107 Facts About John Kennedy

1. John Kennedy was the youngest person to assume the presidency by election.

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2. John Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his work as president concerned relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba.

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3. John Kennedy was elected to the US Senate and served as the junior senator for Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960.

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4. John Kennedy rejected Operation Northwoods in March 1962, but his administration continued to plan for an invasion of Cuba in the summer of 1962.

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5. John Kennedy signed the first nuclear weapons treaty in October 1963.

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6. John Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps, Alliance for Progress with Latin America, and the continuation of the Apollo program with the goal of landing a man on the Moon before 1970.

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7. John Kennedy supported the civil rights movement but was only somewhat successful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies.

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8. John Kennedy is the most recent US president to have died in office.

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9. John Kennedy lived in Brookline for the first ten years of his life.

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10. John Kennedy attended the local St Aidan's Church, where he was baptized on June 19, 1917.

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11. John Kennedy was educated through the 4th grade at the Edward Devotion School, the Noble and Greenough Lower School, and the Dexter School; all located in the Boston area.

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12. Young John Kennedy attended the Riverdale Country School – a private school for boys – from 5th to 7th grade, and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 2 in Bronxville, New York.

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13. In September 1931, John Kennedy started attending Choate School, a prestigious preparatory boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut.

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14. Defiantly John Kennedy took a cue and named his group "The Muckers Club", which included roommate and lifelong friend Kirk LeMoyne "Lem" Billings.

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15. In September 1935, John Kennedy made his first trip abroad when he traveled to London with his parents and his sister Kathleen.

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16. John Kennedy intended to study under Harold Laski at the London School of Economics, as his older brother had done.

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17. John Kennedy convalesced further at the family winter home in Palm Beach, then spent the spring of 1936 working as a ranch hand on the 40,000-acre Jay Six cattle ranch outside Benson, Arizona.

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18. John Kennedy tried out for the football, golf, and swimming teams and earned a spot on the varsity swimming team.

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19. John Kennedy sailed in the Star class and won the 1936 Nantucket Sound Star Championship.

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20. In July 1937, John Kennedy sailed to France—taking his convertible—and spent ten weeks driving through Europe with Billings.

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21. In 1939, John Kennedy toured Europe, the Soviet Union, the Balkans, and the Middle East in preparation for his Harvard senior honors thesis.

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22. John Kennedy made the dean's list in his junior year.

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23. In 1940 John Kennedy completed his thesis, "Appeasement in Munich", about British negotiations during the Munich Agreement.

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24. John Kennedy became increasingly supportive of US intervention in World War II, and his father's isolationist beliefs resulted in the latter's dismissal as ambassador to the United Kingdom.

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25. John Kennedy planned to attend Yale Law School after auditing courses on business law at Stanford, but canceled when American entry into World War II seemed imminent.

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26. In 1940, John Kennedy attempted to enter the army's Officer Candidate School.

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27. John Kennedy was commissioned an ensign on October 26, 1941, and joined the staff of the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, DC.

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28. In January 1942, John Kennedy was assigned to the ONI field office at Headquarters, Sixth Naval District, in Charleston, South Carolina.

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29. Ambling around the plots near the tiny St Columba's chapel, John Kennedy paused over Koehler's white granite cross grave marker and pondered his own mortality, hoping out loud that when his time came, he would not have to die without religion.

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30. John Kennedy gathered around the wreckage his surviving ten crew members to vote on whether to "fight or surrender".

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31. On October 8, 1943, John Kennedy was promoted to full lieutenant.

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32. John Kennedy was hospitalized at the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts from May to December 1944.

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33. On March 1, 1945, John Kennedy retired from the Navy Reserve on physical disability and was honorably discharged with the full rank of lieutenant.

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34. John Kennedy established his residency at an apartment building on 122 Bowdoin Street across from the Massachusetts State House.

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35. At the start of his first term, John Kennedy focused on Massachusetts-specific issues by sponsoring bills to help the fishing, textile manufacturing, and watchmaking industries.

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36. At the 1956 Democratic National Convention, John Kennedy gave the nominating speech for the party's presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson II.

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37. John Kennedy finished second in the balloting, losing to Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee but receiving national exposure as a result.

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38. John Kennedy voted for Title IV, termed the "Jury Trial Amendment".

