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Somber Christmas for Kennedy Family

Dec. 25, 1961 - President Kennedy and his family observed the customs of Christmas today, but misfortune dimmed the merriment. Joseph P. Kennedy, the head of the family that now counts 20 grandchildren, lay partly paralyzed from the effects of a stroke. The President, looking drawn, stayed at his father’s bedside until nearly midnight yesterday and returned there after 10 o’clock mass this morning. The First Lady was at his side. As they left the hospital 50 minutes later, Barbara Kahn, 14, of Orlando, Fla., called out: “Merry Christmas.” The President acknowledged the greeting with a warm smile. The girl is the owner of a personal letter from Mr. Kennedy. He wrote it a year ago, replying to her letter of congratulation on his election.

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