Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) January 21, 1961 marked John F. Kennedy's first full day as President of the United States. The previous day he delivered a stirring inaugural address calling on Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
The President took the reading copy of his inaugural address into his secretary's office. He said, "Mrs. Lincoln*, I read that one of the former presidents was offered $75,000" for his signed inaugural address. So JFK, after signing his copy, handed it to Mrs. Lincoln and said, "Here, keep this $75,000 for me."
Ralph G. Martin writes that in JFK's first days in the White House, he "was like a kid in a candy store with five dollars. He loved it: the honors, the trappings, the power, the perks and the gadgets."
The president "roamed all over, poking his head into doors...asking secretaries how they were doing." Mr. Kennedy enjoyed the White House (telephone) switchboard the most. The president could be put in contact with almost anyone "within minutes."
President Kennedy loved his job. He liked to say "The pay is good and I can walk to work." He liked the story about Calvin Coolidge standing outside the gates of the White House one day when he overheard a foreign visitor say "I wonder who lives there?" Coolidge responded, "Nobody, they just come and go."
*Evelyn Maurine Norton Lincoln (1909-1995) was born in Nebraska. Her father, John Norton, was a U.S. Congressman. She graduated from George Washington University & studied law for 2 years. EMNL went to work for Senator John F. Kennedy in 1953. The NY Times describes their relationship as "a bond forged in political heaven" as she was "efficient, savvy and devoted."
"A Hero For Our Time: An Intimate Story of the Kennedy Years", by Ralph G. Martin, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1983.