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John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, at 83 Beals Street in suburban Brookline, Massachusetts to businessman/politician Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy and philanthropist/socialite Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy.
  • Kennedy lived in Brookline for the first ten years of his life and attended the local St. Aidan’s Church, where he was baptized on June 19, 1917 was educated at the Edward Devotion School in Brookline, the Noble and Greenough Lower School.
  • Young John attended the lower campus of
  • In September 1936, Kennedy enrolled at Harvard College When Kennedy was an upperclassman at Harvard, he began to take his studies more seriously and developed an interest in political philosophy.
  • In 1940, Kennedy completed his thesis, “Appeasement in Munich”, about British participation in the Munich Agreement. The thesis eventually became a bestseller under the title Why England Slept. In 1940, Kennedy graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts in government, concentrating on international affairs.
  • On September 24, 1941, with the help of the director of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)—Kennedy joined the United States Naval Reserve. He was commissioned an ensign on October 26, 1941,and joined the staff of the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C.
  • On October 10, he was promoted to lieutenant junior grade. On October 8,1943 Kennedy was promoted to full lieutenant.On November 2, Kennedy’s PT-59 took part with two other PT’s in the successful rescue of 40- 50 marines.
  • After receiving treatment for his back injury, he was released fro Kennedy’s military decorations and awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Medal; Purple Heart Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three 3 ⁄16″ bronze stars; and the World War II Victory Medal m active duty in late 1944.
  • At the urging of Kennedy’s father, U.S. Representative James Michael Curley vacated his seat in the strongly Democratic 11th congressional district of Massachusetts to become mayor of Boston in 1946.
  • With his father financing and running his campaign, Kennedy won the Democratic primary with 12 percent of the vote, defeating ten other candidates.
  • As early as 1949, Kennedy began preparing to run for the Senate in 1952 against Republican three-term incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. with the campaign slogan “Kennedy Will Do More for Massachusetts“
  • Kennedy defeated Lodge by 70,000 votes for the Senate seat. The following year, he married Jacqueline Bouvier.
  • At the 1956 Democratic National Convention, Senator Kennedy gave the nominating speech for the party’s presidential nominee.
  • In 1958, Kennedy was re-elected to a second term in the Senate. On January 2, 1960, Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination
  • On Election Day, Kennedy defeated Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections of the 20th century.
  • In the national popular vote, by most accounts, Kennedy led Nixon by just two-tenths of one percent (49.7% to 49.5%), while in the Electoral College, he won 303 votes to Nixon’s 219 (269 were needed to win)
  • Kennedy became the youngest person (43) ever elected to the presidency, though Theodore Roosevelt was a year younger at 42.
  • John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president at noon on January 20, 1961. In his inaugural address, he spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens, famously saying: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” He asked the nations of the world to join together to fight what he called the “common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.”
  • President Kennedy’s foreign policy was dominated by American confrontations with the Soviet Union, manifested by proxy contests in the early stage of the Cold War.
  • His mistake helped raise tensions going into the Vienna summit of June 1961. On June 4, 1961, the president met with Khrushchev in Vienna and left the meetings angry and disappointed that he had allowed the premier to bully him.
  • Shortly after the president returned home, the U.S.S.R. announced its plan to sign a treaty with East Berlin, abrogating any third-party occupation rights in either sector of the city
  • The Eisenhower administration had created a plan to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba. The intention was to invade Cuba and instigate an uprising among the Cuban people, hoping to remove Castro from power. Kennedy approved the final invasion plan on April 4, 1961.
  • The Bay of Pigs Invasion began on April 17, 1961. By April 19, 1961, the Cuban government had captured or killed the invading exiles, and Kennedy was forced to negotiate for the release of the 1,189 survivors. Twenty months later, Cuba released the captured exiles in exchange for $53 million worth of food and medicine.
  • On October 14, 1962, CIA U-2 spy planes took photographs of the Soviets’ construction of intermediate-range ballistic missile sites in Cuba
  • Kennedy faced a dilemma: if the U.S. attacked the sites, it might lead to nuclear war with the U.S.S.R., but if the U.S. did nothing, it would be faced with the increased threat from close-range nuclear weapons.
  • On October 28, Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the missile sites, subject to UN inspections. The U.S. publicly promised never to invade Cuba and privately agreed to remove its Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey.
  • During his presidency, Kennedy continued policies that provided political, economic, and military support to the South Vietnamese government.
  • In 1960, Kennedy stated, “Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy an
  • Kennedy called his domestic program the “New Frontier”. It ambitiously promised federal funding for education, medical care for the elderly, economic aid to rural regions, and government intervention to halt the recession. He also promised an end to racial discrimination.
  • In his 1963 State of the Union address, he proposed substantial tax reform and a reduction in income tax rates.
  • The Apollo program was conceived early in 1960, during the Eisenhower administration, as a follow-up to Project Mercury, to be used as a shuttle to an Earth-orbital space station
  • President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963.
  • Traveling in a presidential motorcade through downtown Dallas, he was shot once in the back, the bullet exiting via his throat, and once in the head.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, from which the shots were suspected to have been fired, was arrested for the murder of police officer J.D. Tippit, and was subsequently charged with Kennedy’s assassination. He denied shooting anyone, claiming he was a patsy, and was shot by Jack Ruby on November 24, before he could be prosecuted.
  • A Requiem Mass was celebrated for Kennedy at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on November 25, 1963.Afterwards, Kennedy was interred in a small plot, 20 by 30 ft., in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Over a period of three years (1964–1966), an estimated 16 million people visited his grave.