A look at JFK’s local ties on his 100th birthday

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

Twitter: @RTurcoABC6

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NEWPORT, R.I. – President John F. Kennedy’s legacy still lives on, as America celebrates his centennial.

The 35th president has deep roots in Southern New England. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917. His childhood home is now a national historic site visited by people from all over the world.

In 1953, the then U.S. senator married Jacqueline Bouvier at St. Mary’s Church in Newport.

John Hirschboeck volunteers for the Return to Camelot program, which offers tours of the church and information about the Kennedy wedding. "It was a beautiful September morning and 2000 people, they say, were lined up on the streets waiting to catch a fleeting glimpse of the beautiful Jacqueline Bouvier and her beautiful dress, and her handsome senator," he said.

The church still has the kneelers the couple used in their wedding. The tenth pew has a special marker on it, dedicated after JFK became president in 1961. The Kennedy’s sat there whenever they visited Newport.

The city was their home away from home until JFK’s assassination in 1963.

"Their legacy – you can almost feel it in these church walls," said Hirschboeck.

For more information about Return to Camelot, click here.

© WLNE-TV 2017