Loading Events

JFK in Southbridge with Dick Whitney

November 10 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Sponsored by Friends of Jacob Edwards Library.

The Optical Heritage Museum is pleased to premier a restored movie clip from JFK’s famous Senatorial campaign stop in Southbridge in September of 1958. Dick Whitney will show this movie for the first time in public and is looking to capture recollections from that day. Anyone who has stories (firsthand or otherwise) is encouraged to attend. There will also be a discussion of what transpired that day, along with Museum artifacts on JFK’s lasting connection to Southbridge/American Optical. Come join us for this historic premiere!

Dick Whitney graduated from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1973, where he earned his BS degree in Astronomy. He started work with American Optical in their Central Testing laboratory in September of 1974 and has nearly 48 years of continuous service with the company (now Carl Zeiss Vision. Dick has been very active in ANSI and ISO standards work since 1991. He is Chair of ANSI Z80.1 spectacle lens committee and has been very involved in ANSI /ISO / Vision Council committee work for 30 years. Dick chairs the Vision Council Lens Technical Committee, a role he has held since 1997. He was inducted into the Vision Council Hall of Fame in Las Vegas in September 2016.

Dick is also the Executive Director of the Zeiss-sponsored Optical Heritage Museum in Southbridge. The Museum was originally founded in 1983 to celebrate AO’s 150th Anniversary. Dick has worked to restart and grow the Museum for nearly 20 years, and thanks to Zeiss it reopened 8 years ago. It has greatly expanded and more info can be found at:


Dick lives in Southbridge with his wife Peg Whitney, whom he married in 1977. They have two grown children, Christopher and Erica, and a 7-year-old grandson Nolan. He is the former Chair and currently a member of Jacob Edwards Library Board of Trustees in Southbridge, a member of the Board of Directors of Venture (an agency that serves handicapped individuals) and founding Board member of the Southbridge Business Partnership.



Jacob Edwards Library
236 Main Street
Southbridge, MA United States
+ Google Map