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John F. Kennedy: America’s 35th President

Emily Oxley, Writer

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John F. Kennedy, born May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, came from a wealthy and prominent Irish Catholic Boston family. The second oldest of nine siblings, each one supported one another in their careers.

While attending school, his father cared and supervised his children, instilling in them a fierce, competitive fire and the profound, devoted belief that winning stood as the highest goal. Despite his father’s constant reprimands, young Kennedy performed poorly as a student and acted naughty as a mischievous boy. Having latent talent, he showed extraordinary thoughtfulness and punctilious care in his work when he truly applied himself.

After his Naval discharge, he obtained journalism reporting work, but then undertook a crusade for the U.S House of Representatives in a Boston working class district, a seat vacated by Democrat James Michael Curly. He won owing to his status as a war hero, his family connections, and his father’s money. Despite serving three terms, Kennedy remained frustrated from stifling rules and inefficient procedures that prevented a young, inexperienced representative from making an impact.

In 1952, after seeking expanded influence and a larger platform, Kennedy challenged Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge for his seat in the U.S. Senate. Once again, he appointed his younger brother Robert as his campaign manager who a journalist calls the most methodical, scientific, smooth working state-wide campaign manager in Massachusetts’ history. Kennedy won the campaign, and shortly after, he met a young woman named Jacqueline Bouvier at a dinner party, and they later married on September 12th, 1953.

During Kennedy’s eight-year Senate career, Massachusetts-issues and problems bored him, and he drew more towards the international challenges posed by the Soviet Union and third world nations. In 1956, almost selected as Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson’s running mate, he lost to Estes Kefauver from Tennessee. Nevertheless, four years later, Kennedy advocated and espoused his platform and ideas for president.

On November 8th, 1960, Kennedy marginally defeated Richard Nixon. and the nation elected him as the United States 35th president. Rather than appointing an inexperienced official, he selected Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson as vice president.

He ranks second as the youngest American president in history, second only to Theodore Roosevelt who took office at age 42. He also honorably holds the standing as the first Catholic president and the first 20th century born president.

During his presidential appointment, he successfully negotiated the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with Great Britain and the Soviet Union, increased the minimum wage, provided some tax relief, and promoted civil rights. Unlike some legislation that promulgates quickly, the Civil Rights bill took many years and finally declared law in 1964, granting freedom for all Americans..

On November 21, 1963, President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy flew to Dallas Texas for a campaign appearance. The next day, the Kennedys and Texas governor John Connally rode through cheering crowds in downtown Dallas with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson following close behind. When passing the Texas School Book Depository, assailant Lee Harvey Oswald fired his rifle at the president, hitting him twice.

President John F. Kennedy, age 46, died at Parkland Memorial Hospital shortly after the shooting.

To this day, people still ask the question, “Did Oswald act alone?”.

 

 

 

 

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The School Bulletin of New Caney High School
John F. Kennedy: America’s 35th President