John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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by wheelyy
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Growing Up John grew up in a wealthy and powerful political family in Brookline, Massachusetts. It was also a big family as he had three brothers and five sisters. John's father Joe had the dream that one of his sons would become president. He sent them to the best schools and expected that his oldest son, Joe Jr., would be president one day. John graduated from Harvard in 1940 with honors. He then traveled to Great Britain to be with his father who was the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain at the time. Here he learned first hand about World War II and realized that the U.S. would likely be involved before it was over. He tried to join the army, but couldn't get in because he had a bad back. So he joined the Navy and was in command of a patrol torpedo boat when it was sunk. He survived and became something of a war hero. Sadly, his older brother Joe wasn't as lucky and died in combat during the war. Before He Became President When Joe Jr. died, John's father turned to John to become president. He got John involved in politics and helped John to get elected to the U.S. Congress in 1947. John served as congressman for six years and then became a U.S. Senator in 1953. Kennedy ran for president in 1960 against current Vice President Richard Nixon. He won in one of the closest elections in history. John F. Kennedy's Presidency When Kennedy was elected he gave one of the most stirring inaugural speeches in history. In this speech he said the famous words "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." His presidency was marked by major events in the Cold War. These events included the building of the Berlin Wall in Germany by the communists, the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bay of Pigs Just a few months after becoming president, Kennedy decided to try and help Cuban rebels overthrow the communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Unfortunately, the invasion failed miserably when the CIA-assisted rebels were soundly defeated. This event is called the Bay of Pigs because of the name of the bay where the invasion took place. Cuban Missile Crisis In 1962 the United States discovered that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba. These missiles would be able to strike the U.S. with nuclear bombs. In the coming days the U.S. and the Soviet Union came close to nuclear war. The U.S. quarantined Cuba in order to keep the missiles out. After negotiations, the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle the bases. In return, the U.S. agreed to never attack Cuba and to remove missiles from Turkey.


1917- Born1941- Graduated from Havard1961- Elected President1963- Visit to Ireland1963- Died

John F. Kennedy is most famous for being assassinated early in his presidency. He is also famous for the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis.


The best road to progress is freedom's road

JFK's visit to Ireland

Kennedy was proud of his Irish roots and made a special visit to his ancestral home in Dunganstown, County Wexford, while in the country. There, he was greeted by a crowd waving both American and Irish flags and was serenaded by a boys choir that sang "The Boys of Wexford." According to the BBC report that day, Kennedy broke away from his bodyguards and joined the choir for the second chorus, prompting misty-eyed reactions from both observers and the press.Kennedy met with 15 members of his extended Irish family at the Kennedy homestead in Dunganstown. There he enjoyed a cup of tea and some cake and made a toast to "all those Kennedys who went and all those Kennedys who stayed." His great-grandfather Thomas Fitzgerald had left Ireland for the United States in the middle of the Great Famine of 1848 and settled in Boston, becoming a cooper. Generations of his descendants went on to make their mark on American politics.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy



JFK speech during visit to Ireland


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