Kennedy Center Opens

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opens. The opening performance took place in the Opera House, with Bernstein's "Mass." The Concert Hall opened the following night with a special performance of the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Eisenhower Theater opened on October 18, 1971 with a presentation of Ibsen's "A Doll's House." Officially a bureau of the Smithsonian, the Center is administered by its own board of trustees.


John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (U.S.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Ripley Chronology says JFKC was completed in 1970.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1971, p. 134
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7098, "S. Dillon Ripley Chronology"

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


September 8, 1971


  • Architecture
  • Openings
  • Entertainers
  • Affiliated corporations
  • New Bureaus
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History
  • Buildings
  • Performing arts

Full Record

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