University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Boston, August 20, 1964

In Memoriam of John F. Kennedy

How much the name of John F. Kennedy is rooted in the hearts of the American people, is demonstrated by the exhibition to establish the Kennedy Library that takes place this week in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. An incessant throng of thousands of people from all walks of life are making a pilgrimage to this exposition. They stand deeply moved before the memorabilia of the late president who so tragically had lost his life. The Kennedy Memorial Library is an idea that meets with overwhelming approval.

New York, August 25, 1964

The Pietà on the World’s Fair

The Pavilion of the Vatican is a special attraction at this year’s World’s Fair in New York. Michelangelo’s Pietà is on display for visitors passing by. In making this possible, the Catholic Church has shown courage as well as a world open spirit. Critics had warned of the dangers to take the Pietà out of St. Peter’s Basilica, from where it has never been removed since 1499, to ship it across the Atlantic and expose it to the turmoil of a world’s fair. They should see the rush of people from all around the world, who deeply touched, pass in silence in front of this sublime work of art. The exhibit of the Vatican promotes without a doubt the ecumenical idea.

[The voyage home had been booked for August 26 on the United States. On the evening before, we could see from our hotel in Manhattan the large ocean liner docked on the Hudson Pier. A trace of nostalgia lay over that scene, knowing that the time of the large passenger ships crossing the Atlantic was coming to an end. In the early morning hours before departure, we could still follow on television how Lyndon B. Johnson was nominated by acclamation at the National Convention of the Democratic Party in Atlantic City. By the end of August the Atlantic remained smooth as glass. By contrast to our westbound voyage in January, the five day eastbound crossing was quiet. After landing in Le Havre, we traveled via Paris directly home to Innsbruck.]

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