John F Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917, the second oldest in a family of nine children. His great grandparents had come the United States from Ireland in the mid-1800, s after a famine caused severe poverty in that Country. Although their families had not come to the United States with much money, Both of John Kennedys grandfathers became political leaders in Boston. One of them John Fitzgerald, (for whom he was named), was elected mayor in 1905. John Kennedys Father, Joseph Patrick became a very wealthy businessman, he was and adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States Ambassador to Great Britain from 1938 to 1940.
John Kennedy (his family called him Jack,) moved to New York when He was ten years old. Since the family spent summer months at their home in Hyannis, Cape Cod, Jack still lived a good part of his life in Massachusetts. As a boy and a young man, he traveled to other parts of the United States and to other countries. After graduating from the Choate School in Connecticut in 1935, he went on to Harvard College and graduated in 1940. That same year he wrote a best selling book, called, Why England Slept, it was about some of the decisions, which led to World War II.
In 1941, John Kennedy joined the Navy. He became the commander of a small PT boat, assigned to the battle in the Pacific against the Japanese. One night while on patrol, a large enemy ship rammed Kennedys boat. Two men in the crew of thirteen were killed, and the rest led by Lt. Kennedy swam to a nearby deserted island.
There they managed to survive mostly by eating coconuts, until they were rescued a week later. After World War II, John n Kenney had to choose the kind of work he wanted to do. He considered becoming a teacher or a writer but soon he decided to run for political office. In 1946 he was elected to the U.S. Congress, representing a district in greater Boston, Kennedy a democrat served three terms (six years), in the House of Representatives, and in 1952 he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 1953, he married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. The following year he had a serious operation on his back. While recovering from surgery, he wrote a book about several U.S. senators, which had risked their careers to fight for the things in which they believed. The book, called Profiles in Courage, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1957. That same year the Kennedys first child Caroline, was born. Kennedy had narrowly missed being picked as the Democratic Partys candidate for Vice President in 1956.
Soon after, he began a long campaign to become President in 1960. At the convention on July 13, 1960, the Democrats chose Kennedy as their Presidential candidate. Kennedy asked Lyndon B. Johnson, a senator from Texas, to run with him for Vice President. In the general election on November 8, 1960, Kennedy defeated Vice President Richard M.
Nixon in a very close race, the popular vote was 34,226,731 for Kennedy and 34,108,157 for Nixon. The electoral vote was 303 for the Kennedy campaign and 219 for Nixon. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President and also the first Catholic. John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President on January 20, 1961.
In his Inaugural Address, he spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country, he said. He also asked the nations of the world to join together to fight what he called the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. Soon after the election Kennedys second child was born John Jr. One of President Kennedys first important actions was creating the Peace Corps.
Americans who join the Peace Corps go as volunteers to countries requesting assistance. They served as teachers and provided help in areas such as farming, health care and construction. Kennedy also wanted Americas to travel to more distant destinations. In May of 1961, after Alan Shepard became the first America astronaut to fly into space Kennedy asked Congress to spend more money on space exploration, with the goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. During his time as President JFK had to make difficult decisions. Many of the hardest choices concerned the relationship between our nation and the Soviet Union. Since World War II there had been a lot of anger and suspicion between the two countries but never any shooting between Russian and American troops this cold war was a struggle between the Soviet Unions communist system of government and Americas democratic system.
Because they distrusted each other both nations spent enormous sums of money building nucular weapons to use if a war begins hoping to build some trust between their countries. President Kennedy and the soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met in June 1961. One topic they discussed was the German city of Berlin. after World War II, Germany had been divided into two countries: West Germany and East Germany. West Germany like the United States, was a democratic country where people elected their leaders. In East Germany a communist country, like the Soviet Union, the government owned all the farms and factories and made many decisions without the approval of the people.
The city of Berlin was also divided. Through surrounded by East Germany, half of Berlin was part of West Germany. Many East Germans who did not want to live in a communist country had moved to West Berlin. During their meeting Kennedy and Khrushchev strongly disagreed about the future of Berlin. Later that summer the Soviets built a huge wall diving the two parts of Berlin.
For many Americans and the western Europeans, the Berlin wall became a symbol of communism. In the summer of 1963 JFK visited West Berlin and spoke to a large crowd near the wall. He said that America would support democracy in Berlin and that he looked forward to the wall coming down one day. The cold War heated up in October 1962, when an America spy plain secretly flew over Cuba and took photos of several military construction sites. the photos showed that the Soviets were building nuclear missile launchers in Cu …