John F. Kennedy

May 10, 2011
By Caitlin Palmeri BRONZE, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Caitlin Palmeri BRONZE, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The reality of the American Dream is having the opportunity to be able to be an outstanding success. Through hard work and determination, President John F. Kennedy worked hard to bring reform and change to the United States. President John F. Kennedy is one of the greatest Presidents in U.S. history, due to the dedication of his people. He worked hard to make life a little easier for the people of the United States in times of crisis. However, his presidency and life ended in tragedy, causing him to be mourned by many people around the world.

John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917. He was born in a big frame house in Brookline, Massachusetts, which is a suburb of Boston. Jack, who is what John was soon called, suffered from many illnesses and also had chronic back problems, which is why he was small for his age. His older brother, Joe, immediately took it to himself to be John’s coach and protector. John admired his big brother, but it bothered him sometimes, because Joe would always tells him what to do. This was also due to Joe being better at sports and other pursuits, but he tried really hard. John went away for school when he was thirteen to the Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut, and he became very homesick. He wrote home asking for golf balls, a “puff quilt” (his description of a down-filled comforter), and chocolate cream pie. In 1931, he attended the Choate Preparatory in Wallingford, Connecticut. This is because he had an attack of appendicitis around Easter of the same year, and could not finish his studies at Canterbury. While at his time at Choate, he and a dozen other boys formed a club with two of his best friends, Lemoyne “Lem” Billings and Ralph “Rip” Horton, called the “Muckers.” The members got into trouble, but one night, the members sneaked out to the ice cream parlor nearby, as they were not allowed to leave school grounds after hours without permission, and when they were returning to their rooms, they got caught by the headmaster. The boys, however, were given a second chance after John confessed his part in the escapade to his father, promising to put more into his studies. Due to his poor health, he got jaundice during his summer vacation in London, and had to go to the hospital, until when he was free to travel after it went away. That wasn’t the end of it, as he got jaundice once again at Christmas in 1935. After he had spent several months out of Princeton due to this, so he instead enrolled in Harvard University, as soon he felt better.

When World War II started, and when the United States entered the war, John F. Kennedy wanted to join in the armed forces, but he was turned down because of his back problems. However, he took more training, and became the commander of a small boat, the PT 109. While out one quiet day, a Japanese boat rammed the boat, throwing him against the back of the ship, nearly breaking his already troubled back. Two of his crew mates were killed in the attack, one of them a newbie to the ship. Despite his troubled back, Kennedy and his remaining men swam on. Eventually Kennedy reached an island, where he carved a message into a coconut, which read: “Naru Isl./Native Know Posit {position}/He Can Pilot/11 Alive/Need Small Boat/Kennedy.” Eventually, friendly Melanesians found the coconut and gave it to Lieutenant Reginald Evens, who they were working as scouts for, as Kennedy’s crew stopped at another island, where they were helped by the Melanesians, while Kennedy swam on. Evans helped Kennedy and his men, and for his bravery, Kennedy was awarded with the Purple Heart, a Navy and Marine Corps Medal.

Kennedy later ran for Senator in November, which he won against his opponent Harry Cabot Lodge in November of 1952. During his time as Senator, he met Jacqueline Bouvier, who he immediately liked. Eventually, he asked her to marry him, and on September 12, 1953, they were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Kennedy then ran for President in the 1950s, and won the Presidential Election against Richard Nixon. Kennedy later helped against certain problems like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the crisis in Vietnam, the speech in West Berlin shortly before the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and many others, including civil rights, and the space program, which later made an impact. Because of the space program, some spaces centers/airports become known for him because he was name relating to him. The John F. Kennedy airport is named after him, and so is the Kennedy Space Center. However, Kennedy had other plans of reformation, but a tragic event happened before he could carry them out to Congress. On November 22, 1963, he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, while in a motorcade around the city. Kennedy wasn’t the only one shot, however. Governor John Connally was shot as well, although he survived. The attempt to save Kennedy was done, but it was hopeless as he had no pulse and no blood pressure by the time his presidential motorcade reached the hospital after the shooting. That day, Lyndon Johnson, the Vice President, was sworn in as President. After the assassination took place, a boy told police that he had seen something sticking out of a window as Kennedy’s motorcade passed by. After a roll call, Lee Harvey Oswald, a shipping clerk at the Texas School Book Depository and the only person who was missing that day, was arrested for Kennedy’s assassination. However, before he could be tried, Jack Ruby shot and killed him. Many people agree that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and was not part of a conspiracy, possibly with Jack Ruby. Kennedy’s death stunned the nation, leaving many people mournful of his passing.

John F. Kennedy was an important figure in U.S. history and was also one of the greatest Presidents in the United States. He tried to help not only the crisis going on in our country, but in other countries around the world. Kennedy was also a wonderful father, as he had two children, however, another child, supposedly the third, died shortly after birth. He was also a wonderful husband, as he and Jackie loved each other greatly, and respected each other. Jackie was stunned when John died, and her self-confidence nearly broke when she was given the flag of Kennedy’s casket at his funeral, however, she later remarried.

John F. Kennedy is known as one of the most known Presidents of U.S. history. He tried to help his people in the US, and the people around the world. Some of his foreign reforms include the Berlin Wall, the Cuba and the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. However, he also helped the people around the United States of America. He was surprised to find a poor town while in Texas, saying “Just imagine, kids who don’t drink milk!” Kennedy worked hard to reform the United States, including many ideas as the civil rights reform, the civil liberties, federal and military death penalties, and the economy. Even though he had other reforms that he never passed due to his sudden death, Kennedy tried to help his nation as his duty as President, and also tried to help foreign nations as well.
In the end, although he died tragically, John F. Kennedy is very respected among Americans. He tried to reform not only our country, but other nations around the world as well. He also made a huge effort in the war despite his already troubling medical conditions. He cared a lot for his family and was very dedicated to his job as the leader of the United States. Because of this dedication to the country, John F. Kennedy symbolizes the American Dream.

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