Life and Assassination of John F. Kennedy

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The John F. Kennedy assassination was a notorious American event that changed the way future U.S. Presidents would be protected. The world mourned President Kennedy and some still do. John F. Kennedy was only President for a short time, 1961-1963, but was still one of the most loved Presidents in American history. JFK lived a short lived life, that didn’t only affect his family, it affected a nation.

John F. Kennedy was the second oldest of nine children, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. His home that he was born in can still be visited today. John’s father Joseph P. Kennedy was a strict father and liked his sons to win, if they lost he would discuss their failure, he never did have much patience with the son(s) who lost. John grew up in his older brother Joseph’s shadow.

John (often called Jack by his family), grew up very wealthy and never needed or wanted for anything. His father worked at a Wall Street office and had a chauffeur who drove him there. John’s father only wanted them to be in the finest schools, when John was a small child he was enrolled in Riverdale Country Day School. When he was 13 years old he was entered into Canterbury School in Milford, Connecticut. In 1931 John got a sudden case of appendicitis. John had to have an emergency operation which resulted to him having to be out of school for the rest of the year.

After John recovered from his surgery he was enrolled in Choate, a prep school in Wallingford, Connecticut. John and his brother Joseph were very popular at Choate and were admired by everyone. After John graduated from Choate in 1935, he planned to study for a year at the London School of Economics. However in England, John who was 18 at the time came down with a serious sickness called jaundice.

In the fall John went to Princeton University, however he came down with jaundice again and that forced him out of school after only being at Princeton for one semester. Kennedy got better over time from hospital visits and the dry climate of Arizona. John then was enrolled in Harvard University. When John arrived at Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, John discovered that his brother Joseph had already made an impression there. Everyone knew Joseph to be a scholar and a star athlete, and everyone knew that a successful future awaited him.

When you compare Joseph and John, John seemed carless and without obvious goals. John played sports all throughout his college days, and in the summer of 1937, John and his friend Lem Billings went on the S.S. Washington and took a long vacation to Europe. Throughout the 1930s, Joseph Kennedy’s fame, national influence, and wealth had continued to grow. The dire stock market crash of 1929 left the Kennedy fortune untouched. To clean up the dangerous habits of the Wall Street traders, President Franklin Roosevelt needed a sly man like Joseph Kennedy.

In 1934 he appointed Joseph Kennedy chairman of the powerful new Securities and Exchange Commission. When Roosevelt ran for reelection in 1936, Joseph Kennedy was happy to lend his support, he even wrote a campaign book called I’m For Roosevelt. To thank Kennedy for all his help, Franklin Roosevelt made him ambassador of Great Britain in 1937. John’s parents then moved with the younger children to the American Embassy in London. For the next two years while John’s family was in London he traveled back and forth across the Atlantic to visit. While he was there visiting, he always went to fancy embassy dinners and balls, he always made a great impression on everyone he met there.

When John was in his junior year of college he took a semester off to serve in his father’s London staff. In the summer of 1939 John toured Europe again. However now the continent was in war. Summer of 1939 John thought that the Germans desired to occupy a portion of Poland also (Adolf Hitler had marched his Nazi troops into Austria and Czechoslovakia the previous year). Hitler made the Germans go into a craze against Poland and its British and French allies. John finally returned to Harvard in September and applied himself to his studies.

For his senior paper he wrote a very detailed paper on England’s unpreparedness for war. He sent it to his father and told him that the paper represents “more work than he has ever done in his whole life”. Kennedy’s 150 page paper got the highest possible grade. John’s father loved the paper so much that he suggested that it be made into a book. By late July, copies of Why England Slept began being rolled off the printing presses. Suddenly at the age of twenty- three years old, John Kennedy was a celebrated author. His best seller book eventually sold ninety thousand copies.

After John graduated from Harvard having a degree in political science, in the autumn of 1940 he entered Stanford University, in Stanford, California. There he studies economics and loved his fame of being a writer. However on September 22, 1941, John entered the navy. John’s brother Joseph was in the navy to and on August 12, 1944 he went on a dangerous mission where he needed to guide a bomber loaded with tons of explosives to hit an important Nazi target.

Above the English Channel, the plane suddenly exploded and Joseph and his copilot died instantly. Every family member was miserable after the tragic news of Joseph’s death. In the spring of 1945 John was released from the navy, and at the age of 28 he seemed to start to be heading to be a newspaperman. However, John’s father didn’t want him to go that direction so he pushed him towards politics. John than ran for Congress in 1946, years earlier John’s grandfather was mayor of Boston. John entered the Democratic primary race in the Eleventh Massachusetts Congressional District, which covered parts of Boston and Boston’s neighboring communities. Everyone thought that John lacked the skills of a politician.

