John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the youngest president of the United States that served from 1961 to 1963. His early political career ended abruptly when he was assassinated in Texas on November 22, 1963 just after his first one thousand days in the office. He was killed by a bullet while on a motorcade.
Early Life of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He completed his studies at the prestigious Harvard University in 1940. After which, he enlisted to be a part of the American Navy. While on a mission, his PT boat was damaged by a Japanese destroyer. While Kennedy obtained injuries, he was able to save his co- navy officers. After the war, he married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953.
Making History in Academe and Politics
After serving the Navy, he entered American politics by joining the Democratic Party. He also became the congressman for the state of Boston, and by 1953, a senator. While recovering from a back surgery in 1955, he spent his time writing Profiles in Courage which won the Pulitzer Prize in History.
Because of his intelligence, charisma, and skill, John Kennedy almost became the 1956 vice presidential bet of the Democratic Party. In 1960, however, he finally succeeded to run for presidency under the same party. Kennedy won by an overly thin margin against Republican bet Richard M. Nixon. His election led him to become America’s youngest president, as well as its first Roman Catholic president.
Kennedy’s Fervor for America
In his Inaugural Address, John Kennedy was set out to tell the American people one of the most famous lines in world history, perhaps even at par with Martin Luther King’s : “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” This hinted that Kennedy was planning an all- out reform to turn around American economy. Indeed, this resulted in the longest and most sustained US expansion efforts post-World War II. He also created plans to address poverty.
Outside economic concerns, John Kennedy was also an active in advancing human rights. He proposed the revision of civil rights legislations. He also took into account the importance of culture and arts in shaping the nation’s history. All in all, Kennedy envisioned the return of American fervor committed to the progress of mankind in all aspects- may it be physical, economic, academic, cultural, and societal. This gave way for the creation of Alliance for Progress and Peace Corps, an institution that propagated the virtues of American idealism to developing countries.
Kennedy vs Communism
Nonetheless, despite the undoubted progress of America, Communism proved to be a strong enemy.
In an attempt to overthrow the Socialist regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba, Kennedy financed and supported armed Cuban exiles to invade their own land. This, however, resulted in a great failure. After this incident, the Soviet Union strengthened its campaign against Democratic Berlin. Kennedy, on the other hand, responded by deploying military assistance to Berlin and tightening defense within America. He also pioneered security measures in outer space.
Seeing the full-blown economic and military power of America, Soviet Union decided to keep its efforts at the minimum after constructing the Berlin Wall- except for the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba. After Kennedy discovered this military tactic, he ordered blockade to all weapons of mass destructions heading to Cuba. Fortunately, Soviet Union decided to revert its plan of bombing America just seconds before its scheduled release. The gain of the international community meant loss to Soviet Union in terms of power and negotiations.
Kennedy on Securing Peace
John Kennedy grabbed this opportunity to halt the increasing production of nuclear weapons among countries, especially in America and Soviet Union. He proposed a ‘détente policy’ that aims to regulate weapons to confine paranoia among other nations. This policy is also called the Test Ban Treaty of 1963.
Indeed, after the crucial Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy was able to put forward his vision of free choice all around the globe, free from coercion and other forms of manipulation. John Fitzgerald Kennedy brought a renewed hope for international peace: