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JFK Biography Project

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by

Jack Stewart

on 27 May 2011

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Transcript of JFK Biography Project

The Life of John F. Kennedy Early Life and Childhood John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts to father Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and mother Rose Fitzgerald. Kennedy lived in Brookline until he was 10 years old, attending Edward Devotion School, Noble and Greenough Lower School, and the Dexter School. The Kennedy family then moved to Riverdale, Bronx, New York City, and only two years later moved to Bronxville, New York. For high school, Kennedy attended The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, attracting attention for his rebellious behavior. Despite this somewhat negative attention, Kennedy was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" upon his departure from high school. John F. Kennedy, a senior at The Choate School in 1935 Harvard and the U.S. Navy Kennedy enrolled at Harvard University in 1936 and from 1937 to 1939 he traveled abroad to Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Soviet Union, to prepare for his senior thesis. He entitled his thesis, "Appeasement in Munich," which was later published as "Why England Slept," and became a bestseller. Kennedy graduated in 1940 cum laude ("with praise") with a degree in international affairs. Kennedy's graduation from Harvard University, 1940 In September 1941, Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy after his lower back problems thwarted his joining the Army. Through extensive training, Kennedy became a lieutenant, in charge of a Patrol Torpedo Boat (PT boat), assigned in Panama and later the Pacific Theater. On August 2nd, 1943, Kennedy's PT-109 was hit in the water by the Japanese Amagiri destroyer. Kennedy towed a badly burnt crewman with his teeth clenched on the man's life jacket strap through the water for hours before reaching a nearby island. For this heroic act, Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Kennedy was honorably discharged in early 1945, just before Japan's official surrender. Kennedy during WWII, at the Solomon Islands, 1943 Political Career Leading Up to Presidency In 1946, James Michael Curley gave up his seat as a democratic U.S. representative (for becoming the mayor of Boston), and Kennedy ran for his seat and easily won. He served as a congressman for six years, and, though officially democratic, occasionally strayed in support on certain issues. The new congressman Kennedy chatting with Ted Williams, Eddie Pellagrini, and Hank Greenberg in 1946 Kennedy joined the Senate in 1952, but was absent often because of spinal operations. In 1956, he was nominated for Vice President to Adlai Stevenson, but lost a close ballot to Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee. This event got Kennedy national attention and added to his reputation as a serious politician. A poster advertising Kennedy's coming to York County, PA in 1960 to campaign. Kennedy surprisingly lost (surprising because York County was considered a generally democratic district) to Nixon because he reportedly seemed "inordinately idealistic and not practical," and because he supported "too much federal intervention into local affairs." Becoming President and Inaugural Address JFK started his official campaign on January 2nd, 1960. He defeated senators Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota and Wayne Morse from Oregon, against both of whom he competed for the position of Democratic Candidate. Kennedy then had to defeat his future Vice President, Texan Lyndon B. Johnson. After Kennedy had beaten Johnson, he asked him to be his Vice President, in order to obtain Southern support. After the famous televised debate against the current Vice President at the time, Richard Nixon (on which Nixon's weary and nervous appearance and famous five o'clock shadow made Kennedy instantly look more ideal), Kennedy's campaign pulled slightly ahead of Nixon's. Then, on November 8th, 1960, in one of the closest Presidential elections in history, Kennedy beat Nixon by only 0.2% in the popular vote, acquiring 49.7% of the votes over Nixon's 49.5%. The electoral votes were not as close, however, with Kennedy winning 303, over Nixon's 219. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. Kennedy in Office Kennedy was sworn into office on January 20th, 1961. The common theme of his inaugural address was action among the people to help their country. It was at this time that he stated, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." He also referred to the common enemies of man being tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. Kennedy's inaugural address Presidency and Issues Dealt with During Presidency In office, President Kennedy faced many issues, such as: Foreign Policy: Kennedy focused most his attention on the Soviet Union, which made several aggressive moves in his early presidency. The Berlin Wall was constructed by the U.S.S.R. to cut off Western powers' access to East Berlin. Space Race: The Space Race was basically the competitive natures of the U.S. and the Soviet Union colliding over the brand-new space technology. It was merely a show where the result would be one country looking better than the other. On May 25th, 1961, Kennedy announced his desire to land a man on the moon and get him safely back within the decade, which did eventually happen in 1969. Cuban Missile Crisis: The U.S.S.R. wanted to place nuclear weapons in Cuba to counter obsolete Jupiter missiles placed in Turkey by the U.S.. After a Soviet ship was stopped and boarded by the U.S., Khrushchev agreed to the deconstruction of the missile sites, and the U.S. agreed to not invade Cuba, and privately agreed to take the aforementioned missiles out of Turkey. Civil Rights: Kennedy enthusiastically supported racial integration, and showed the American people by releasing Martin Luther King Jr. from jail, after his arrest during a demonstration. Regarding racial desrimination in federally supported houses, Kennedy released Executive Order 11063. Regarding Kennedy's efforts towards racial equality in public schools and protection for voting rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was eventually passed (after Kennedy's death, of course). Kennedy also signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, outlawing wage differences based on sex. Neil Armstrong on the Moon JFK meeting with Nikita Khrushchev to propose the treaty with Moscow JFK & Co. meeting MLK Jr. Kennedy also organized the Peace Corps's establishment in 1961, an organization that has grown exponentially ever since. Assassination and Funeral On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy, his wife, Jackie, John Connally (the governor of Texas at the time), and his wife, Nellie, were riding in a convertible through a parade in Dallas, Texas, to resolve differences in factions of the Democratic Party. According to the Warren Commission: Towards the end of the parade, at 12:30 PM, a shot rang out. Kennedy had been hit in the neck, and while he was raising his arms to cover his injury, the same bullet hit Governor Connally in the back, exiting his upper chest, piercing his right wrist, and lodging in his thigh. The second (or third, the number has never been set in stone) and final shot was then fired, entering and exiting President Kennedy's head, and covering the inside of the car and its passengers with gore. Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1:00 PM. The Warren Commission concluded that Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, who shot him from a sixth-story window of the Texas School Book Depository with a Carcano high-powered rifle. The horrific event was captured on film by amateur cameraman, Abraham Zapruder. The famous Zapruder film, undamaged and in its original state Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who officially shot President Kennedy, but who was later killed himself by Jack Ruby On November 25, 1963 a Requiem Mass was held at The Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle for Kennedy. Reverend John Cavanaugh, the Kennedy family's priest, along with two other priests, officiated the funeral. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C., but was later moved in 1967 to a permanent memorial grave (still at Arlington). In the first three years immediately following the assissination, an approximated three million people came to Kennedy's grave. Kennedy's brother Robert, who was also assassinated, was buried nearby in 1968, as well as Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009. The Funeral Jack Stewart By:
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