JFK joined the Navy, where he commanded PT-109, a Patrol Torpedo boat, in the South Pacific. After a Japanese destroyer rammed his boat, he became a hero for his efforts in saving his men in August 1943. In November 1946, Massachusetts elected JFK to the House of Representatives, where he served until 1952. In 1948, JFK was diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition, Addison 's Disease, but his condition was never revealed to the general public.
In 1952, JFK won one of Massachusetts’ two U.S. Senate seats, and he married Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. He wrote, “Profiles in Courage”, which was a best-seller and won a 1957 Pulitzer Prize. JFK defeated Richard Nixon, when he won the 1960 Democratic nomination and the race for the presidency; he was sworn in as the 35th President of the United States on January 20, 1961.
JFK, early in his presidency, butted heads with the volatile leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. His administration appeared weak to the Soviet leader, in April 1961, when a U.S.-backed offensive, the Bay of Pigs, in communist Cuba ended in tragedy. In late 1962, the threat of nuclear missiles aimed at the United States from just a few hundred miles away became genuine, when the Soviet Union began sending nuclear missiles to Cuba. JFK imposed a naval blockade on Cuba, and as the world watched for two weeks to see if the United States was going to invade Cuda, or Khrushchev was going to remove the missiles. With the world on the edge of their seat and nuclear war looming,...
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...eks before the Soviet leader agreed to end the crisis (SparkNotes Editors, 2005). Similarly when his policy proposals were stalled in Congress, but he his greatest economic intervention did not include legislation, but presidential pressure to the U.S. Steel Corporation. They tried a 3.5% price increase on its product; he forced a rollback of the unfair trade practices, further demonstrating how his problem solving revolved around the situation (SparkNotes Editors, 2005).
Problem with this type of approach is that JFK had never had his bluff called. The first time he attempted flex his presidential power to help oust the guerrilla leader, Fidel Castro, self-proclaimed leader of Cuba. He failed to go in heavy-handed and in an attempt to minimize U.S. involvement, this failure created JFK’s “all-in” strategy, that was never truly tested (SparkNotes Editors, 2005).
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