John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
35th American President
The youngest man ever elected president; John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University, and after serving with distinction in the U.S. Navy in World War II, was elected as a Massachusetts’ congressman in 1946, and then senator in 1952. In 1960, he was elected President.
At his inauguration President Kennedy launched his “New Frontier,” challenging people to “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” His presidency had many high points: he created the Peace Corps, he committed America to putting a man on the moon, he stood up to the Soviet Union and the threat of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis, and civil rights were advanced.
Americans felt a great connection to the young Kennedy family. John’s wife, Jacqueline, was educated, charming, and elegant. Their children were the youngest to live in the White House in over 60 years. Many people use the term “Camelot” to refer to this seemingly enchanted period in White House history.
On November 22, 1963, during a motorcade visit in Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy was assassinated. The nation mourned. After taking the presidential oath, Lyndon Johnson told the world, “This is a sad time for all people. We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed....”