John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, the
youngest person ever to be elected President, the first Roman Catholic and the
first to be born in the 20th century.Kennedy was assassinated before he completed his third year as President,
therefore his achievements were limited.Nevertheless, his influence was worldwide, and his handling of the Cuban

Missile Crisis may have prevented the United States from entering into another
world war.Kennedy was especially admired by the younger people and he was perhaps
the most popular president in history.Kennedy expressed the values of 20th century America and his presidency
had an importance beyond its political achievements.John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts where he was
one of nine children.The Kennedy family was very wealthy and providedmeans for the Kennedy children to pursue whatever they chose and John F.

Kennedy chose politics.


F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1942 and as a new member Kennedy supported
legislation that would serve the interests of his elements.Kennedy usually backed bills sponsored by his party but would sometimes
show independence by voting with the Republicans.He also joined with the Republicans in criticizing the Truman
administration’s handling of China.In China, the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, which had been
supported by the United States, was unable to withstand the advance of Communist
forces under Mao Zedong.By the end of 1949 government troops had been overwhelmingly defeated,
and Chiang led his forces into exile on Taiwan.The triumphant Mao formed the People’s Republic of China.Truman’s critics, including Kennedy, charged that the administration
had failed to support Chiang Kai-shek againstthe Communists.


Kennedy’s wavering within his own party platform, John F. Kennedy easily won
reelection to Congress in 1948 and 1950.In 1952 he decided to run against functioning Republican Senator Henry

Cabot Lodge, Jr.Kennedy was little known outside his congressional district therefore he
began his campaign two years before the election, meeting with hundreds of
thousands of people in Massachusetts."Kennedy defeated Lodge by 70,000"1 votes despite the fact that

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Presidential candidate, carried the state
by just over 200,000 votes.

a candidate for the Senate, Kennedy promised the voters that he would do more
for Massachusetts than Lodge had ever done.During his first two years as senator he backed legislation beneficial to
the Massachusetts textile, fishing, watch, and transportation industries.In 1953, however, he defied regional interests and supported the Saint

Lawrence Seaway project and later in 1955 he was the only New England senator to
support renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act that gave the President
the power to lower U. S. tariffs, or taxes on import goods, in exchange for
similar concessions from other countries.
In 1957 Kennedy became a member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations

Committee, and he later won a place on the Senate Committee on Improper

Activities in the Labor Management Field.In 1958 he spent many of his weekends campaigning for reelection in

Massachusetts senatorial contest.Kennedy wanted the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, and almost as
soon as the 1956 election was over, he began working toward it.

announced his candidacy early in 1960 and by the time the Democratic National

Convention opened in July, he had won seven primary victories.When the convention opened, it appeared that Kennedy’s only serious
challenge for the nomination would come from the Senate majority leader, Lyndon

B. Johnson of Texas.However, Johnson was strong only among Southern delegates and Kennedy won
the nomination on the first ballot and then persuaded Johnson to become his
running mate.

weeks later the Republicans nominated Vice President Richard Nixon for president
and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., for vice president.In the fast-paced campaign that followed, Kennedy made stops in 46 states
and 273 cities and towns, while Nixon visited every state and 170 urban areas.The two candidates faced each other in four nationally televised debates.Kennedy’s manner, especially in the first debate, seemed to eliminate
the charge that he was too young and inexperienced to serve as president, and
many believe these debates gave Kennedy the edge he needed for victory.

election drew a record 69 million voters to the polls, but Kennedy won by only

113,000 votes which made it the closest popular vote in 72 years.Because Kennedy won most of the larger states in the Northeastern United

States, he received 303 electoral votes to Nixon’s 219.Kennedy was inaugurated on January 20, 1961.In his inaugural address he emphasized America’s revolutionary
heritage,"The same beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue
around the globe,"2 Kennedy said."Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe
alike, that the torch