Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
35th President of the United States
Currently Known For:
1947 - 1963
It’s been more than a half century since John F. Kennedy serves as the President of the United States, but he’s still talked about quite frequently in regards to the nation’s finest leaders. Kennedy served as the country’s president for just under three years, leaving a big impact on the White House. Along with his wife Jacqueline, the Kennedy’s were not only leading the United States, but had a large cultural impact, as well.
Before becoming the president, Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917. Many had expected that Kennedy would get into politics at some point, as his father Joe was a notable businessman and politician himself. His grandfather also had significant political experience, having served as a congressman as well as the mayor of Boston.
After attending private schools while growing up, Kennedy would then attend the prestigious Ivy League school Harvard. While he wasn’t the best student at the college at first, Kennedy would eventually buckle down and turn his attention to politics, graduating in 1940 with honors and a degree in government. Shortly after graduating from college, Kennedy enlisted with the United States Navy, It was during this time that World War II had been affecting the world, and Kennedy would see action as a boat patrolman. Kennedy served from 1941 to 1945, reaching the rank of lieutenant and earning multiple awards for his service.
Returning home from the war, Kennedy officially began to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, using his family’s notoriety to gain an advantage to become a congressman. From 1947 to 1953, Kennedy represented his home state of Massachusetts in the House of Representatives. The experience made Kennedy a rising star in the political world, and the next natural step was to run for the Senate. Kennedy won his election in 1952, becoming a United States Senator that was being groomed for a presidential run.
While still serving in the Senate, Kennedy announced that he’d be running for the White House in early 1960. That year, Kennedy took on the likes of Pat Brown, Hubert Humphrey and George McLain, earning the Democratic nomination for president. In that famous 1960 election, Kennedy went head to head with Republican Richard Nixon in what was a close popular vote. Kennedy had just around 100,000 more votes than Nixon, with both reaching over 34 million votes. However, Kennedy had won the electoral college quite handily, receiving 303 electoral votes to Nixon’s 219.
With that, Kennedy would officially become the President of the United States in January 1961, delivering one of the more famous inaugural addresses of all-time. As part of the speech, Kennedy famously said “And do so, my fellow Americans…Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” It ended up being one of the more famous quotes ever uttered by a president, and is still discussed in politics quite frequently to this day.
Once he took the reigns as the president, Kennedy got to work and achieved some major accomplishments. The then-43 year old is still the youngest person to ever be elected to the White House, and helped to establish a better financial status for the United States while also forming the Peace Corps and helping to invoke the Civil Rights Act. The Cold War was at its peak when Kennedy was serving as president, making it very important that he was able to handle foreign relations correctly.
Peacefulness and civil rights were a big component of Kennedy’s time as president. “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process,” he once said. “Gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” He added that “In giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and to our country.”
Tragedy would strike the United States when Kennedy and his wife were traveling through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy’s trip involved hopes of uniting the Democratic Party, and a motorcade had Kennedy riding through the streets of the downtown area. Kennedy was in the back of a convertible next to his wife when he was suddenly shot in front of a massive crowd. Sadly, there was no chance for survival as the impact of the bullet had claimed Kennedy’s life instantly.
Dallas was sent into a panic after the shots were fired, and it was believed that it was Lee Harvey Oswald had committed the assassination from the Texas School Book Depository. However, a trial wouldn’t ever take place. That’s because after Oswald had been detained, a nightclub owner named Jack Ruby instantly assumed that Oswald was guilty, and shot him, leading to Ruby’s arrest.
As a result of Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson took over as the 36th President of the United States. Though his time in office was cut short, Kennedy is still held in high regard by many Americans as a fine president. Like Kennedy himself had said, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” The memory of the late president will certainly continue to live on, as he had a remarkable run as the nation’s leader.