Wedding belle: Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, leave a Newport, Rhode Island, church following their wedding ceremony in 1953. An estimated one thousand people waited outside the church for the newlyweds.

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr.

John F Kennedy (known as JFK) was the 35th president of the United States, an immensely popular leader who was assassinated before he completed his third year in office. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. He was the second son of nine children born to the multimillionaire business executive and financier Joseph P. Kennedy (1888–1969) and his wife, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890–1995). Joseph's father had served in the Massachusetts Legislature and in elective offices in Boston, Massachusetts. Rose's father, John Francis Fitzgerald (1863–1950), had been a state legislator, the mayor of Boston, and a U.S. congressman. Joseph himself had served as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, chairman of the U.S. Maritime Commission, and ambassador to Great Britain (1937–40). Thus, the Kennedys were a wealthy family with a history of political and public service.

John F. Kennedy, nicknamed "Jack," was the second oldest of a group of nine extraordinary siblings. His brothers and sisters include Eunice Kennedy, the founder of the Special Olympics; Robert Kennedy, a U.S. Attorney General; and Ted Kennedy, one of the most powerful senators in American history. The Kennedy children remained close-knit and supportive of each other throughout their entire lives.

On January 5th, 1962, Jackie Kennedy was named the best dressed woman in the world for the second year in a row. I’m sure this is not shocking to you, given her status at the time.

On 3 and 4 June 1961, in Vienna, the US President, John F. Kennedy, meets Russia's Nikita Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), although this meeting does not end the tension between the two blocs.

Kennedy attended the Canterbury parochial school (1930–31) and the Choate School (1931–35). One of his teachers later said that people in school liked him more for his personality than for his accomplishments. He was often ill during his childhood and spent much of this time reading. Kennedy enrolled at Princeton University in 1935 but illness soon forced him to withdraw. Upon recovery he went to Harvard University, where he majored in government and international relations. During his junior year at Harvard, he traveled in Europe and observed the events that were leading to World War II (1939–45; a war in which the AlliesFrance, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, China, and from 1941 the United States—fought against the Axis powers Germany, Italy, and Japan). He used his observations for his senior paper, which later became the bestselling book Why England Slept (1940).After graduating from Harvard with honors in 1940, Kennedy went to Stanford University for graduate studies. In April 1941 he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army but was rejected for physical reasons (a back injury received while playing football). Months later, after his back strengthened through a regimen of exercises, the U.S. Navy accepted him. He then became an intelligence officer in Washington, D.C. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a U.S. Navy base in Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the United States entered World War II. Kennedy requested active duty at sea and was given this assignment in late 1942.

Ich bin ein Berliner - John F. Kennedy's visit to Germany in 1963. The president received a rapturous ovation at the podium before he had even begun.  President Kennedy speaks to students at Free University Berlin. He reaffirmed the United States' support for Germany's reunification, and warned the Soviet Union against ignoring NATO's commitment to Germany.

Kennedy's years in power were marked in foreign affairs by Cold War tension, together with a rhetorical commitment to introducing domestic reforms - most of all to expanding the civil rights of African Americans.He inherited a plan that was devised under the preceding Eisenhower presidency for anti-communist Cuban exiles in the US to invade Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro's government. In April 1961, the 'Bay of Pigs' invasion ended in failure. According to some historians, this led the Soviet Union to conclude that Kennedy was a weak leader, and that they could get away with installing nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962. The Cuban missile crisis ensued. After a thirteen-day stand-off that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev withdrew the weapons and Kennedy's reputation was restored.Domestically, Kennedy oversaw the desegregation of the University of Mississippi in 1962, and of the University of Alabama the following year - despite each state's political establishment opposing this policy. More substantial legislation to encode civil rights was not passed, however, until the subsequent administration of Lyndon Johnson (1963 - 1969), who was Vice-President and acceded to the position of President on Kennedy’s assassination.

On November 21, 1963, President Kennedy flew to Dallas, Texas for a campaign appearance. The next day, November 22, Kennedy, along with his wife and Texas governor John Connally, rode through cheering crowds in downtown Dallas in a Lincoln Continental convertible.

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