All About John F Kennedy: Was He The Best American President? | Kidadl

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All About John F Kennedy: Was He The Best American President?

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President Kennedy faced a tough battle from Richard Nixon during the general elections for the post of the president of the United States.

President Kennedy is regarded as one of the best presidents that America has had. Read on for an account of Kennedy’s family, personal life, presidential life, and other exceptional accomplishments.

Born in Massachusetts, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), also a war hero and author, was the 35th US president. He took office at the age of 43 - the youngest man to do so. His youth and vigor attracted many people, but he faced enormous problems.

At home, he tried to tackle racial discrimination, as black Americans demanded the same rights as whites. Abroad he faced the threat of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, which were removed after a tense period of negotiations in October 1962. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, before he could complete his reforms. Read along to find out about the Catholic president, Kennedy's father, Kennedy's mother, Kennedy's older brother, John Jr, how America became the Japanese destroyer in American history, and a more interesting fact about John F Kennedy.

After reading all about President Kennedy, also check out facts about Abraham Lincoln's presidency and the 26th president of USA here on Kidadl.

Interesting Facts About John F Kennedy

The 35th President of the US, John F Kennedy was the youngest to date to be in office. It wasn't easy journey for him to lead the nation. Let’s dive into some mind-blowing facts about this accomplished personality.

The biggest challenge that he faced during his presidency was from the Communists. His response to tackle the anti-American and pro-communist sentiments in Cuba was distinct. Soon after swearing-in, he sent a band of armed and well-trained Cuban exiles to invade their homeland. That was, however, a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. Following this, the USSR targeted campaigns in West Berlin, for which Kennedy responded by reinforcing the Berlin garrison, boosting the military strength of the country, and working on outer space to beat the mushrooming competition. After Berlin, the USSR had its eyes on Central Europe. Instead of appeasing the central European nations with power and politics, the USSR eased political pressures there and instead targeted Cuba. In its march to create a unipolar world headed by them, the USSR dumped heaps of nuclear missiles in Cuba, which not only neighbored America but also had its puppet communist government headed by Fidel Castro emboldened there.

These tacks and tactics of the USSR were a huge flop. With aerial reconnaissance in October 1962, the Kennedy government was fully aware of each and every movement of the USSR and Cuban governments. This resulted in Cuban quarantine when the US navy was deployed all around the nation and cargo ships carrying missiles from the Soviets were returned. The whole world was divided by power politics due to these international developments. The world that was at the brink of a nuclear war between two powers watched the world leaders closely to know their stances and slants regarding this issue.

It was not just a matter of two nations but the very existence of humankind was questioned. The decisions taken by John F Kennedy are worth applauding for they saved the world from another bloody war. The discussions and negotiations continued and culminated in the Arms Race. The Arms Race was a contention that later paved the way for the Test Ban Treaty of 1963. President Kennedy was always skeptical about using military power to solve political problems. His administration symbolized his commitment to global peace. Further on, the post-Cuban crisis world marked the prominence of law and free choice and banished the probabilities of war and coercion.

During World War II, President John decided and commanded a series of PT (Patrol Torpedo) boats in the Pacific theater, and President John earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal since Kennedy served as a war hero in World War II. Everyone in the Kennedy family is very much known in history. In a closely contested election, democratic United States Senator John F. Kennedy defeated Nixon, the Republican Party nominee. JFK was the youngest man elected president ever. There were many accomplishments under Kennedy's presidency. Kennedy announced and approved the permanent establishment of Peace Corps programs.

More Facts About John F Kennedy

Of Irish descent, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. He graduated from Harvard University, majoring in Government in 1940, and joined the Navy, instilled by the patriotism in him. His life had been very tragic; he lost his elder sister Kathleen in a plane accident in 1948 and another sister Rosemary to a botched lobotomy in 1941.

