Thursday, February 2, 2012


John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States of America. He was born on May 29,1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. His parents were Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was one of nine children in the Kennedy family. His siblings were Joseph Jr, Rosemary, Patricia, Robert, Eunice, Jean, Edward, and Kathleen. On September 12, 1953 he married Jacqueline Bouvier and later had two children, Jack Jr and Caroline. John's education consisted of many prestigous private schools throughout Massachusetts. Kennedy later graduated from Harvard in 1940 s.b. cum laude in international affairs. John died on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas after being shot by former United States marine, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Question 1: What was JFK's greatest contribution to society?

I would say that Kennedy's greatest contribution to society was standing up to the Soviet Union and communism during his presidency. In 1962, he forced the Soviets into removing their missiles on the island of Cuba. This situation would later be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. With his actions in Cuba, Kennedy prevented a possible nuclear war from breaking out. In 1963, Kennedy along with the Soviet Union and other governments signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban treaty, banning all testing of nuclear weapons except for underground. On May 25, 1961, Kennedy presented the lunar landing program to congress. Space was really just another way to compete with communism and the Soviet Union. By 1963, the United States was already ahead of them in that category as well. However, John did not live to see his goal of a man landing on the moon being achieved as he died about 6 years before it happened on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, thus achieving his goal.

Question 2: What were three events that influenced JFK's life?

One event that influenced JFK's life was when his brother Joseph Jr. died in World War II. Joseph died in a plane crash over the English Channel. Before his death, he was supposed to be the member of the Kennedy family that went into politics, not John, and it is most likely that he would have become president instead of John had he not died. After his death, John's father pushed him into politics and John later became the President of the United States in 1960. A second event that influenced John's life was when he was fighting in World War 2. He was the captain of the boat PT 109 when it was sunk during a nightly patrol. John had to swim to shore while rescuing his crew mates and then look for a nearby US naval base or any scouts on the islands. John, would later use this event to benefit him in his campaigns for government offices in the late 40's and early 50's. However, John would suffer back problems for the rest of his life, and this indirectly led to his death in 1963 as he was wearing a back brace at the time of the shooting. After the first non-fatal shot was fired, he could not duck down due to the brace and was shot two more times, killing him. A third event that influenced John's life was when he became elected President in 1960. He had to deal with problems such as the Soviet Union, the rise of communism, possible reunification of Germany, and Cuba. He also had to make important decisions such as establishing Peace Corps and helping the Civil Rights Movement. Peace Corps was an organization that sent volunteers around the world to promote US society and culture while also promoting world peace. John's life was very busy after his election and his family life was strained up until his death.

Question 3: What is a quote from or about JFK that was important?

A quote from JFK that was important was, "Ask not what your country can do for you-- Ask what you can do for your country." He said this quote during his Inaugural Address in 1961. This quote means that people need to make a change and not rely on others or the government to do it for them. Another example would be that a nation is made up of individuals and if those individuals do not do great things, than that country can not become a great nation that is respected and prosperous. A more personal example would be that my brother, Joseph Jr. gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and was not expecting any rewards or recognition for his actions. 

This was for a speech in my Language Arts and Social Studies class. I was answering these questions as JFK during the speech and changed it to third person for this transcript.

Source: John F. Kennedy: A Biography by Michael O'Brien

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