John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States (1961-1963). He was born
in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917,the second oldest in a family of nine
children, the son of financier Joseph P. Kennedy, who served as ambassador to Great
Britain during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He graduated from Harvard
University in 1940. In 1941, John Kennedy joined the Navy. He became the commander
of a small boat assigned to the battle in the Pacific against the Japanese. After World War II he soon decided to run for political office. In 1946, he was elected to the U.S.
Congress, Kennedy, a Democrat, served three terms (six years) in the House of
Representatives, and in 1952 he was elected to the U.S. Senate.In 1953, he married
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. In the general election on November 8, 1960, Kennedy defeated
Vice President Richard M. Nixon, in a very close race. Kennedy was the youngest man
elected President and the first Catholic. Just after the election, the Kennedy's second child, John Jr., was born.
Kennedy wanted Americans to travel to a more distant destination. In May 1961,
after Alan Shepard became the first American astronaut to fly into space, Kennedy asked
Congress to spend more money on space exploration, with the goal of landing a man on
the moon by the end of the decade. In 1963, clashes between the police and
demonstrating blacks in Birmingham, Ala., and elsewhere, especially in the South, induced
the president to stress civil rights legislation. Kennedy's new civil rights message included bills to ban discrimination in places of business; to speed up desegregation...