J.F.K.: A Symbol Of Courage And Idealism

1757 words - 7 pages

During the time of domestic war at home and foreign relations concerns, the United States of America experienced one of the greatest time periods in American history which was during what people called the "Camelot" period. This occurred when the 35th President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was in office and he initiated a period of social development which overcame major differences between Americans and the rest of the world. President Kennedy was inaugurated on January 20, 1961 and became the second youngest and first Catholic president of the United States. This new president initiated a series of new changes in the country, from which he became an inspiration to many Americans, as he is still remembered for his idealism and courage. He was the leader of the Democratic party and won the election by 49.7% of the votes. Kennedy was seen as an intellectual young man who's beautiful wife helped his political image. JFK initiated many programs to help improve American society. Kennedy was one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights of African- American citizens along with the other leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks who were becoming the voice of these American minorities. He commenced the creation of the Peace Corps to the New Frontier Program. Kennedy also worked on reforming U.S. immigration and made the commitment to win the space race before the Russians. Kennedy focused on Russian-American relations during the Cuban Missile Crisis and as the risks of a nuclear attack increased, Kennedy signed a treaty with the Soviet Union preventing the use of nuclear weapons. One of the most famous quotes that JFK is known for is: "Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country" . His political image, intellect, and the support from many American citizens made him one of the greatest presidents and a hero in the eyes of American people.
The American civil rights movement was the direct effect of African American resistance and outrage from the unruly treatment from many white Americans. Even after the abolishment of slavery, African Americans were not given their basic civil rights as a citizen of the United States or the rights of a human being. They were not provided the opportunity to obtain high paying jobs, comfortable housing, or equal facilities to the whites. Under the suggestions of his little brother Robert Kennedy, JFK openly supported the rights of blacks in America. Kennedy's initial actions were seen when he obtained release orders for Martin Luther King Jr. from prison as he was imprisoned for promoting integration. When JFK presented his civil rights address, King stated: "It was one of the most eloquent, profound and unequivocal pleas for justice and freedom of all men ever made by any president." Kennedy was worried that his involvement in the rights for African Americans will anger the conservative southerners. Kennedy chose to take the path of Abraham Lincoln and slowly...

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