Kennedy, John F. John Fitzgerald , Assassination. Subject Term:. Conspiracies -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Format :. Staff View. Central Library. Newstead Library. Select a list. Make this your default list. The following items were successfully added. There was an error while adding the following items. Please try again. Bolstered by his status as a war hero, his family connections and his father's money, Kennedy won the election handily. However, after the glory and excitement of publishing his first book and serving in World War II, Kennedy found his work in Congress incredibly dull.
End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Despite serving three terms, from to , Kennedy remained frustrated by what he saw as stifling rules and procedures that prevented a young, inexperienced representative from making an impact. In , seeking greater influence and a larger platform, Kennedy challenged Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge for his seat in the U. Once again backed by his father's vast financial resources, Kennedy hired his younger brother Robert as his campaign manager.
Robert Kennedy put together what one journalist called "the most methodical, the most scientific, the most thoroughly detailed, the most intricate, the most disciplined and smoothly working state-wide campaign in Massachusetts history — and possibly anywhere else. According to one of his aides, the decisive factor in Kennedy's victory was his personality: "He was the new kind of political figure that people were looking for that year, dignified and gentlemanly and well-educated and intelligent, without the air of superior condescension.
Shortly after his election, Kennedy met a beautiful young woman named Jacqueline Bouvier at a dinner party and, in his own words, "leaned across the asparagus and asked her for a date. John and Jackie had three children: Caroline , John Jr.
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Kennedy continued to suffer frequent illnesses during his career in the Senate. While recovering from one surgery, he wrote another book, profiling eight senators who had taken courageous but unpopular stances. Profiles in Courage won the Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Kennedy remains the only American president to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Kennedy's eight-year Senate career was relatively undistinguished. Bored by the Massachusetts-specific issues on which he had to spend much of his time, Kennedy was more drawn to the international challenges posed by the Soviet Union's growing nuclear arsenal and the Cold War battle for the hearts and minds of Third World nations. In , Kennedy was very nearly selected as Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson's running mate, but was ultimately passed over for Estes Kefauver from Tennessee. Four years later, Kennedy decided to run for president. In the Democratic primaries, Kennedy outmaneuvered his main opponent, Hubert Humphrey, with superior organization and financial resources.
The election turned largely on a series of televised national debates in which Kennedy bested Nixon, an experienced and skilled debater, by appearing relaxed, healthy and vigorous in contrast to his pallid and tense opponent. On November 8, , Kennedy defeated Nixon by a razor-thin margin to become the 35th president of the United States of America.
An excerpt from James Swanson's "End of Days" | MSNBC
Kennedy's election was historic in several respects. At the age of 43, he was the second youngest American president in history, second only to Theodore Roosevelt , who assumed the office at He was also the first Catholic president and the first president born in the 20th century. Delivering his legendary inaugural address on January 20, , Kennedy sought to inspire all Americans to more active citizenship. Kennedy's greatest accomplishments during his brief tenure as president came in the arena of foreign affairs.
Capitalizing on the spirit of activism he had helped to ignite, Kennedy created the Peace Corps by executive order in By the end of the century, over , Peace Corps volunteers would serve in countries. Also in , Kennedy created the Alliance for Progress to foster greater economic ties with Latin America, in hopes of alleviating poverty and thwarting the spread of communism in the region.
Kennedy also presided over a series of international crises. Known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion , the mission proved an unmitigated failure, causing Kennedy great embarrassment. In August , to stem massive waves of emigration from Soviet-dominated East Germany to American ally West Germany via the divided city of Berlin, Nikita Khrushchev ordered the construction of the Berlin Wall , which became the foremost symbol of the Cold War.
However, the greatest crisis of the Kennedy administration was the Cuban Missile Crisis of October Discovering that the Soviet Union had sent ballistic nuclear missiles to Cuba, Kennedy blockaded the island and vowed to defend the United States at any cost. After several of the tensest days in history, during which the world seemed on the brink of nuclear annihilation, the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missiles in return for Kennedy's promise not to invade Cuba and to remove American missiles from Turkey.
It was one of his proudest accomplishments. President Kennedy's record on domestic policy was rather mixed. Taking office in the midst of a recession, he proposed sweeping income tax cuts, raising the minimum wage and instituting new social programs to improve education, health care and mass transit. However, hampered by lukewarm relations with Congress, Kennedy only achieved part of his agenda: a modest increase in the minimum wage and watered down tax cuts.
The most contentious domestic issue of Kennedy's presidency was civil rights. Constrained by Southern Democrats in Congress who remained stridently opposed to civil rights for black citizens, Kennedy offered only tepid support for civil rights reforms early in his term. Nevertheless, in September Kennedy sent his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, to Mississippi to use the National Guard and federal marshals to escort and defend civil rights activist James Meredith as he became the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi on October 1, One of the last acts of his presidency and his life, Kennedy's bill eventually passed as the landmark Civil Rights Act in The next day, November 22, Kennedy, along with his wife and Texas governor John Connally, rode through cheering crowds in downtown Dallas in a Lincoln Continental convertible.
From an upstairs window of the Texas School Book Depository building, a year-old warehouse worker named Lee Harvey Oswald , a former Marine with Soviet sympathies, fired upon the car, hitting the president twice. Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial Hospital shortly thereafter, at age A Dallas nightclub owner named Jack Ruby assassinated Oswald days later while he was being transferred between jails. John Kennedy Jr. It was a heartbreaking gesture that became one of the most unforgettable images of the funeral. The day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, Nov.
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White and John Kennedy had gotten to know each other, and the president had admired him. When Jackie called, White was not home. He called her back. They were crisp. It was impossible to fly that weekend. So White hired a car and driver and headed north into the New England storm. He called his editors at Life to tell them about his exclusive scoop, but they told him the next issue was about to go to press.
It was unprecedented.
Who Was John F. Kennedy?
This meant that the most important photojournalism magazine in America would be standing still and delaying the printing of its next issue for a story that had not yet been written and would be based on an interview that had not yet even been conducted. Still, an exclusive interview with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was so coveted, Life was willing to do almost anything.
Jackie welcomed him and instructed her houseguests, who included Dave Powers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. Jackie hated that. They would never capture the real man. She confided to White.
Two JFK books to read: 'End of Days' and 'If Kennedy Lived'
In case White failed to understand, she repeated her story. President Kennedy was dead and buried in his grave, and she told the journalist she wanted to step out of the spotlight. But she does not want them to forget John F. Kennedy or read of him only in dusty or bitter histories: For one brief shining moment there was Camelot.