He was the second of nine children of a remarkably wealthy family. John Kennedy, aka Jack Kennedy, therefore, faced no challenges during the Great Depression of the '30s as he was backed by his family assets. In his childhood, Kennedy revived religious teachings from the Roman Catholic Church and political teachings from the Democratic Party. Kennedy is said to have kept wonderful diaries that give us deep insights into his personal and political life. The leader had a great fascination for politics and international relations. In 1943, when his PT (Patrol Torpedo) boat, the one used by the US during the Second World War, was hit and sunk by Japanese forces, Kennedy was courageous and protective of his colleagues and saved the survivors despite getting severely wounded. After his service in the war, he contested the Senate as a democrat from the Boston area in 1953. In the year 1953, John tied the knot with Jacqueline Bouvier, aka Jackie Kennedy. In 1955, prolific biographies on eight brave US Senators he penned, which were portrayed in his ‘Profiles In Courage,’ won the Pulitzer Prize in history.

Kennedy was driven by a vision to lead America as the global leader in the spheres of both polity and economy. He endorsed a concept of collective security. His passion for statesmanship further took him to greater heights. In 1956, though he contested for the Vice Presidential nomination, he lost in a nail-biter. But that couldn't push him from the race. He took that as a weapon to mold himself to enter into the national political stage. It was this same freshman senator who drove the horse against John McCormack, the settled politician of Boston, and seized power from him through a brutal coup. Undeniably, he had the thirst and fire in him to lead the nation and take it to commendable heights. Four years later, he was the first-ballot nominee for President. He fought tooth and nail against the Republican candidate Richard Nixon, the incumbent Vice President, who had defeated him in the Vice President contests of 1956. The battleground of debate between either leader was aggressive. By a narrow margin in votes, Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President of America and was the first Roman-Catholic to be on the throne. His inaugural address to the nation captivated millions of American hearts. He pledged to take America to the promised land.

His economic programs are worth praising for they revived the US economy and drove the country to the chamber of leading economic power in a short span of time. It was unarguably fuel for the war-hit nation to thrive in such a time. Unfortunately, his adept plans to break the shackles of deprivation and poverty in the dilapidated pockets of the nation could not be executed, owing to his sudden death. He stood for equal rights and called for new civil rights legislation. He instilled vigor and vitality in the national culture by highlighting the role of the arts in society. He wanted America to champion the human rights revolution and stood for peace and progress in developing countries.

On November 22, 1963, this gifted and much loved President of America was assassinated before he could complete his tenure. Some conspiracies resulted from his death. A former US Marine, the assassin Oswald Harvey is said to have embraced Marxism and had mental disorders. President Kennedy was in the service of the nation for barely 1,000 days. Bullets were shot at his motorcade while passing by Dallas, Texas. This made him not just the youngest one to become the President but also the youngest one to die.

Fun Facts About John F Kennedy

One of the most documented figures of the world, Kennedy is known for his immense contributions to world peace and the maintenance of world order. Have a quick read on a few interesting facts about him.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy hailed from one of the wealthiest families in New England, making him one of the richest presidents the US has had. He had plenty of family assets and his own assets worth $1 billion. His father, Joseph Kennedy, aka Joe Kennedy, had a good name in the Wall Street and other investment arenas.

Just after Kennedy was born, his father, Joseph Kennedy, managed to escape the infamous Wall Street bombing of 1920. When the bombing took the lives of around 38 civilians, Joseph Kennedy was fortunate to have a narrow escape.

Joe Kennedy acquired a fortune in ship-building, film industry, banking, and boot-legging that made him a game-changer in the stock market. Jack Kennedy is said to be the shadow of his father. He helped his son emerge as a political leader with his wealth and connections. Though John was born and brought up in Boston, he spent his later years in the Bronx, New York City, where he did his schooling.

He had his middle schooling there and spent only the first 10 years in Boston. After that, he was sent to a private school in Connecticut for his higher education. It’s an astonishing fact that Kennedy has played the role of a movie producer. The PT-109 was a movie based on the Japanese attack on the PT boat in 1943. Sinking of the boat and Kennedy’s attempt to rescue his colleagues were glorified in the movie.

Jack was stranded on the sea for days during the Second World War. Though he was asked to act his part, that was denied following the suggestion by the first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

He, however, is said to have helped pick the director. For his service in the Pacific during the Second World War, Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart. The other presidents were John Kerry and John McCain. Kennedy was not the youngest president ever. Theodore Roosevelt was 42 years old when he succeeded William McKinley to the post of president. However, Kennedy was the youngest elected president at the age of 43. Kennedy had a strong passion for politics. He had a strong political background at a very young age that gifted and groomed him with experiences for the presidentship. He officially got into the arena of politics at the age of 29. He was elected to the US Senate. This gained him more political experience and exposed him to governance and charismatic administration.

