John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)

John F. Kennedy

1917 On the 29th of May, Brookline, Massachusetts USA, John F. Kennedy was born. He was a member of American Congress and a senator before becoming the 35th president of USA. The second of the nine children, Kennedy was grown up within a family that wanted a physical and intellectual competition between brothers and he was educated through religious lessons of Roman Catholic Church and through political precepts of Democratic Party. His father, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, got millions of dollars in banking field, shipbuilding and film industry, but also because he was a skilled player of stock market. His mother, Rose, was John F. Fitzgerald’s daughter (“Honey Fitz”), the former mayor of Boston.

After he served as chief of Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph Kennedy became ambassador of USA in Great Britain and for six months, in 1938, John was his secretary. Based on this experience, he wrote his thesis at Harvard University regarding Great Britain’s lack of military training. Then he expanded this work into a best-seller book, “Why England Slept?”.

1941 During autumn he joined USA Navy and two years later he was sent to South Pacific. His elder brother, Joe, who his father wanted to be the first Kennedy, was killed in war when he desired to replace him and family standard passed to John, who had planned to attend an academic or journalistic career. John Kennedy barely escaped death in a fight in South Pacific; he was leading a torpedo patrol when he was seriously wounded by a Japanese destroyer that sank his ship in Solomon Islands. Behind enemies’ lines, he led his people back and safely and he was awarded by USA Navy and by Marine Corps with heroism medal. He also took again active command at his request. These events were described later within a movie at Hollywood.

1943 Kennedy was sent back to USA. When he returned he was promoted to lieutenant and he became PT trainer in Florida.

1945 On March, after a back surgery, he got back to civil life. For the next 12 months he worked as a journalist.

1946 As a member of Democratic Party, Kennedy won the elections for Representatives Chamber. Over the next few years he highlighted himself as a loyal supporter of Harry S. Truman. Within the Congress he promoted progressive taxation and the expansion of social welfare. He was also a leading adversary of Bill Taft-Hartley.

1951 Kennedy had a strong interest for external politics so he organized a tour in Europe to visit Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia and West Germany. Coming back he declared to Senate Committee for External Relations that USA should have kept the politics of helping and protecting Europe of West. Yet, he motivated that concerned countries should have contributed more to operating costs. During autumn Kennedy visited Middle East, India, Paksistan, Indochina, Malaysia and Korea. An adversary of colonial empires, Kennedy declared that France should have left Algeria. He also asserted that financial help had increased for underdeveloped countries.

1952 Kennedy was elected within Senate. Next year he married Jacqueline Bouvier, the daughter of one of New York City’s financiers. Over the years, four children were born but only two, Caroline and John, survived to childhood. Kennedy was still suffering because of spine problems and he had surgery again in October 1954 and February 1955. While he was recovering to the hospital, Kennedy wrote “Profiles in Courage”, Pulitzer Award winner (1956).

Kennedy was a strong supporter of social welfare, civil rights and legislation in Senate. He also sponsored the invoices for federal financial help for education, immigration liberalization in USA and a measure that asked complete disclosure of pension and social funds beneficiaries.

1960 Kennedy joined the race to become Democratic Party’s candidate for chairmanship. He won the democratic primary elections in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, Nebraska and West Virginia. To National Convention on July, Kennedy defeated his main adversary, Lyndon B. Johnson and was nominated for the first round of votes.

Kennedy’s candidature was a controversial one because none of Roman Catholics had ever been elected as president. It is believed that this fact was an important reason for Al Smith’s defeat in 1928. He decided to approach this problem within a speech in Houston on the 11th of September; he attacked religious bigotry and explained the way he had trusted the total separation of Church and state. In elections a fight happened between Republican Richard Nixon and Kennedy. After a televised confrontation, Kennedy seemed to have an advantage because of his optimistic and honest attitude.

1960 On the 8th of November he was elected as the 35th president of USA. He was the second president as youngest in USA’s history, only 43 years old, after Theodore Roosevelt who was only 42 when he had become president, after William McKinley’s murder in 1901.

1961 On the 20th of January he sworn in front of the Capitol where he had a wonderful speech.

During the term, even at the beginning, Kennedy, due to pressures of CIA, organized an operation to overthrow the communist regime in Cuba, a failed attempt that was considered a first mistake. He established a naval quarantine over Cuba in order to stop Soviet ships to transport arms on the island and declared that USA would not tolerate the existing missiles sites in that country. This quarantine lasted 38 days and it was about to be turned into a nuclear war between USA and Soviet Union. This pressure that was predicting a World War III stopped after the two great powers had come to an understanding, USA agreed to dismantle the offensives bases in Turkey and promised not to invade Cuba, and Soviet Union agreed to stop Cuba’s arming and to dismantle all nuclear bases.

Another mistake that would have led to a long and a hard War for Americans was commandos sending in Vietnam to create a Government. Involvement in the conflict between South Vietnam and North Vietnam proved to be another problem. Realising the mission’s hardness, he started to thing to withdrawal but he could not finish his planes.

1962 On the 20th of November, Kennedy signed 11063 Executive Order that prohibited racial discrimination within social institutions of state as a consequence of an accident at University in Mississippi, a black student was not allowed to enter. Even if the occurrence resulted in dead people, in the end the student was agreed. Fight against mafia seems to be one of the reasons of his death, after he started the prosecution of 228 members of organized crime.

1963 On the 22nd of November John F. Kennedy was murdered while he was into a colony that was crossing Dallas City center. Three gunshots were fired upon him. The first failed, the second stuck his back and the third his head, being deadly. JFK was declared dead after half an hour at the hospital. The presumed killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was immediately caught, during less than an hour and half after the crime and he remained its official author. The next investigation confirmed that he was guilty of president’s death, but the truth has never been found out because he was killed two days later and he did not said to investigators what had happened.[1]