10 Interesting Facts About John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, photograph in the Oval Office.
John F. Kennedy.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

John F. Kennedy (JFK) was one of the most fascinating presidents in American history. He was young, charismatic, and had a lot of energy. He was also known for his intelligence and his ability to make difficult decisions. There are many myths and legends that surround his life and presidency. In this article, we will take a look at 10 interesting facts about John F. Kennedy that you may not know!

John F. Kennedy’s Early Life

John F. Kennedy in his Dexter School (Massachusetts) football uniform, ca. 1926
John F. Kennedy at 9 years old, 1926.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the second son of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald. John was a sick child, and he had to be homeschooled for a year due to his health issues. He later attended Choate Rosemary Hall, a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut. In September of 1939, Kennedy enrolled at Harvard University. He was an average student and he did not get good grades. However, he was very involved in extracurricular activities. He was a member of the swim team and the track team. He also edited the Harvard Crimson, the school newspaper.

JFK witnessed the horrors of World War 2

LTJG John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109
John F. Kennedy in the US Navy, 1943.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

John F. Kennedy served in the United States Navy during World War Two. He was commissioned as an ensign on June 19, 1941, and he eventually became the commander of a PT boat. On August 2, 1943, his boat was attacked by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy managed to steer his boat away from the destroyer and then ordered his men to abandon the ship. Kennedy was one of the last men off the boat, and he swam back to it to retrieve an important map. Kennedy returned to civilian life after the war. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism.

John F. Kennedy is the youngest elected American President

Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. Washington, DC  20 January 1961. Please credit U. S. Army Signal Corps photograph in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston
John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address, 1961.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

When John Fitzgerald Kennedy was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, he became the youngest elected American President, and still holds that title. He was 43 years old when he was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, after defeating Richard Nixon in a close election. The life of John F. Kennedy is a perfect example to show that age does not always matter in leadership.

John F. Kennedy is famous for his “Ich bin ein Berliner“ speech

KN-C29248  26 June 1963  President John F Kennedy's address to the people of Berlin. Rudolph Wilde Platz, West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany. Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
John F. Kennedy delivers a speech in Berlin, 26th June 1963.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Ich bin ein Berliner” is a phrase that John F. Kennedy spoke during a speech in West Berlin on June 26, 1963. The phrase means “I am a Berliner.” John F. Kennedy gave the speech in West Berlin to show support for the city and its people. The speech was given at a time when the Berlin Wall was separating East and West Berlin. This speech is one of the most famous anti-communist speeches in history.

JFK is the only American President who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize

First edition front cover of Profiles in Courage by John F Kennedy
The cover of Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The Pulitzer Prize is an annual award that is given to journalists, authors, and other individuals for excellence in their work. It is one of the most prestigious awards in the world, and John F. Kennedy is the only American president who received this award. John F. Kennedy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book “Profiles in Courage”. The book was published in 1957 and it told the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their careers by taking unpopular stands.

John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated By Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald pictured on November 23, 1963, one day after the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy
Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. He was shot while he was riding in a presidential motorcade. The shots were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was later arrested and charged with the murder. Kennedy was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Lee Harvey Oswald served in the United States Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959 and became a Marxist while he was living in the Soviet Union. He applied for Soviet citizenship and renounced his American citizenship. Oswald lived in Minsk, Belarus from 1960 to 1962. He worked at a factory that assembled radios. Lee Harvey Oswald returned to the United States in 1962. He moved to Dallas, Texas, and got a job as a warehouse worker. Oswald also worked as a street car conductor for a short time.

John F. Kennedy’s Funeral Was a Massive and Shocking Event

The body of President John. F. Kennedy lies in repose in the East Room of the White House.
John F. Kennedy lies in repose in the White House.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The John F. Kennedy funeral was held on November 25, 1963, three days after he was assassinated. More than 1.5 million people lined the streets of Washington D.C. to watch the funeral procession. The funeral ceremony was held at the National Cathedral. Jackie Kennedy, who was wearing a black veil, sat next to her husband’s casket. The funeral was broadcast on television and radio.

John F. Kennedy’s assassination shocked the nation and left many unanswered questions. A commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren was formed to investigate the assassination. The commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in shooting JFK. However, many people believe that there was a conspiracy involving other people besides Oswald. The assassination of John F. Kennedy is still a topic of debate today.

JFK was the first Catholic President

Meeting with President Eisenhower. President Kennedy, President Eisenhower, military aides. Camp David, MD
John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1962.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president in American history. This marked a victory for Catholics in America, as they had been subject to considerable prejudice at the time. Interestingly, the second Catholic president is currently serving his term in office, Joe Biden. John F. Kennedy was an avid churchgoer and used religious rhetoric extensively in his speeches, especially when discussing the campaign for world peace. The President’s love of God brought him great strength during tough times while serving as head Of State with responsibility for many countries’ national security matters which involved decisions that could potentially save or destroy lives.

John F. Kennedy had several health issues

John F. Kennedy had a number of medical issues during his presidency. He was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, a rare glandular disorder that affects the adrenal glands. He also suffered from back pain, and he was often seen using a cane to help him walk. In fact, Kennedy was so worried about his health that he requested that his brother Bobby Kennedy be appointed as his Attorney General so that he could serve as a sort of “health care proxy.” Despite his health issues, Kennedy was an active president. He liked to swim, play golf, and sail.

John F. Kennedy was really loved by people

United States President John Kennedy's motorcade in Patrick Street, Cork, Ireland on 28 June 1963.
John F. Kennedy in a motorcade on a visit to Cork, 1963.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

John F. Kennedy was loved by people and was a very popular president. He was a young, charismatic president who had a lot of energy. He was also known for his intelligence and his ability to make difficult decisions. He was young, handsome, and charming. He had many accomplishments during his time in office. One of his most famous quotes is “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  

Kennedy was a fascinating president with many interesting stories and accomplishments. While his presidency was cut short, he still left a lasting impact on the United States. Despite his short time in office, John F. Kennedy made a huge impact on American history. He was a young, dynamic president who was known for his intelligence and his charisma. He will always be remembered as one of the most beloved presidents in American history.

If you enjoyed these facts about John F Kennedy, test your knowledge of John F. Kennedy and take this President John F. Kennedy History Quiz!

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