John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In office: 1961-1963

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th in 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was born as the second of nine children of Irish descendants. After graduating from a catholic university, Kennedy studied political science at Harvard University and joined the U.S. Navy in the Second World War, where he worked one’s way up to the rank of an officer. As from 1945 he actively turned to politics, joined the Democrats and was later elected into the U.S. House of Representatives as well as in the Senate as a representative of Massachusetts.

In 1957, John F. Kennedy won the Pulitzer Price for his book “Profiles in Courage”. Three years later he was elected as leader of the liberal wing of his party’s and as presidential candidate, consequently he turned against the Republican candidate Richard Nixon and won against him with a narrow majority.

Wife: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929-1994), wedding on September 12th, 1953

Children: Caroline Bouvier Kennedy (1957- ), John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999), Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (1963)

Profession: civil servant, writer

Presidential orientation: Democrat

Presidential salary: USD 100,000/year + USD 50,000 expenses (renounced by Kennedy)

Results of the presidential elections in 1960:

 

Popular Votes

Electoral Votes

 John F. Kennedy

 34,226,731

 303

 Richard M. Nixon

 34,108,157

 219

 

Vice President: Lyndon B. Johnson (1961-1963)

Presidency (1961-1963):

To foreign policy, Kennedy tried to bring down Fidel Castro in 1961, which however, known as the Bay of Pigs invasion, failed.

Also in Europe, he was active in foreign policy and responded to the planned construction of the Wall of the Soviet Union in the divided Germany immediately with further sendings of the U.S. troops and tanks to the border line of the GDR. After a mutual withdrawal Kennedy sent his troops to South Vietnam, causing a war, in which the population had to suffer most.

Due to the first transmission of news via television the embarrassment in Cuba and the war in Europe had a negative impact on the image of the president. Also the rapid withdrawal from Vietnam, an immediate withdrawal of missiles from Cuba and concurrently the naval blockade kept America only just of a possible war with the Soviet Union.

To show his solidarity with the divided Berlin, Kennedy travelled to Germany in June 1963, where he gave a speech with the famous phrase “Ich bin ein Berliner” on the balcony of the City Hall Schöneberg.

Through the following policy Kennedy tried hard to ease the tense situation and established the "red phone" which represented a symbolic direct connection between Moscow and Washington and provided an improved communication.

On a trip to Dallas, Texas, on November 22nd in 1963 as part of his re-election campaign John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by several shots into his car and later buried at Arlington Cemetery. Despite a temporary detention of a suspect it could not be clarified till this day who Kennedy’s murderer was.

Kennedy’s assassination led to horror all around the world and even today is the death of the sympathetic president, who was only about 1,000 day in office, not fully processed.

John F. Kennedy had a great influence on his posterity, that way he inspired for example in his speech at the University of Michigan on October 14th in 1960 the students so much that this is regarded as the cornerstone for the creation of the Peace Corps.

Nickname: JFK

"Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House." (John F. Kennedy)

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