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39. John Kennedy proposed on July 2, 1957, that the US support Algeria's effort to gain independence from France.

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40. On September 3, 1959, John Kennedy cosponsored the Cape Cod National Seashore bill with his Republican colleague Senator Leverett Saltonstall.

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41. Additionally, Bobby John Kennedy worked for McCarthy's subcommittee, and McCarthy dated John Kennedy's sister Patricia.

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42. On January 2, 1960, John Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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43. John Kennedy traveled extensively to build his support among Democratic elites and voters.

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44. John Kennedy won the West Virginia primary, impressing many in the party, but at the start of the 1960 Democratic National Convention, it was unclear as to whether he would win the nomination.

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45. Conversely, John Kennedy wore makeup and appeared relaxed, which helped the large television audience to view him as the winner.

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46. On Election Day, John Kennedy defeated Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections of the 20th century.

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47. John Kennedy brought to the White House a contrast in organization compared to the decision-making structure of former General Eisenhower, and he wasted no time in scrapping Eisenhower's methods.

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48. John Kennedy was ready and willing to make the increased number of quick decisions required in such an environment.

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49. John Kennedy selected a mixture of experienced and inexperienced people to serve in his cabinet.

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50. John Kennedy focused on immediate and specific issues facing the administration and quickly voiced his impatience with pondering deeper meanings.

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51. John Kennedy approved Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's controversial decision to award the contract for the F-111 TFX fighter-bomber to General Dynamics (the choice of the civilian Defense department) over Boeing (the choice of the military).

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52. John Kennedy started off on the wrong foot by reacting aggressively to a routine Khrushchev speech on Cold War confrontation in early 1961.

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53. The speech was intended for domestic audiences in the Soviet Union, but John Kennedy interpreted it as a personal challenge.

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54. John Kennedy picked up on this in his speech in Paris, saying that he would be remembered as "the man who accompanied Jackie John Kennedy to Paris".

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55. John Kennedy made it clear that any treaty interfering with US access rights in West Berlin would be regarded as an act of war.

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56. John Kennedy began intensive meetings on the Berlin issue, where Dean Acheson took the lead in recommending a military buildup alongside NATO allies.

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57. John Kennedy gave a speech at Saint Anselm College on May 5, 1960, regarding America's conduct in the emerging Cold War.

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58. Biographer Richard Reeves said that John Kennedy focused primarily on the political repercussions of the plan rather than military considerations.

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59. John Kennedy took responsibility for the failure, saying, "We got a big kick in the leg and we deserved it.

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60. In March 1962, John Kennedy rejected Operation Northwoods, proposals for false flag attacks against American military and civilian targets, and blaming them on the Cuban government in order to gain approval for a war against Cuba.

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61. John Kennedy faced a dilemma: if the US attacked the sites, it might lead to nuclear war with the USS.

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62. In concurrence with a majority-vote of the NSC, John Kennedy decided on a naval quarantine.

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63. John Kennedy exchanged two sets of letters with Khrushchev, to no avail.

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64. John Kennedy worked closely with Puerto Rican Governor Luis Munoz Marin for the development of the Alliance of Progress and began working to further Puerto Rico's autonomy.

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65. When John Kennedy took office, he privately instructed the CIA that any plan must include plausible deniability by the US His public position was in opposition.

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66. In March 1961, John Kennedy voiced a change in policy from supporting a "free" Laos to a "neutral" Laos, indicating privately that Vietnam, and not Laos, should be deemed America's tripwire for communism's spread in the area.

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67. John Kennedy announced a change of policy from support to partnership with Diem to defeat of communism in South Vietnam.

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68. John Kennedy increased the number of military advisers and special forces in the area, from 11,000 in 1962 to 16,000 by late 1963, but he was reluctant to order a full-scale deployment of troops.

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69. In late 1961, John Kennedy sent Roger Hilsman, then director of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to assess the situation in Vietnam.

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70. John Kennedy instructed Lodge to offer covert assistance to the coup, excluding assassination.

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71. Such an action would have been a policy reversal, but John Kennedy was publicly moving in a less hawkish direction since his speech on world peace at American University on June 10, 1963.

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72. John Kennedy reiterated the American commitment to Germany and criticized communism, and was met with an ecstatic response from a massive audience.

