History Museum exhibition and fundraiser highlight JFK’s ‘Camelot’ era

By March 22, 2023May 22nd, 2023In The News

Town Crier Report/Los Altos Town Crier

In a new exhibition and upcoming fundraiser, the Los Altos History Museum links the newly incorporated Los Altos of the 1960s with the theme of Camelot as it relates to the John F. Kennedy administration and its idyllic image of hopeful optimism and glamour.

The exhibition, “One Brief Shining Moment: JFK’s Camelot in Early Los Altos,” is on display in the J. Gilbert Smith House gallery Thursday through June 11.

In an interview with Life magazine shortly after Kennedy’s assassination Nov. 22, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy first coined the term “Camelot” to refer to the courage and wisdom of JFK and his administration.

She also quoted a line from the Alan Jay Lerner musical of the same name: “Don’t let it be forgot, that for one brief, shining moment, there was Camelot.”

“Many people viewed the JFK administration as the ideal government, indicative of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round…cont.


Five members of the Los Altos City Council—from left, Frank Williamson, James P. Thurber, Jr., Roy L. Dunnett, Kathryne C. Faas, A. Watson Conner—conduct business circa 1962. Life in Los Altos in the early 1960s is the focus of the Los Altos History Museum’s latest exhibition.