He was born on May 29, 1917, and that made John Fitzgerald Kennedy the first President of the United States to be born in the 20th century. He was the only Catholic to be President, and the only President to win a Pulitzer for a book that he wrote. JFK–as many people called him–is also still the youngest person to ever be elected President. He was 43 years old when he won the Presidential election in 1960. Well, that’s very young by Presidential standards.
President Kennedy had attended Harvard University and was on the Varsity Swim team there–but he had to quit due to an appendectomy and chronic back pain. Then he joined the Navy and became the commander of what were known as PT boats. Then he was elected to the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, and then he was a United States Seantor from 1953 to 1960. That’s the same year that JFK defeated Richard Nixon to become President of the United States.
John F. Kennedy was a very popular President. He had to get through a scary time known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, when there was a country called the Soviet Union. The leaders there tried to set up missiles in Cuba, which is very close to the United States. There was a lot of tension before the Soviets agreed not to put any military powers there. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, where students could volunteer in undeveloped nations to aid in farming and healthcare maintenance instead of completing military service. JFK also provided a lot of very important support to the United States space program, which would lead to sending a man to the moon.
Sadly, John F. Kennedy is one of the few American Presidents to be murdered while in office. He was shot during a parade in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He was 46 years old. It was a great shock to the nation, and that early loss has helped John F. Kennedy to become one of America’s most beloved Presidents. His birthday is always a reminder of how we’ll never know what President Kennedy might have accomplished if he had lived. Many people mourn November 22nd, but we take President Kennedy’s birthday as a chance to celebrate his extraordinary life. Here’s video of his Presidential inauguration speech, where you can see why Kennedy was also admired as such a charismatic figure…