycles through the halls of the White House! Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Caroline with her grandmother, Janet Auchincloss, opening presents. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

More present-opening chaos. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

Closer to bedtime after the party. John, Jr. is in pajamas while Caroline has clearly been playing dress up. Via/ JFK Presidential Library

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