Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States(1961-1963), during a pretty interesting and changing time in the United States. In this history essay I will be discussing Kennedy’s life, and his later assassination during his presidency.
John Fizgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline Massachusetts, on May 29th, 1917, to wealthy and prominent parents. His family was respected, and quite a few of his eight siblings became national figures.
Kennedy’s parents sent him to Connecticut to attend highschool there. During highschool he led a club or a “gang of sorts” for misbehavers or “trouble makers.” He was seen as a goof, and never really applied himself to school until later in highschool than Harvard.
While in Harvard Kennedy had the opportunity to meet the leaders in Europe and the Middle East, thanks to his charming personality and family connections. Also when his father was appointed as an ambassador to London, Kennedy sometimes served as his father’s representative. He graduated from Harvard in 1940, with a degree in international affairs.
After his graduation he joined the Navy and served as an ensign in the office of the secretary of the navy when Pearl Harbor occurred. Kennedy took this “opportunity” to join the war fight. He even commanded a small gunboat in the Pacific. In 1945 soon after Japan’s surrender, Kennedy was discharged after an injury.
Early Political Career
After the war Kennedy won a seat in the House, winning his home district in Massachusetts. Then Kennedy won against Henry Cabot Lodge the 2nd, for a seat in the Senate, after six years of being part of the House. Around that time Kennedy married his wife Jacqueline Bouvier.
Kennedy ran for president in 1960. Thanks to his position politically and his skill of public speaking, he won the election on January 20th, 1961. He was the youngest man to be ever elected for president, at the age of forty three. He and his wife became known for setting new fashion trends and they also refurbished the White House. He also used radio and television to spread information.
Kennedy’s presidency was rather romanticized, and seen as “great” but that did not mean that Kennedy did not have any challenges. One of these challenges was in Germany. This issue was because Germany was divided around that time: East(to the Soviets), and the West. This division in Germany brought about many fugitives from the East side escaping and getting into the West side of Germany.
To solve this issue the Soviets built a wall, or a physical divide between Germany. This wall was one of the main symbols of the Cold War. Kennedy denounced this wall with a speech in West Berlin, which caused some conflicts for the US.
Another incident of this sort was in Cuba, with the Bay of Pigs Invasion, where 1,500 US trained Cuban invaders who were rebelling against Castro’s reign, but horribly failed, and were captured. Kennedy had to work quite hard to negotiate the return of these prisoners.
The most well known of these conflicts was the Space Race. The Space Race began when the Soviets launched the very first satellite, before the US was even prepared too. Even though the US government was not concerned about this, American citizens were shocked, to the point that some even began thinking that the Soviets were now stronger than the US..
This conflict grew further when Kennedy announced that the US would put a man on the moon during that decade. Which truly did happen, with Neil Armstrong in 1969. So as you may have noticed there were conflicts throughout Kennedy’s presidency. But other than those conflicts Kennedy was pretty successful with everything he tried throughout his presidency.
Assination and Death
On November 22nd, 1963, in Dallas Texas, Kennedy, his wife, and the Texas Governor John Connally were driving in an open air limousine through cheering crowds when a man named Lee Harvy Oswald, began shooting at the car, hitting Kennedy twice. Shortly after in Parkland Memorial Hospital Kennedy passed away, at the age of forty six.
After Kennedy’s death an investigation occurred to prove if Oswald truly acted alone(quite a few people at the time believed Oswald had not). Later it was proven that Oswald truly did act alone. But through and through Kennedy’s tragic end shook the lives of many US citizens, and he is remembered warmly by many to this day.