JOHN F. KENNEDY
November 19, 2012
Life before Presidency
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the nation's first President born in the 20th century. Both parents were from wealthy Boston families with long political histories. His maternal grandfather had been mayor of Boston. Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, had made a fortune in the stock market, entertainment, and other business, managing to take his money out of the stock market just before the crash of 1929. Who was President Kennedy?
Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. President John F. Kennedy famously suggested the American people: “Ask what you can do for your country.” In 1961, the Peace Corps was created, facilitating service among citizens working toward peace in developing countries. In 2011, President Obama celebrated the Peace Corps. What did President Kennedy’s presidency consist of?
As president, Kennedy confronted mounting Cold War tensions in Cuba, Vietnam and elsewhere. He also led a renewed drive for public service and eventually provided federal support for the growing civil rights movement. President Kennedy had to deal with many serious problems here in the United States. The biggest problem of all was racial discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 that segregation in public schools would no longer be permitted. However, there were many schools, especially in southern states, that did not obey this law. There was also racial segregation on buses, in restaurants, movie theaters, and other public places. African-Americans were "the people left behind": crowded into poorer neighborhoods, discriminated against, and actively prevented from obtaining good educations or jobs, victimized by criminals...