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73. John Kennedy ended the arms embargo that the Eisenhower and Truman administrations had enforced on Israel.

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74. The US Senate ratified this and John Kennedy signed it into law in October 1963.

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75. John Kennedy promised an end to racial discrimination, although his agenda, which included the endorsement of the Voter Education Project in 1962, produced little progress in areas such as Mississippi, where the "VEP concluded that discrimination was so entrenched".

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76. John Kennedy ended a period of tight fiscal policies, loosening monetary policy to keep interest rates down and to encourage growth of the economy.

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77. Attorney General Robert John Kennedy took the position that steel executives had illegally colluded to fix prices.

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78. Robert John Kennedy called Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver and obtained King's release from prison, which drew additional black support to his brother's candidacy.

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79. John Kennedy assigned federal marshals to protect the Freedom Riders rather than using federal troops or uncooperative FBI agents.

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80. Robert John Kennedy, speaking for the president, urged the Freedom Riders to "get off the buses and leave the matter to peaceful settlement in the courts".

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81. John Kennedy feared sending federal troops would stir up "hated memories of Reconstruction" after the Civil War among conservative Southern whites.

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82. On March 6, 1961, John Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925, which required government contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin".

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83. Meredith did finally enroll for a class, and John Kennedy regretted not sending in troops earlier.

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84. On November 20, 1962, John Kennedy signed Executive Order 11063, which prohibited racial discrimination in federally supported housing or "related facilities".

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85. On June 11, 1963, President John Kennedy intervened when Alabama Governor George Wallace blocked the doorway to the University of Alabama to stop two African American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending.

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86. That evening John Kennedy gave his famous Report to the American People on Civil Rights on national television and radio, launching his initiative for civil rights legislation—to provide equal access to public schools and other facilities, and greater protection of voting rights.

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87. John Kennedy turned over some of the details of the government's involvement to the Dept.

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88. John Kennedy watched King's speech on TV and was very impressed.

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89. John Kennedy saw this proposal as an extension of his planned civil rights agenda as president.

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90. John Kennedy expressed concern about the plight of the Seneca and directed government agencies to assist in obtaining more land, damages, and assistance to help mitigate their displacement.

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91. In constructing his presidential administration, John Kennedy elected to retain Eisenhower's last science advisor Jerome Wiesner as head of the President's Science Advisory Committee.

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92. On November 21, 1962, in a cabinet meeting with NASA administrator Webb and other officials, John Kennedy explained that the Moon shot was important for reasons of international prestige, and that the expense was justified.

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93. John Kennedy was in Texas on a political trip to smooth over frictions in the Democratic Party between liberals Ralph Yarborough and Don Yarborough and conservative John Connally.

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94. On March 14, 1967, John Kennedy's remains were disinterred and moved only a few feet away to a permanent burial plot and memorial.

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95. John Kennedy was greatly impressed by the Irish Cadets on his last official visit to Ireland, so much so that Jacqueline John Kennedy requested the Irish Army to be the honor guard at her husband's funeral.

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96. John Kennedy was a life member of the National Rifle Association.

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97. John Kennedy met his future wife, Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier, when he was a congressman.

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98. Mrs John Kennedy brought new art and furniture to the White House and directed its restoration.

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99. John Kennedy was closely tied to popular culture, emphasized by songs such as "Twisting at the White House".

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100. Three months prior to his third birthday, in 1920, John Kennedy came down with scarlet fever, a highly contagious and life-threatening disease, and was admitted to Boston City Hospital.

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101. John Kennedy suffered from chronic and severe back pain, for which he had surgery.

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102. John Kennedy was single in the 1940s while having relationships with Danish journalist Inga Arvad and actress Gene Tierney.

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103. John Kennedy was reported to have had affairs with women such as Marilyn Monroe, Judith Campbell, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Marlene Dietrich, Mimi Alford, and his wife's press secretary, Pamela Turnure.

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104. John Kennedy inspired affection and loyalty from the members of his team and his supporters.

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105. On September 2, 1963, John Kennedy helped inaugurate network television's first half-hour nightly evening newscast according to an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite.

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106. Many vividly remember where they were when they first learned the news that John Kennedy was assassinated, as with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, before it and the September 11 attacks after it.

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107. John Kennedy was posthumously awarded the Pacem in Terris Award.

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