John F Kennedy

John F Kennedy

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John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917. He was born in Brookline Massachusetts, to Rose and Joseph Kennedy. He was also the grandson of John Francis Fitzgerald, the popular mayor of Boston known as Honey Fitz. At the age of three John, also known as Jack, was hospitalized for Scarlet fever, which at the time was very contagious and deadly, he almost died. He was in the hospital for a month.
In 1936 John graduated from Choate, a boarding school in Connecticut. While he was there he played tennis, basketball, football and golf. He was not the best student though His head master has been quoted as saying that he didn't perform to his best ability. Once he graduated he was immediately accepted to Harvard, just as his brother Joe had been. While there he also played football, but suffered a back injury that took him out of football and affected him for the rest of his life. While at school, Johns father was chosen to be the U.S. ambassador to England, which he accepted. This left John and Joe to fend for themselves here in states. In the summer of 1937 he went to visit his family in England and during his trip he gained his interest in government and politics. When he returned to school he became more involved in the school government. He also became more eager to learn about government history as well as current events.
In 1940 John graduated from Harvard. Immediately he and his brother joined the Navy. While in the Navy he was promoted to Lieutenant (Lt). And was assigned to the south pacific as a crew commander. On August 2 1943 Johns PT-109 was directly hit by a Japanese destroyer and torn apart. 2 of John's men died while the others managed to jump from the ship before the ship was hit. John was slammed into the cockpit re-injuring his back, but he didn't give up. With an injured back he towed one of his men who had been badly injured and lead the rest of his men to an island several miles away. Within days he and his crew were rescued. His brother Joe was not as lucky, days after John's accident Joes plane blew up during a dangerous mission in Europe. When he returned from war John was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his courage and leadership during the accident.

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After the war he had to look for a new job he had wanted to become a teacher or a writer but after Joe's death that all changed. John was convinced by his father to run for the office of the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in 1946. He won. This started his political career. He served 6 years in the House of Representatives and then in 1952 he was elected to the U.S. senate.
After being elected at the age of 36 he married Jacqueline Bouvier who was a 24-year old writer for the Washington Times-Herald. Soon after the marriage his back began to hurt again and he had 2 surgeries on it. And then in 1957 his first child Caroline was born. He was becoming a very popular politician in 1956 he was almost picked to run for Vice President but was defeated. That is what made his mind up to run for president in the next election. In July of 1960 Kennedy was accepted as the democratic candidate for president. He beat Republican Richard Nixon in a very close race. Just before he was inaugurated, his 2nd child John Jr. (also known as John-John) was born. Kennedy was the youngest American president in history and also the first Catholic to be president. In his speech he spoke the famous words "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
Kennedy led America through a lot of hard times. He led us through the Cold War with the Soviet Union, a time in which neither country trusted the other. During this time both countries made very large amounts of nuclear weapons. There were times in which things could have ended in disaster or war such as in Cuba or Berlin. He brought the ‘New Frontier" to the American people which wasn't more land but a new way of thinking. The idea was that people could solve problems themselves if they only worked together.
One of the first things Kennedy did during his term was to create the Peace Corps, (which is still around today) so that Americans could volunteer where help was needed, such as in education, farming, healthcare and construction, throughout the world. This program gained the respect of many other countries and now other counties have models their programs off of the Peace Corps. Kennedy was also the first president to ask Congress to approve more than 22 billion dollars for the Apollo project, with the goal to have American astronauts on the moon before the end of the decade.
During his term the civil rights movement broke out. Before Kennedy was even president the Supreme Court had ruled that segregation and racial discrimination would be ended in all American schools. But in many states mostly in the south this law was not being followed. There were many peaceful protests but Kennedy never got involved thinking the protest would only anger more white Americans and make it more difficult for him to convince the members of congress who opposed the law to vote for it. But then on June 11, 1963, Kennedy decided that it as time to stand up and show what his beliefs were. He presented a new civil rights bill to Congress and went on T.V. asking the American people to end racism. He made it clear to everyone that everyone regardless of skin color should be able to enjoy a happy life in the United States.
On November 22 1963, just pasted his first 1000 days in office President Kennedy was seriously shot in the streets of Dallas. Shortly later he died from his injures His assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was quickly captured within hours of the murder. He was charged with the killing of Kennedy but on November 24, he himself was gunned down by Jack Ruby, with him died the reasons as to why he killed President Kennedy. Some believe that it was because of his stand on civil rights but others still believe that it was just a case a ruthless killing. To this day it is unknown why Oswald killed him.
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