President John F. Kennedy
President John F Kennedy
Our thirty-fifth president was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1940 and entered the Navy. In 1943, his PT boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. Despite major injuries, he managed to lead the survivors to safety. After the war, Kennedy became a Boston Congressman. By 1953, he had entered the Senate. Kennedy wrote the Profiles in Courage in 1955 and won the Pulitzer Prize in history. The following year, he almost made it onto the Democratic ballot for Vice President. By the next election year, he was running for president. He ran against Richard M. Nixon, and won by a narrow margin.
As president, Kennedyís economic programs supplied the country with the longest sustained expansion since World War II. He took action to create equal rights by making new civil rights legislation. There were much bigger problems facing the world though.
A band of Cuban Exiles had been permitted to invade their home country by Kennedy in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. The attempt ended in failure. Not long afterwards, the Soviet Union started up its campaign against West Berlin again. Kennedy reinforced the Berlin garrison and increased the Nationís military strength. He also set his sights on outer space. After this reaction, Moscow lessened its hold on central Europe after the creation of the Berlin Wall. The Russians now tried to install nuclear missiles in Cuba.
After the United States discovered their plans, the Russians backed down. The test ban treaty of 1963 was signed. Unfortunately, later in the same year, tragedy struck. On November 22, 1963 John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin in Dallas, Texas.
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