Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999
John Fitzgerald Kennedy 35th president of the United States, the youngest person ever to be elected president. He was also the first Roman Catholic president and the first president to be born in the 20th century.
Kennedy was assassinated before he completed his third year as president. Therefore his achievements were limited. Nevertheless, his influence was worldwide, and his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis may have prevented war. Young people especially liked him. No other president was so popular. He brought to the presidency an awareness of the cultural and historical traditions of the United States. Because Kennedy expressed the values of 20th-century America, his presidency was important beyond its political achievements. John Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the second of nine children.
Kennedy announced his candidacy early in 1960. By the time the Democratic National Convention opened in July, he had won seven primary victories. His most important had been in West Virginia, where he proved that a Roman Catholic could win in a predominantly Protestant state.
When the convention opened, it appeared that Kennedy's only serious challenge for the nomination would come from the Senate majority leader, Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. However, Johnson was strong only among Southern delegates. Kennedy won the nomination on the first ballot and then persuaded Johnson to become his running mate.
Two weeks later the Republicans nominated Vice President Richard Nixon for president and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., who was ambassador to the United Nations and whom Kennedy had defeated for the Senate in 1952, for vice president. In the fast-paced campaign that followed, Kennedy made stops in 46 states and 273 cities and towns, while Nixon visited every state and 170 urban areas.
Another important element of the campaign was the support Kennedy received from blacks in important Northern states, especially Illinois and Pennsylvania. They supported him in part because he and Robert Kennedy had tried to get the release of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. King, who had been jailed for taking part in a civil rights demonstration in Georgia, was released soon afterward.
The election drew a record 69 million voters to the polls, but Kennedy won by only 113,000 votes. Kennedy was inaugurated on January 20, 1961. In his inaugural address he emphasized America's revolutionary heritage. 2"The same ... beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe,"...