Past Presidents Information: John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President and was also the youngest President to die. Here is a litte more about his life.

John F. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President, and the youngest to die in office. He was of an Irish decent an born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917. In 1940 he graduated Harvard and entered the Navy. In 1943 his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer. Despite Kennedy's grave injuries, he led survivors through perilous waters to safety.

After the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area. IN 1953 he advanced to the Senate. September 12, 1953, he married Jacqueline Bouvier. While recuperating from a back operation, he wrote "Profiles in Courage", for which he then won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1957 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President. Four years after that his was the first name on the ballot nominee for

President. He had debates with the Republican candidate Richard Nixon while millions of Americans watched. Kennedy won by a narrow margin making him the first Roman Catholic President.



In his Inaugural Address he offered the memorable address that we have all studied in school; "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." He set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. The economic programs he launched set the country on it's longest sustained expansion since WWII. Before his death he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty. While in office he took vigorous action in the equal rights causes, calling for new civil rights legislation.

With the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps, he brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. Still, though, Communist command was still a challenge at hand. Shortly after his inauguration, Kennedy permitted a ban off Cuban exiles, already armed and trained, to invade their homeland. Fidel Castro was still in strong command and the attempt failed. Soon after that the Soviet Union renewed its campaign against West Berlin. Kennedy replied to this by reinforcing the Berlin garrison and increasing the Nation's strength. Moscow relaxed its pressure in central Europe and the Berlin Wall came down. Now Russians sought out to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. This was discovered by air reconnaissance in October 1962. Kennedy imposed a quarantine on all offensive weapons bound for Cuba. The Russians then agreed to back down and take the missiles away.

On November 22, 1963, John Fitzgerald was killed by an assassin's bullet. Kennedy died just hardly past his first thousand days in office. He was the youngest man to become President and he was also the youngest President to die.

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