“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This is a quote that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy used during his terms of presidency before he was assassinated in 1964. For many, his assassination remains one of the most traumatic events in their memory and even history. Although, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was much more than a president that got assassinated while in office.
While still attending college at Harvard University, Kennedy volunteered for hazardous combat duty in the Pacific during World War II. His time spent volunteering made him a war hero. Coming from a long family line of political history, Kennedy began working in the House of Representatives for six years from 1947-1953. After the House, he moved to the Senate where he served for eight years from 1963-1961. The election of 1960 set records for the youngest elected president as Kennedy, forty-three years old, became our nation’s 35th president.
With such a close race between Nixon and Kennedy, Kennedy knew his inaugural speech had to win over all of Nixon’s supporters. Although his age and religion made Kennedy seem inexperienced and disagreeable, he overcame the doubts by promising to get America out of the “conservative rut” they were in and promised that the United States would have the strength to resist communism around the world.
Kennedy had many successes in his cut-short time in office. The first of which was his preventing nuclear Armageddon known as the Cuban missile crisis. The Soviet leader, Nikita Krushchev, who secretly deployed ninety nuclear missiles in Cuba also had a tie-up plan if the United States were to attack the weapon sites. Krushchev wrote in his memoirs, “if a quarter or even a tenth of our missiles survived—even if only one or two big ones were left—we could still hit New York, and there wouldn’t be much of New York left” (1). President Kennedy offhandedly created a jerry-built policy that included an ban on any shipment of Soviet missiles and demanded that all weapons in Cuba be removed. Khrushchev then turned back the cargo ships and removed the missiles. Many believed this to be the end of it until years later when the truth came out that Kennedy made a hidden arrangement with the Soviet leader giving him exactly what he needed. Kennedy claims he did what was necessary and made a deal he knew he couldn’t sell to his fellow Americans. Another success of John F. Kennedy’s presidency was that he planned to put man on the moon before the end of the 1960’s. In 1969, the plan came to life when Neil Armstrong’s boot hit the lunar dirt on July 20th. This was a huge achievement for humanity and a prideful boost in our technologies especially after the many space race defeats to the Soviet Union. Lastly, Kennedy emphasized public service, established the Peace Corps, and gave his civil rights address saying that black Americans deserved equal treatment under the law. Over 210,000 Peace Corps...