Through Boys Nation. In the summer of 1963, a teenage Bill Clinton was elected to the Arkansas delegation at Boys State. On July 24, the Boys Nation delegates gathered at the White House in a tradition that continues to this day.
President John F. Kennedy spoke to the young men in the Rose Garden, and then went down the line to shake hands with them – including Clinton. He was given a copy of the photograph after the event, and held on to it. Kennedy was assassinated just four months later.
Clinton has been quoted as saying that his meeting with Kennedy was one of the two events that solidified his intention to go into public service (the other was hearing Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech). The photograph became a lasting image of his 1992 presidential campaign.
As president, Clinton met with Boys Nation delegates several times.