One in a series of topical documentaries presented by Bell & Howell. This documentary portrait of President John F. Kennedy's second month in office offers an unprecedented look inside the workings of the White House. Highlights include the following: the President attends the swearing-in of his friend Paul Fay as Undersecretary of the Navy; the President confers with Rep. John F. Shelley (D-Calif.) on his way to the Oval Office; Kennedy signs correspondence for his secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, in the Oval Office; he dictates a memo about a budget request for constructing nuclear reactors; in a regular morning ritual, Press Secretary Pierre Salinger delivers to the President wire service bulletins from the White House teletype; Kennedy's first primary battle in Wisconsin, against Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.), is recalled, with footage of Humphrey speaking to farmers, and Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline, and Robert F. Kennedy speaking before a crowd of Polish-American supporters; clips show Kennedy's Inauguration Day speech, followed by comments by economist and presidential speech writer John Kenneth Galbraith, writer John Steinbeck, and their wives in their limousine, immediately following the ceremony; Galbraith discusses business with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., at the Inaugural Ball; in the Oval Office, the President meets with John J. McCloy, his chief disarmament advisor; Kennedy's sister, Eunice Shriver, arrives at his office to request autographs; Secretary of Labor Arthur J. Goldberg meets with the President about the settlement of an airline strike; Goldberg describes the unemployment situation West Virginia to a congressional committee, with questions by Sen. Jennings Randolph (D-W. Va.); clips reveal a depressed mining region in West Virginia -- an area that Kennedy vowed to help during his campaign and that he is assisting with deliveries of food and long-term job programs; Walter W. Heller, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, reports to Kennedy on the lackluster national economic outlook; Kennedy discusses the development of the Peace Corps with aide Richard Goodwin; the President confers with the new Assistant Secretary of State, G. Mennen Williams, about Williams' economic conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Williams is briefed by Rep. Barratt O'Hara (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, and by Seert Gore, Sr. (D-Tenn.), president of the Senate Subcommittee on Africa; footage of Addis Ababa reveals the Soviets' anti-Western propaganda posters; a U.S. government-run English class for Ethiopians is visited; delegates from Liberia, Ethiopia, and Nigeria anticipate Williams's arrival and discuss their feeling of hope about the new era ushered in by the Kennedy administration; Williams and his wife arrive in Addis Ababa and visit the palace of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie; Williams makes a speech at the conference about an "Africa for Africans," which riles white colonial settlers, and in Washington, the President defends Williams's words; Kennedy confers with aide Walt Rostow and Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy; in the Cabinet Room, Kennedy meets with Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Gen. George H. Decker, Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, and Gen. Thomas White; near the end of a work day, the President shows Adm. Burke and others his unique desk and mementos of his Navy service in the Oval Office; and at night, Kennedy confers individually with Ted Sorensen, Arthur Goldberg, and special assistant Kenneth O'Donnell. Includes commercials, promos, and a brief message thanking Alcoa for relinquishing its "Alcoa Presents" time slot for this special telecast.

Preservation of the Post–World War II American Television Documentary Collection is supported in part by a Federal Save America’s Treasures grant administered by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


  • DATE: March 28, 1961 Tuesday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:59:19
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T81:0954
  • GENRE: Public affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: U S - Politics and government
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 1960-1963
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Bell & Howell Duo-Speed Zoomatic 8mm movie camera^TV - Commercials - Bell & Howell Tele-Sonic Explorer slide projector^TV - Commercials - Bell & Howell & CEC aircraft instruments ^TV - Commercials - Bell & Howell Dual/Lectric Autoload projector^TV - Promos - "Bell & Howell Close-Up: I Remember"


    • Robert Drew … Executive Producer
    • Richard Leacock … Production (Misc.), Film Maker
    • D.A. Pennebaker … Production (Misc.), Film Maker
    • Albert Maysles … Production (Misc.), Film Maker
    • Kenneth Snelson … Production (Misc.), Film Maker
    • U.S. Marine Band … Music Group, Inaugural Music Courtesy of
    • Lee Hall … Correspondent
    • Gregory Shuker … Correspondent
    • David Maysles … Correspondent
    • Gerald Feil … Reporter
    • Jean Snow … Reporter
    • Joseph Julian … Narrator
    • McGeorge Bundy
    • Arleigh A. Burke
    • George H. Decker
    • Paul Fay
    • John Kenneth Galbraith
    • Robert F. Kennedy
    • Lyman L. Lemnitzer
    • Evelyn Lincoln
    • John J. McCloy
    • Kenneth O'Donnell
    • Barratt O'Hara
    • Jennings Randolph
    • Walt Rostow
    • Pierre Salinger
    • Arthur Schlesinger
    • Haile Selassie
    • John F. Shelley
    • Eunice Shriver
    • Sorensen, Ted (See also: Sorensen, Theodore)
    • John Steinbeck
    • Thomas White
    • Gerhard Mennen Williams