However John proved them wrong because on January 3, 1947 Kennedy took the oath of office to become a United States congressman, in Washington D.C. In 1952 Kennedy was elected Senator of Massachusetts. Not soon after John was elected, his friend, Charles Bartlett knew a young woman and thought that she was John’s perfect match. At a dinner party his friend introduced him to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, or as everyone liked to call her “Jackie”, at this dinner party John asked her on their first date. The two started to get closer in the months they spent together,and on September 12, 1953 twenty-four year old Jackie and thirty-six year old John were married in a ginormous Roman Catholic ceremony.

Approximately six thousand people crowded outside the church to watch the newlyweds. After they were married Jackie started preparing a home for them and John got back to his work being the Massachusetts state senator. John always went with his responsibilities as the senator no matter what life through his way, and he proved his dedication, on January 2, 1960, John announced that be would be running for President of the United States of America. Kennedy beat Richard Nixon by just the small difference of 119,450 votes and on January 20, 1961 Kennedy took the Oath of Office.

Lee Harvey Oswald, one of the names you don’t hear very often anymore. However, it only takes one quick Google search to see that Lee Harvey Oswald was the accused assassin of John F. Kennedy. Oswald was born on October 18, 1939. Oswald didn’t get to live the very extravagant life that JFK got to live. He was born only a short two months after his father died and he dropped out of high school and joined the Marines. He was transferred to Minsk, Russia. There, he met and married his wife Marina Nikoiayeuna Prusakova on April 30, 1961. In June 1962 he returned to the U.S. with his wife and his new daughter, June Lee.

President Kennedy was 46 and nearing the end of his term, and he was planning on running for a second term. On Friday, November 22, 1963, Mr. President and the First Lady flew in to Dallas, Texas as part as a political tour. However, the joy in the air didn’t last very long. Everyone heard the sound of a rifle. The first bullet hit the President in the neck, in fact when you watch the JFK assassination video you can see him holding his neck and trying to tell Jackie something. The second bullet hit the Texas governor John B. Conally.

The third bullet shot President Kennedy in the skull. He fell on Mrs. Kennedy and she started trying to climb out of the car but she couldn’t. The secret service then came over to block everyone in the car, and the police escorted the car to Parkland Memorial Hospital. Sadly the doctors could not save Kennedy and John F. Kennedy died at 1:00 PM. At 2:38 PM, Lyndon B. Johnson took the Oath of Office while Jackie stood next to him in her iconic pink Chanel suit, with her husband’s blood all over it. Hours after Kennedy’s death, the police caught Kennedy’s killer. Lee Harvey Oswald, who had also killed Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit while escaping from the scene. Two days later while Oswald was being transferred to county jail, Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner elbowed his way past the police and shot Oswald on sight.

John F. Kennedy’s funeral was held on November 25, 1963. To Mrs. Kennedy’s request, Kennedy’s funeral was as much like Abraham Lincoln’s as possible. John’s casket was moved from the White House to the Capitol, and it was drawn by 6 gray horses and one riderless horse. 21 hours later his casket was in the capitol Rotunda and more than 250,000 people came to pay their respects. On November 25, 1963, Kennedy was laid to eternal rest in Arlington National Cemetery. The funeral was attended by many important people from more than 100 countries, and billions of people watching on television. After the funeral, at the grave site, Jackie and John’s brothers lit an eternal flame.

5 years after Kennedy’s death, the former First Lady had the whole world stunned when she married Aristotle Onassis. However the events that led up to her saying “yes” at the altar began way before President Kennedy’s assassination. Even when the Kennedy’s were still in the White House, Aristotle Onassis was already one of the most successful and richest businessmen in the world. He had owned an airline, had a shipping empire, and was a big player in the gold, oil, and real estate industries. After her husband’s death Jackie and John’s brother Robert had become extremely close, however in 1968, Robert was assassinated too. With in four months of Robert’s assassination, the rumor of Onassis and Jackie’s relationship were confirmed.

Everyone thought that Jackie had married Onassis for his money, but Jackie’s personal assistant at the time said that Jackie was very lonely and Onassis was very good to her children. Everything was going amazing, until Aristotle’s son died in a plane crash in 1973. From then on his health seemed to decline rapidly, and in 1975 he died of respiratory failure. Jackie was a widow once again at the age of 45. In the following years to come Jackie became a book editor, and backed away from the press. She met her long time partner, a diamond salesman Maurice Templesman, however never again would she remarry.

Jackie died in 1994, at the age of 64, only a few months after she has been diagnosed with cancer. After the doctors told her that they had done all they could to help with her cancer, she checked out of the hospital and went back to her 5th Avenue apartment, determined to die away from the public eye. Jackie was buried next to her husband John, and her headstone read “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis”. However in the funeral ceremony, her other last name “Onassis” was never mentioned, because she was a Kennedy, and that’s all that mattered.

There is no way of knowing if the death of John F. Kennedy could have been prevented. But there is not knowing that John F. Kennedy was an American hero, and always will be. But what is meant to be, will be, and maybe if the JFK assassination wouldn’t have happened, this country would be a lot different today.


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Life and Assassination of John F. Kennedy. (2021, Jun 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/life-and-assassination-of-john-f-kennedy/

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