John Kennedy's Presidency

John Kennedy's Presidency

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John Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in a presidential motorcade with his wife Jacqueline through Dealey Plaza. The death of the president plunged the United States into mourning. Kennedy's brief presidency gave a sense of optimism and few could accept that he was really gone. Quoting Arthur M. Schlesinger jr, "He had so little time…yet he accomplished so much" The following day newspapers devoted almost the entire paper to coverage of the incident. The Miami Herald titled their paper with, "KENNEDY DEAD". The reaction to this young presidents death was incredible, In streets all over the world people were crying, churches all over held special observances and media sources provided minute by minute updates. The death of the president was news which still leaves grim thoughts in peoples minds of when someone they knew informed them of this tragedy that will go down in America's history books as one of the saddest and hopeless days ever-November 22nd 1963. As the presidential limousine passed the depository in Dealey Plaza and continued down Elm Street, shots were fired at Kennedy; the majority of the witnesses recall hearing three shots fired. A shot entered his upper back, penetrated his neck, and exited his throat. Lee Harvey Oswald was captured eighty minutes after the assassination for killing a police officer, later that evening he was charged with the murder of Kennedy and Tippit the police officer. Oswald's case never officially made it to trial because two days later, while being escorted to an armored car to be transferred to Dallas County Jail, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby. The official investigation was established by President Johnson on November 29th 1963, a week after the assassination. The commission was headed by Earl Warren, Chief Justice of The United States and became known as the Warren Commission. After a ten month investigation the commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination, and that Jack Ruby acted alone in the murder of Oswald. This became known as the "Lone gunman Theory".

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President Kennedy was the 35th President sworn in on January 20th 1961, famously saying, "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man". Kennedy was the youngest president ever elected, but also the first American of Irish descent and the first Roman Catholic to serve as a President, this led many Americans to believe that he would side with the Church, but in one of Kennedy's famous speeches in Houston, Texas he said, "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic". One of Kennedy's first acts as a president was the creation of the Peace Corps. Through this program, Americans volunteered to help underdeveloped nations in areas such as education, farming, health care and construction.
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