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About JFK Past

Kennedy High School's Past . . .

Image of John F. Kennedy

Bloomington Kennedy High School was established in 1965. It was named after the nation's beloved President, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. At Bloomington Kennedy High School's dedication in 1965, Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, and Joseph Kennedy were all invited to the dedication ceremonies. But Jackie Kennedy declined (in a written response) saying that too many schools were similarly honoring her late husband, and there was no fair way to choose between all of the invitations. Read on for more relevant, irrelevant, and sometimes irreverent news about Bloomington Kennedy High School's interesting and colorful past. This history has been collected from past issues of the high school Profiles yearbook, and past issues of The Torch student magazine.

History lesson

In the beginning . . . there was a farm and a field owned by the Johnson family. By 1965 there was a brand new school.

Newspaper photo: Farm buildings on land where KHS now stands
Newspaper photo: The same site as seen today, less than two years later

Greek artifacts find a home at Kennedy? In an early issue of The Torch student magazine, there was news of valuable Greek artifacts being donated to the school. The modest hope of the donation was that the gift would stimulate student interest in archaeology. The current whereabouts of these artifacts are unknown.

Newspaper photo: Bloomington Man Donates Greek Relics to School  

Invited to the 1965 dedication ceremonies were Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, and Joseph Kennedy. All declined to attend, via written replies. In 2003, Caroline Kennedy (JFK's surviving daughter), was invited to attend the Grand Re-Opening of the Library Media Center, but declined to attend.

JFK's yearbook was named Profiles, after John F. Kennedy's book Profiles in Courage.


Artifacts, letters sent to the school by the Kennedy family." along with other momentos were placed in a copper box and soldered and placed in an opening on the exterior of the JFK High School building.

The original Kennedy High School concrete sign at 98th and Nicollet, violated a number of city codes. The city considered removing the sign, but ultimately gave in and allowed it to stay "because it would cost so much to move." That sign stayed put until the new JFK HS sign was installed during the remodeling in 2002-03.

The new JFK High School cost $4,037,345 (in 1965 dollars) and featured a unique circle and square design. Read the original Sept. 7, 1965 article describing the school, and read a later article about the building's architecture from Nov. 19, 1965.

"Volcanic ash rock, brought in from California, will be arranged with plants to give the court --in the center of the circle--the appearance of an orienta garden." From the Torch, Sept. 7, 1965.