The Conversation: JFK on Twitter

Relive the presidency of John F. Kennedy, 50 years later on Twitter.

Jan. 20, 2011— -- On the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's inauguration, the Kennedy presidential library in Boston is bringing his presidency back to life in a new way -- through tweets.

Through a Twitter account, @Kennedy1961, the library will post the happenings of JFK's thousand days in office as they unfolded, often in the president's own words.

"What you use Twitter for today is what's happening," said Rachel Day, director of communications for the JFK Library Foundation. "For us, it's what was happening. We get to use this wonderful material that we have in the Kennedy Library archive to illustrate what was happening."

On Twitter, they're posting images and videos from their archives, a treasure trove of information that was recently digitized in its entirety and made accessible to the public online.

"What has been really rewarding to me has been to see what people will retweet," said Day. "It's really President Kennedy's words that often get retweeted... to me that shows that the words are still relevant."

One recent tweet from the account quoted Kennedy, "There is general agreement...that a supreme national effort will be needed in the years ahead to move this country safely through the 1960s."

The library occasionally has to truncate quotes to meet Twitter's 140-character limit, though they often include links to the full text in their archive.

"For people who see a 140-character line and feel a connection to the words, it's an invitation to go learn more," Day said.

Day spoke with ABC's John Donvan for a Conversation on the JFK Library's Twitter project. We hope you'll watch.

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