John Fitzgerald Kennedy, popularly called by his initials J.F.K., was an American politician born on May 29, 1917. Kennedy was the 35th American president, and his political career dates back to 1945. Although his time in office was short, Kennedy was a great leader who served at the height of the Cold War. He was an exceptional leader whose legacy lives on. Join us as we celebrate his special day today!
History of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was America’s 35th president. He was a great leader and war hero who served the nation, both within and outside the office. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was born to a prominent family, as his father was a businessman/politician, while his mother was a socialite. Kennedy was a Gemini of Irish descent, his father was often away from home on business, and the family moved to Riverdale in 1927. He attended a prestigious boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut. After high school, he enrolled at Harvard College in September 1936. He lived a flamboyant life, touring different world countries and exploring cultures. He graduated cum laude in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government (international relations).
In 1940, Kennedy joined the U.S. Naval Reserve after World War II seemed unavoidable. In December 1942, he commanded the PT-101, a patrol torpedo boat, and then the PT-109 in April 1943. His PT-109 was attacked and cut in half, but he survived. For his efforts in the war, Kennedy earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Purple Heart, the World War II Victory Medal, and several more. After the war, Kennedy had a brief stint in Journalism after his father got him a position in Hearst Newspapers. In 1947, he was elected to Congress and served for six years. He ran for Senate in 1952 and won. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1957 after he published “Profiles in Courage,” which highlighted how senators risked their careers for their personal beliefs. He was re-elected for a second term in the Senate in 1958 and announced his intention for Presidency in January 1960. He went head to head with Richard Nixon in the presidential debate and won the election by a small margin. He was sworn in as the 35th POTUS on January 20, 1961.
Kennedy was a fearless President. He attempted to overthrow the Cuban government and planned to invade Cuba in 1962. He signed the first nuclear weapons treaty in 1963 and presided over the Peace Corps with Latin America. However, on November 22, 1963, he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary. He was survived by his wife, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, and four children. Kennedy had multiple affairs in his lifetime, and he is rumored to have had more children.
John F. Kennedy timeline
Kennedy joins the military and commands a torpedo boat.
Kennedy accepts a position at “Hearst Newspapers.”
Following the influence of his family, Kennedy is elected to Congress.
Kennedy runs for Senate and wins by 70,000 votes.
Kennedy announces his presidential campaign and wins supporters.
Kennedy is sworn into office as the 35th president of the United States of America
John F. Kennedy FAQs
How long was J.F.K. in office?
Kennedy was POTUS for 1,036 days.
Who shot J.F.K.?
Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the assassination but was killed by Jack Ruby before he could be prosecuted.
What is J.F.K. known for?
Kennedy was America’s first Roman Catholic president who championed the U.S. Space Program.
5 Surprising Facts
He was the youngest elected president
Elected at age 43, Kennedy was America’s youngest elected president.
Died too soon
Kennedy was the youngest president to have died in America’s history.
He went to Stanford
Kennedy enrolled in Stanford Graduate School of Business after he graduated from Harvard.
He took on the political mantle
Kennedy’s brother, Joe, was encouraged to seek the presidency, but after his death in the war, the mantle fell on him.
His father financed his political career
Kennedy’s father, Joseph, financed his political career from Congress to Presidency.
Why We Love John F. Kennedy
He supported the Civil Rights Movement
Although he lost supporters, Kennedy supported the Civil Rights Movement. He contributed to the movement’s earliest successes.
He was a great president
Kennedy championed a lot of great movements and bills. He was a charismatic president who had people’s best interests at heart.
He prevented a nuclear war
Kennedy prevented the Cuban Missile crisis from becoming a full-blown nuclear war. He was quick to make informed decisions.
John F. Kennedy’s birthday dates