His older brother was expected to represent and lead politics in his family. His death during the Second World War brought John to national politics unprecedented as Kennedy won over Richard Nixon with a narrow margin. He won the 1960 presidential elections by a margin of 303 to 219. If Nixon had defeated Kennedy in Illinois and Texas, he would have defeated Kennedy by two votes in the Electoral College.

John F Kennedy is said to have recorded conversations in the White House. Kennedy had near-death situations twice before his presidentship. As well as the PT boat incident, he had severe health issues. He was once diagnosed with Addison’s disease in 1948 when his health took a bleak turn.

In 1954, yet another time, he got an infection following back surgery. He suffered from chronic back pain due to his uneven legs. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian American film actor, is Kennedy's nephew by marriage. Robert Kennedy, an American environmental lawyer and an author, was nephew to President John.

Martin Luther King had a great bond with Jack Kennedy. He, as a part of his Civil Rights Movements, held sit-ins. A favored tactic of civil rights campaigners, the sit-in demonstrations were held in segregated restaurants and other public places. In 1960, King was arrested at a segregated lunch counter in an Atlanta department store. He was sent to prison and was only released after the intervention of the Democratic presidential candidate John F Kennedy.

Kennedy was someone who had a proactive approach. Kennedy sought to offer inspiration to all Americans for doing something for their country. He has been famously quoted as saying, 'do not ask what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country.' This is the reason he is widely regarded as one of the best presidents in the history of the country.

To counter poverty and communism in Latin America, Kennedy created the Alliance for Progress.

Best Books About John F Kennedy

John Kennedy is the author of nine books, including the biographies of JFK, Vince Lombardi, Senator Philip Hart, and Joe Paterno. These books have earned awards like the Choice Magazine Award, the Wisconsin Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Catholic Press Association, and the Wisconsin Magazine of History Awards.

According to an estimate, there are around 40,000 books published about Kennedy. There are numerous accounts about his acts of bravery, economic policies, presidential life, and so on. 'An Unfinished Life: John F Kennedy, 1917-1963' is a biography authored by Robert Dallek and reveals his family dynamics, love affairs, and health. ‘A Thousand Days: John F Kennedy in the White House’ is another masterpiece by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. It covers his life from ascending the presidential throne to his funeral.

'The Death of a President: November 20-25, 1963' by William Manchester is an account of his assassination written on request of his widow Jacqueline. ‘JFK: A Vision For America’ by Stephen Kennedy Smith and Douglas Brinkley is a compilation of all his speeches along with their commentaries by renowned thinkers and historians, including the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

‘Profiles In Courage' is a book authored by Jack himself. It is about eight US Senators from Quincy Adams to Robert Taft. ‘Why England Slept’ written in 1940, ‘A Nation of Immigrants’ penned in 1964, ‘The Strategy of Peace’ of 1960 and ‘The Burden and the Glory’ of 1964 are a few of his notable works on international politics, influencing personalities and popular politicians of the time.

During the course of his presidency, John F Kennedy showcased great enthusiasm regarding immigration reforms. He believed that Americans valued tradition as well as exploration of new frontiers. He believed that refugees who came to the USA to make better lives deserved the chance to do so. These views were published in his classic essay 'A Nation of Immigrants' in 1958.

Summary About John F Kennedy

Also known as JFK, Jack was born in Brooklyn in 1917. His political party affiliation was the Democratic Party, and he held various titles as part of the House of Representatives, the US Senate, and ultimately as a president in his lifetime.

Son to Joseph P Kennedy and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy and husband to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Jack was brother to Robert F Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and father to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. He was known for his interventions and negotiations in the Second World War, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban missile crisis, the Equal Pay Act, the Vietnam War and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. These acts and significant role played by him in each are worth noting.

The Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA, is named after this phenomenal personality who is known not only for his military roles and peacemaking but also for major contributions in space.

John Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was a former U.S. Marine.

Kennedy liked to talk about American libraries. While the precise reason is not known, an intelligent guess could be that he understood the value of knowledge and considered libraries as places to preserve and share knowledge.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions about John F Kennedy, then why not take a look at Teddy Roosevelt presidency or Obama's kids.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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