Who was John F. Kennedy?

On May 29, 1917 John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born, in Brookline Massachusetts. He comes from a wealthy and well-known irish Boston family. His paternal grandfather P.J Kennedy was a wealthy banker and liquor trader and his maternal grandfather John E. Fitzgerald was a politician who served as a congressman and the mayor of Boston. J.F.K was nicknamed jack and was the second oldest of nine siblings. His mother Elizabeth Fitzgerald was a Boston debutante, His father Joseph Kennedy sr. was an Ambassador to Great Britain in 1939.

Kennedy graduated from choate and spent one semester at Princeton till he transferred to Harvard University in 1936. Once he graduated Harvard he joined the U.S navy and was assigned to command a patrol torpedo in the south pacific. His boat PT-109 was rammed by a Japanese warship on August 2,1943 and was split in two where two soldiers died and kennedy badly injured his back. He hauled a wounded sailor and led other survivors to an island and waited six days till they were rescued. After his discharge from the navy he worked briefly as a reporter for the Hearst Newspaper. Kennedy’s older brother Joseph Kennedy jr. who was pegged by their father to be president one day died on August 1944,when the plane he was piloting blew up. Kennedy decided to take his family’s hopes and aspirations upon himself.

At the age of twenty-nine in 1946 Kennedy ran and won a seat in the U.S House of Representatives. His status as a war hero, his family’s connections and his father’s money of course he won the election. “We were just worms in the house” ‘nobody paid attention to us nationally” he said so decides to challenge Republican Henry Cabot Lodge for his seat in the U.S Senate. Nevertheless Kennedy won that election giving him a significant hit within the democratic party. He later married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12,1953 and together had 3 children. Caroline, John F. jr. and Patrick Kennedy. In 1956, kennedy was almost selected as Democratic Presidential candidate but was passed over by Estes Kefauver. Four years later Kennedy runs for president. On November 8, 1960 Kennedy defeated Nixon to become the 35th president of the United States of America at the age of 42 .

In 1961 he gave a speech that said ” Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’. Kennedy’s greatest accomplishments during his brief term as president came in the area of foreign affairs. 1961 he created the peace corps by executive order. In hopes of alleviating poverty and preventing the spread of communism he created the Alliance for Progress to foster greater economic ties with Latin America. On April 15,1961 kennedy authorized a covert mission to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro with a group of 1,500 CIA trained cuban refugees known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion, The mission was a L. Kennedys proudest accomplishment was the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with Great Britain and the soviet union. President Kennedy’s record on domestic policies were all over the place, he proposed on sweeping income tax cuts, raising minimum wage and instituting new social programs to improve education, health care and mass transits. However he only achieved a modest increase in minimum wage and watered down tax cuts.

The most controversial domestic issue of Kennedy’s presidency was Civil rights. Southern Democrats in congress who remained harshfully opposed to civil rights for African American citizens. In September 1962 Kennedy sent his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy to mississippi to the National Guard and Federal Marshals to escort and defend Civil Rights Activist James Meredith as he became the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi on October 1st 1962. One of the last acts of his presidency and his life, Kennedy sent a Civil Rights bill to Congress near the end of March in 1963, Martin Luther King jr’s. “I had a dream speech’ contributed to that. The Bill eventually passed in 1964 as the landmark of Civil Rights Act.

On November 22, 1963 Kennedy, along with his wife and Texas governor John Connally, rode through cheering crowds in downtown Dallas in a Lincoln Continental Convertible, A twenty-four old warehouse worker named Lee Harvey Oswald fired upon them and hitting the president twice, John Fitzgerald Kennedy unfortunately died at Parkland Memorial Hospital shortly after, at age 46.

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