-John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline,
Massachusetts on May 29, 1917.
-He was the second son of Joseph P. Kennedy
Sir and Rose Fitzgerald.
- JFK was the grandson of John Fitzgerald, a
prominent Boston political figure who was the
city's mayor and a three-term member of
-As a boy he attended Canterbury School, a
Roman Catholic boarding school for boys.
- In June 1934 he was admitted to the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and diagnosed
- On September 12, 1953 Kennedy
married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and had two
children, Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr.
• Following his freshman year at Harvard, Kennedy began to show an interest
in international politics when he visited Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's
Germany. Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from
the Boston area.
• Kennedy represented Massachusetts's 11th congressional district in
the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat.
• Served in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1960.
• In the 1956 presidential election, Kennedy ran for Vice President but was
defeated in a close race.
• JFK was eventually sworn into office on January 20, 1961.
Inauguration of John F. Kennedy
Domestic Policy Issues
• Kennedy believed that by showing the world what a
free and democratic society had to offer, the United
States could ensure the defeat of Communism.
• Kennedy's domestic policies were called the New
• This New Frontier ambitiously promised federal
funding for education, medical care for the elderly,
economic aid to rural regions, and government
intervention to halt the recession.
• Economy: Kennedy ended a period of tight fiscal
policies, loosening monetary policy to keep interest
rates down and encourage growth of the economy.
• On March 22, 1962, Kennedy signed into a law
abolishing the mandatory death penalty for first
degree murder in the District of Columbia, the only
remaining jurisdiction in the United States with a
mandatory death sentence for first degree murder.
• Kennedy initially believed the grass roots
movement for civil rights would only anger many
Southern whites and make it even more difficult to
pass civil rights laws through Congress, so he
distanced himself from it. As a result, many civil
rights leaders viewed Kennedy as unsupportive of
Foreign Policy Issues
- Kennedy's foreign policy began with The Bay of Pigs
debaclehe Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful
attempt by a CIA -trained force of Cuban exiles to
invade southern Cuba, with support from US
government armed forces, to overthrow the Cuban
government of Fidel Castro.
- Kennedy's confrontation with Nikita Khrushchev in
June 1961 led to the building of the Berlin wall.
Khrushchev also began building nuclear missile bases
in Cuba. Kennedy ordered a "quarantine" of Cuba in
response. He warned that any attack from Cuba would
be seen as an act of war by the USSR. This standoff
led to the dismantling of the missile silos
in exchange for the promises that the US would not
- In 1961 the Alliance for Progress, a US assistance
program for Latin America, was created principally to
counter the appeal of revolutionary politics. It called for
vast multilateral programs to relieve the continent's
poverty and social inequities and ultimately included
U.S. programs of military and police assistance to
counter Communist subversion.
Foriegn Policy Issues (cont.)
- In1961 Kennedy recognized in Vietnam and
elsewhere the supremacy of politics over force,
and he was skeptical of solutions that required
direct American military involvement. Laos had the
potential to become another Bay of Pigs.
Kennedy nevertheless came close to sending
American troops there, and he gave the
impression that he would send them; but in the
end he managed to arrange a cease-fire and
eased the way toward neutralization.
- Kennedy agreed to a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in
1963 with Britain and the USSR.
- Success( March1, 1961): Established the Peace Corps
- Failure( April 1961): The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an
unsuccessful attempt by a CIA -trained force of Cuban exiles to
invade southern Cuba, with support from US government armed
forces, to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
-Success: Kennedy proposed Civil Rights legelation in Congress
- Success(1961): Alliance for progress
- Success(1961): Cuban Missile Crisis
- Success (1963) : Nuclear Ban Treaty
- Failure: Kennedy's handling of Congress was dismal and inept,
and none of the major domestic proposals of his much-heralded
"New Frontier" were enacted into law.
Kennedy's actions demonstrate his cautiousness because he was wary of
political risk, and only took action when necessary.
For example, the Civil Rights movement kept gathering steam because
Kennedy was hesitant to do anything to stop it. The dispatch of federal
troops to Oxford, Mississippi, tends to obscure the true cautiousness of
Kennedy in that movement. Also in Albany, Georgia, the scene of Afro-
American demonstration, mass arrests and official violence occurred.
He used the FBI to investigate political trouble makers and used the CIA to
try and assassinate the leaders of foreign countries.
Successful President now?
We believe that he couldn't successfully run for President today.
Democrats would not elect him because he is too conservative.
He did help sustain the economy during his time, which we need today.
But he did not act accordingly to the things going on in our country. He
usually took the easy way out; therefore, problems continued and
weren't fixed right away. There's no time to be waiting around, actions
have to be taken.
"A man may
may rise and
fall, but an
idea lives on."
CSPAN. (2009, January 14). President Kennedy 1961
Inaugural Adress [Video File]. Video posted to
"Domestic Politics." pbs.org. 9 April 2010.
"John F. Kennedy." whitehouse.gov. 9 April 2010.
Martin, Kelly. "John F. Kennedy" About.com. 10 April 2010.
Brandie Lucano -
- Jasmin Diaz