John F. Kennedy
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
- John F. Kennedy
Born: May 29, 191; Brookline, Massachusetts
Died: November 22, 1963; Dallas, Texas
John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States of America in 1961. He was the first president to be born in the 20th Century and the second youngest after Theodore Roosevelt. He was a democratic leader and believed heavily in civil rights amongst all American citizens. During his presidency Kennedy was involved in a number of events including The Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, The building of the Berlin Wall, The African-American Civil Rights Movement and the early stages of the Vietnam War. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald during a political trip in Dallas Texas. He is currently ranked 11th in the Greatest US Presidents by Time Magazine.
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Involvement in the Cold War:
The Cold War
The issue of the Cold War dominated the 1960 presidential campaign, both candidates Kennedy and Richard M Nixon promised to strengthen the American Military forces and stand strong against international communism and the Soviet Union. Kennedy warned of the Soviet growing arsenal and pledged to revitalize the American nuclear forces.
Bay of Pigs
After his inauguration, Kennedy was briefed on the CIA’s plan, developed by former President Eisenhower, to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland and to overthrow their current leader. Not only did Kennedy authorize the plan he also disguised the US’s support in the matter. During the invasion he authorized the plan ‘Air Umbrella’, which lead to disastrous events that heavily impacted the Kennedy administration. He took full responsibility for the failure of the invasion.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
In 1962 the Soviets made a secret agreement with the Cuban government to supply nuclear missiles in order of protecting the country against any further US invasion. In response Kennedy placed a “quarantine” around Cuba. He then demanded that the missiles be removed followed by destruction of the sites. In June 1963, Kennedy called for a strategy of peace across America.
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The Arms Race
In retaliation to the threatening developments of the Soviets in Germany, Kennedy ordered an increase in the American intercontinental ballistic missile forces. He also added five new army divisions and increased the nations air power and military reserves.
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The Space Race
Wanting to restore America’s confidence to surpass the Soviets. Kennedy on May 25th 1961 stood before congress and delivered a message of “urgent national needs”. In order to mobilize and focus on America’s straggling space efforts he proclaimed that, “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” On July 20, 1969 six years after his death Kennedy’s dream became a reality.
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