The purpose of this paper is to expose the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy and to reveal the contributions which he made to society.

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Thesis: The purpose of this paper is to expose the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy and to reveal the contributions which he made to society.

  Obviously, John F. Kennedy was a very powerful, influential, and infamous man who indeed impacted our world in many ways.  Furthermore, we will discuss how Kennedy became such a revered figure by the American public and what circumstances in his life prepared him for the role of President of the United States.  

        There are many interesting facts which will be revealed including a timeline of major events which transpired throughout the course of Kennedy’s presidency.  This timeline reveals some of Kennedy’s political and societal contributions which may be less known to the general public.  In fact, during his time in office Kennedy actually was responsible for signing into law many diverse and important rulings which to this day continue to affect our society and our own personal lives to an enormous extent.

        There is no denying that Kennedy was a charismatic figure and both his personal life and his presidency reflected this charisma.  While Kennedy continues to be revered and admired for his many contributions his life and death are also surrounded by a great deal of mystery and intrigue as well.  

        Furthermore, included is an interesting photograph of Kennedy from his college days, which is very striking when one realizes that this young college boy would one day go on to be president of the United States.  In this way, this picture reveals an often-overlooked side of Kennedy which was that of the “ordinary” person.  Despite his famous family and political goals, often Kennedy longed for anonymity, which is something that eluded him his entire life.  Along with that anonymity, he sacrificed personal freedom.  

 Milestones in the Presidency of John F. Kennedy

  • 11/08/1960 - Senator John F. Kennedy is elected 35th President of the United States.
  • 1/20/1961 - John F. Kennedy is inaugurated President.  The following quote was part of his inaugural address and became very famous:  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
  • 1/30/1961 - President asks Congress to include health insurance in Social Security Program.
  • 2/02/1961 - President asks Congress for program to help end recession, including food stamps, extended benefits for unemployed workers and welfare payments for their children.
  • 3/01/1961 - President initiates Peace Corps to carry American skills and idealism to new and developing countries.
  • 3/28/1961 - President initiates the largest and most rapid defense buildup in United States' peacetime history, doubling Polaris missile program, increasing armed bomber and other missile programs, adding five combat ready divisions and quadrupling anti-guerilla forces.
  • 4/20/1961 - President assumes responsibility for failed Bay of Pigs invasion, says policies and procedures will be changed.
  • 5/25/1961 - President proposes an American space effort greater than all previous efforts combined, and designed to put an American space team on the moon within the decade.
  • 6/30/1961 - President signs bill extending Social Security benefits to five million people and permitting people to retire with benefits at age 62.
  • 9/03/1961 - President signs $1.25 Minimum Wage Bill, expanding coverage by several million for the first time since original passage.
  • 9/26/1961 - President signs bill establishing the first full-scale, full-time Disarmament Agency in the world.
  • 12/15/1961 - President renews American commitment to preserve independence of Vietnam.
  • 7/26/1962 - President signs the most far-reaching revision of public welfare legislation since enactment in 1935, emphasizing family rehabilitation and training instead of dependency.
  • 10/10/1962 - President signs first major improvement in Food and Drug laws since 1938, protecting families against untested and ineffective drugs.
  • 10/22/1962 - President announces naval quarantine to halt Soviet missile buildup in Cuba--Khrushchev subsequently withdraws missiles under United States inspection.
  • 11/20/1962 - President signs Executive Order to prevent racial discrimination in Federal housing.
  • 1/14/1963 - President calls for massive tax reduction and tax reform, accurately predicting longest, strongest economic expansion in American peace-time history to that time.
  • 6/22/1963 - President proposes most sweeping Civil Rights legislation in history to give all Americans equal opportunity in education, employment, public accommodations, voting and access to Federal programs.
  • 9/20/1963 - President, in address to the United Nations General Assembly, proposes additional cooperation with Soviet Union, including outer space exploration--United States and Soviet Union subsequently agree on outer space disarmament move.
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John F. Kennedy – The Early Years

  John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917.  Interestingly, John Kennedy was born the second of nine children to a father who was a bank president and a mother who stayed home to raise her children.  Kennedy did however feel like his entire life was in the shadow of his older brother, Joseph.  That aside, Kennedy’s childhood was fun, happy, and filled with warm memories which he would always cherish.  He loved to play sports and played them relatively well.  He was voted by his high school ...

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