John Fitzgerald Kennedy: The Presidency Of John F. Kennedy

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In November 1960, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected as the 35th President of the United States in one of the closest elections in the nation’s history. He was a mere 43 years old and thus became the youngest ever President of the United States. “Jack”, as he was called, had to overcome the doubts that he was too young and immature to be president, and he did just that. He also had to prove that as the first Catholic U.S. President, he could keep separation of church and state. Despite the doubts, over the three years he was President, JFK became one of the most beloved Presidents. John F. Kennedy’s time in the White House was cut short, but through the time he did have, he made important decisions including those regarding Civil Rights and …show more content…
He famously said during his inauguration speech “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. The first year of Kennedy’s administration saw the success of the creation of the Peace Corps, an organization that provided the opportunity for Americans to travel overseas and perform humanitarian services. Seventy-one percent of Americans were in favor of the idea, and thousands volunteered to take part. Jack realized that this was an opportunity to show the world that the picture Soviet Union was painting of the United States was false; it was not the typical Capitalist country that would take advantage of weaker nations for its own benefit (Dallek 338-339). Also during his first year in office was the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion. His administration had inherited the plot to invade Cuba, where the Communist dictator Fidel Castro had seized power. JFK went ahead with the plan for the CIA to secretly train Cuban rebels, and orchestrated the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 15th, 1961. The invasion failed miserably and Castro immediately blamed the U.S. President Kennedy initially denied any U.S. involvement, but he eventually claimed responsibility for the attack (“Bay of Pigs Invasion”). In August of 1961 the Berlin Wall was constructed, and President Kennedy sent 1,500 reserve troops to the city. Diplomats and troops continued to go through checkpoints into East Berlin, exercising the U.S.’s rights in all of Berlin guaranteed by the Potsdam agreement of 1945 (“The Berlin Wall is Built”). Also in April, the first man was sent into space by the Soviet Union, which once again increased tensions between the two nations. In October 1962, there had begun speculation that the Soviets were setting up missiles in Cuba, but the reports had not been confirmed. The U.S. Military conducted aerial surveillance over the island which confirmed Soviet’s had

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