John F. Kennedy 1917-1963


John F. Kennedy 1917-1963

Image above:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Library of Congress

From 1961 until 1963, John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States.

One of the hot topics during his term was the
 Cuban Missile Crisis.


The Family of John F. Kennedy

JFK's father was Joseph Patrick Kennedy.

JFK's mother was Rose Elizabeth Kennedy, née Fitzgerald.

Rose Kennedy was one of the sturdiest people that have ever walked the planet. Not only did she survive childbirth nine times (and the subsequent rearing of the lot), she also made it to age 104. Genetically enhanced? Food for thought.

Rose Kennedy 1890-1995
1890 - 1995

JFK Presidential Library

JFK's brothers and sisters were altogether a crowd of nine children. JFK was the second child.

JFK's siblings in detail:

There were four sons,

Joseph Patrick Jr. (1915-1944)

John Fitzgerald (1917-1963)

 Robert Francis (1925-1968)

 Edward Moore (1932-2009)

and five daughters,

Rosemary (1918-2005)

Kathleen Agnes (1920-1948)

Eunice Mary (1921-2009)
(who founded the Special Olympics)

Patricia (1924-2006)

Jean Ann (1928-...)


Here we go, almost all of them in one photo, Edward wasn't born yet:

The Kennedy Bunch 1928 - JFK's siblings
The Kennedy Bunch 1928
Small to Tall: Jean, Robert, Patricia, Eunice,
Kathleen, Rosemary, John, and Joe
JFK Library


The Kennedy Bunch 1948

Left to right: John, Jean, Rosemary, Joe,
Patricia, Robert, Eunice, and (kneeling) Ted
JFK Library

John F. Kennedy on Religion

JFK was Roman Catholic.

While senator, Kennedy delivered his  Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960, in which he clarified before Protestant Ministers that he believed in the separation of church and state. The address was nationally televised.


John F. Kennedy's Road to Presidency

Kennedy For President Campaign Pin
Kennedy For President Campaign Pin
JFK Library


Assassination Attempts on John F. Kennedy

December 11, 1960, Palm Beach, Florida - The book Just 2 Seconds (Gavin de Becker et al.) notes,

President-elect John F. Kennedy was staying at his father's home in Florida, following his election victory. He emerged from the house to go to Mass, accompanied by his wife, daughter, and several nieces and nephews.

Across the street, an elderly mental patient named Richard Pavlick sat in his car and watched Kennedy prepare to leave. On the seat next to Pavlick were seven sticks of dynamite wired to a knife switch. He planned to ram Kennedy's car and throw the switch, killing himself in the process.

Seeing the children, he decided to kill Kennedy another day and left. Police were tipped off to Pavlick by a postmaster who had received alarming letters from him.

Four days after the aborted attempt at Kennedy's home, Pavlick was arrested without incident. They found with him the sticks of dynamite, and a letter, written in the past tense, explaining why he had killed Kennedy.


John F. Kennedy's Inauguration

On January 20, 1961, Kennedy delivered his  Inaugural Address on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol. This speech became famous for the quote:

Ask not what your country can do for you,
ask what you can do for your country.

Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic to become U.S. President. His Vice President was
 Lyndon B. Johnson.


JFK Team Members

Kennedy appointed  Newton Minow chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).


John F. Kennedy and the Space Challenge

On September 12, 1962, at Rice University in Houston, Texas, JFK delivered his  To the Moon speech.


John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Although "American citizens have become adjusted to living daily on the bull's eye of Soviet missiles located inside the U.S.S.R. or in submarines," the additional placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba was one threat too many.

On October 22, 1962, Kennedy delivered his address to the Nation, his  Cuban Missile Crisis speech, announcing a navy blockade of Fidel's island.

Go here for more about the
 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Here is more on  Nikita Khrushchev.

And go here for more on  Fidel Castro.


1917 - 1963


John F. Kennedy at American University

On June 10, 1963, Kennedy gave his Commencement Address at American University at Washington DC, also called his  World Peace speech.


John F. Kennedy and Civil Rights

On June 11, 1963, Kennedy delivered his  Civil Rights Address via national radio and TV. What was the occasion?

Alabama  Governor George C. Wallace had temporarily moved his office desk in front of the door of the University of Alabama to prevent two African-Americans to enroll.

Go here to read  Wallace's School Door Speech.


John F. Kennedy in Berlin, Germany

On June 26, 1963, JFK gave his  Ich bin ein Berliner speech at the Rudolph Wilde Platz, West Berlin, Germany.

Eddie Izzard walks you through the event and reveals its actual meaning.




On Friday, November 22, 1963, JFK was assassinated in Dallas, TX, while on his way to a political meeting in an open limousine, riding slowly in a motorcade. With him was his wife Jacqueline Kennedy.

At 12:30 PM, the car passed the Texas School Book Depository, where 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald had been working since October, and three rounds from a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5mm rifle were fired at Kennedy. The shots came from a window on the sixth floor.

The first round missed.

The second round struck Kennedy in the back, passed through him, then struck Texas Governor John B. Connally in the back, passed through his chest, through his wrist, coming to rest in his thigh.

The third round was the fatal one and struck Kennedy in the head. Kennedy died on the scene. He was brought to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead shortly after arrival. (Connally survived)

The book Just 2 Seconds (Gavin de Becker et al.) further explains,

Oswald reportedly fled the Book Depository and later allegedly murdered a policeman before being arrested. The shots fired from the Texas School Book Depository covered a distance of 263 feet, the farthest distance from which anyone has harmed a U.S. President.

Controversy has continued for four decades about the number of shots fired, the origin of shots, and the number of assailants.


 Check out Assassinations in History.

And here is the live footage:


Conspiracy or Not?

In 1964, the Warren Commission, so called because it was led by  Chief Justice Earl Warren, investigated the events but found no evidence of any conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

In 1979, the House of Representatives Assassinations Committee investigated the findings of the Warren Commission and, among other things, found a connection between Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby (the guy who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald) and crime boss Meyer Lansky.

It further stated that Oswald was definitely Kennedy's assassin but that there might have been a second gunman, who had missed his target.

According to popular rumor CIA agents could have been behind the killing as response to Kennedy's decisions regarding the  Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Another well-liked theory makes crime bosses responsible for the slaying as response to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy's shakeup of the underworld.


Who Took Over?

 Vice President Johnson took the presidential oath at 2:38 PM, on November 22, 1963.


What Else?

Here is the  US Election Map 1796 - 1968.

And here is the  Governments in History Chart.

Check the link to the  John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, which you can visit in Boston, MA.




See also the American Timeline.




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