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John F. Kennedy Biography

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. Despite the fact that he took several important decisions in this position, in the minds of most people, especially outside the United States, his name is primarily associated with a mysterious murder. And although officially the criminal who fired shots at John F. Kennedy was found, numerous hypotheses are still being discussed.

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Childhood and Youth

John Kennedy was born May 29, 1917, in the city of Brookline (Massachusetts, USA) to an Irish Catholic family. His father was a businessman, diplomat, and politician, his mother was responsible for raising children. In total, Joseph Patrick and Rosa Elizabeth Kennedy had nine children.

In 1936 John Kennedy entered Harvard University, which he graduated in 1940. While studying, he was very fond of football, but he had to forget about the sport because of a back injury, which continued to bother him for the rest of his life.

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U.S. Navy Reserve

John Kennedy took part in the military battles of the Second World War. In 1941-1945 he served in the navy in the Pacific, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant. The torpedo boat commanded by Kennedy was attacked by a Japanese destroyer on August 2, 1943. John Kennedy took an active part in the rescuing of crew members, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.

Demobilized in 1945, he became a correspondent for the newspaper Hearst Newspapers.

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Starting a Political Career

In 1946, on the advice of his father, John Kennedy nominated his candidacy for the US Congress from the Democratic Party. He was a member of the House of Representatives of the US Congress from Massachusetts for three consecutive terms (1947-1953), worked in the Committee on Labor and Education. In November 1952, John Kennedy successfully ran for the US Senate. Since 1953, he was a member of the Committee on Labor and Social Welfare of the Senate, and since 1957 of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In 1958 he was re-elected, having received more than 70% of the votes.

On July 13, 1960, the Democratic Party formally nominated Kennedy as its candidate for the presidency of the United States. Richard Nixon from the Republican Party was his opponent.

At the elections held on November 8, 1960, Kennedy received more votes than Nixon and became the youngest president in the US history.

Over the years of his tenure in power, he has repeatedly shown his strong determination, state wisdom and a high level of intelligence. In order to mitigate international tension, he achieved the signing of the Treaty banning nuclear testing, initiated the implementation of a number of socio-economic reform programs, the introduction of diplomacy of “new frontiers,” the creation of the Peace Corps, and the Union for Progress. John Kennedy has gained great popularity and love, demonstrating a high responsibility in making decisions.

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Domestic Policy

President Kennedy’s domestic policy cannot be called uniquely successful. The initial surge in the economy was then replaced by stagnation, which was accompanied by the sharpest drop in shares on the stock exchange since the terrible collapse of 1929. John managed to reduce the unemployment rate and lowered the price of oil and steel, but because of this his relations with industrialists worsened.

At the same time, it was thanks to the president that serious steps were taken to normalize the racial issue and the equation of black people in rights. President Kennedy introduced into Congress a bill on civil rights, prohibiting segregation in all public places on June 19, 1963.

He also contributed to the development of the space industry. The race with the USSR for the conquest of space led to the beginning of a large-scale program “Apollo.” The US president proposed the Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev to unite efforts in this matter but received a refusal.

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President Kennedy’s Speech

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The speech

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the Moon! … We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win

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Foreign Policy

Kennedy advocated the improvement of relations between the US and the USSR, but his rule was also marked by great foreign political tensions such as the unsuccessful landing in the Bay of Pigs, the Berlin crisis, and the Caribbean crisis.

During his time, the US intervention in the civil war in South Vietnam intensified; in 1961 he sent the first regular units of the US Armed Forces to South Vietnam.

In March 1961, the Peace Corps organization was established, which voluntarily assisted the people of developing countries in eliminating illiteracy, obtaining basic labor skills and knowledge. He also created the “US Agency for International Development” in order to contribute to solving the economic and political problems of developing countries.

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The Murder of John F. Kennedy

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy and his wife scheduled a visit to the Texas City of Dallas. When their car drove through one of the streets, shots were heard and several bullets hit Kennedy, who was immediately taken to the hospital where half an hour after the assassination, his death was reported as a result of a head wound. Then the coffin with the president’s body was taken by plane to Washington.

The body of John F. Kennedy was exhibited in the East Hall of the White House, where, for 24 hours, a farewell ceremony was held for his relatives and high-ranking politicians. On November 24, the equestrian crew delivered the coffin to the Capitol building, where the farewell to John F. Kennedy was held for ordinary citizens.

The number of people wishing to bid farewell to the deceased president in the Capitol building exceeded 200 000 people. On November 25, 1963, which was declared a national day of mourning, the coffin with John F. Kennedy’s body was brought to St. Matthew’s Cathedral on the carriage from the Capitol, and from there, after the funeral mass, to the Arlington Memorial Cemetery.

Former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested on suspicion of Kennedy’s assassination. He was detained for killing a policeman 40 minutes after the death of the president, but during the investigation, he was the main official suspect. Because of the actions of the local resident Jack Ruby, who burst into the site two days later and killed Oswald, there are no particular testimonies of this person. Soon Ruby also died in prison, so the murder of John F. Kennedy still remains one of the biggest mysteries in the history of the United States.

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