April 5 - 1963: President Kennedy leases home on Squaw Island

1977: Judge backs Wampanoag suit against Mashpee
The First Family on Squaw Island in 1962. Public domain photo courtesy of jfklibrary.org.

1963: President-elect Kennedy to spend most of the summer here

When Hyannisport was the "Summer White House"

On this day in 1963, it was widely reported by the Associated Press that "President Kennedy has leased a house on Cape Cod's Squaw Island for the summer."

The first family would stay at a "rambling, gray-shingled house" named Brambletyde and owned by Reading, Pa., textile manufacturer Louis Thun.

The summer before, the Kennedys had stayed at a Squaw Island house owned by singer Morton Downey, father of future television talk show host Morton Downey Jr.

Squaw Island, a geographical misnomer, is a half-mile west of the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport where JFK owned a house next to his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Ethel Kennedy, whose summer home was situated next to that of Kennedy elders Joseph and Rose Kennedy.

Ted and Joan Kennedy also owned a house on Squaw Island at that time.

JFK's house in the compound "is not large enough for a combination house and office," the AP reported, though the Secret Service was said to prefer isolated Squaw Island to the compound for security reasons.

President Kennedy was expected to make "almost weekly trips to Cape Cod beginning about July 4," the AP reported, while "Mrs. Kennedy and the two Kennedy children, Caroline and John Jr., likely will spend most of the summer on Cape Cod."

1977: Judge backs Indians' suit for Cape Cod territory

On this day in 1977 a Federal judge has allowed a suit by the Wampanoag Indians seeking Cape Cod territory to stand but says the plaintiffs will have to prove their status as a federally recognized tribe.


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