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President John F. Kennedy (100 Years after his Birth)
Now, we witness 100 years after the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was a very intelligent man whose idealism was indicative of the idealism of the youth. For decades, people have discussed about his life. Many skilled authors have written about his life in countless books, and scholars have evaluated his Presidency in a diversity of ways. Today, in our generation, it is time to show the truth about him as a man, as a President, as a father, and as a military veteran. His life begins in Massachusetts. He was born in May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was part of a large family. He was the second child to nine children. John F. Kennedy's father was the banker Joseph Kennedy and his wife was Rose Fitzgerald. Rose was the daughter of the former mayor of Boston, who was ironically named John F. Fitzgerald. President John F. Kennedy was an Irish Roman Catholic. He loved his Irish heritage and that inspired his journey while he was physically on this Earth on many ways. Even in his early years, he suffered many illnesses. Back then, few people knew about his serious diseases and sicknesses. He had scarlet fever. He was even close to death in Boston City Hospital. The Last Rites were given, but he survived and recovered. His father Joseph Kennedy worked in investment banking by 1920 and he was in the shipbuilding business. In that year, he bought an estate in Brookline at 51 Abbotsford Road. JFK was in kindergarten at the age of 5 and then he was promoted to the first grade at Edward Devotion School by 1922. He went with his older brother Joseph Jr. to Noble and Greenough Lower School. JFK faced taunts from others in the school for being Irish Catholic. He was challenged in fights. Ironically, Joe Kennedy formed a committee to buy the school. It is renamed the Dexter School. By November 1925, Robert F. Kennedy (or his younger brother) was born. By 1927, Joseph Kennedy goes into the movie business. The family goes into Riverdale, NY. JFK comes into the Riverdale County School or a private school for boys. By 1929-131, John F. Kennedy moved into the NYC suburb of Bronxville.
More on his Early Life
Later, John F. Kennedy went into the Cantebury School in New Milford Connecticut. By April of 1931, he has an appendectomy and recuperates. He graduated from the Choate School in Wallingford, CT in June of 1935. He has colitis. He enrolled in Harvard College. From 1939-1940, he improved his academic performance. He writes his senior thesis. It evolved into the book, “Why England Slept.” The book is about Hitler and criticizing Britain for not taking sufficient steps to prevent World War II. During that time, Joseph Kennedy supported the appeasement policy of the UK's Neville Chamberlain. It is no secret that Joseph Kennedy throughout his life have made anti-Semitic remarks. According to Harvey Klemmer, who served as one of Kennedy's embassy aides, Kennedy habitually referred to Jewish people in racial slurs. Joseph Kennedy uses Henry Luce (a famous media leader) and Arthur Krock to help send the book nationwide. JFK graduated from Harvard in 1940. Why England Slept sold 80,000 copies back then. John F. Kennedy soon studies business in Stanford. He is hospitalized again for weight loss and back problems in Boston later. He tours South America to check on the Nazi influence in the confinement on May 1941.
World War II
His older brother, Joseph Kennedy Jr. enlisted in the Navy. JFK also enlists, so he dropped his plans to go to Yale Law. His father allowed him to join despite his physical ailments. In October 1941, he reported for duty at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C. He becomes a lieutenant and trains in torpedo boats in Rhode Island. He commanded the PT 101 in Florida and at the Panama Canal. In 1943, John F. Kennedy is transferred to the Solomon Islands. In that location, he took command of the PT 109. By August 2, 1943, at 2 am., PT 109 was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. PT 109 caught on fire. It was cut in half. 2 men died in the explosion. Some debate whether the ramming was accidental or deliberate. From August 3-8, 1943, Kennedy helped the 10 survivors. He tugged a wounded soldier 4 miles to Plum Pudding Island. They swam another mile to Olasana Island since it was barren. 2 Australian scouts rescued them. They carried a message where Kennedy carved on a coconut shell to the allied base at Rendova Island. By the end of 1943, he commands PT 59. It was gunboat. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal including the Purple Heart. In 1944, he was in the hospital for a ruptured disc in his spine. He had abdominal pain and he had malaria. Joseph Jr. (or his older brother) was killed in England when a drone plane full of explosives he is piloting blows up prematurely. John F. Kennedy was discharged from the military on March 1, 1945. He also visited the Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II.
His Life in the House of Representatives
When Michael Curley campaigned for the mayor Boston, JFK ran for Curley’s congressional seat as Curley left his seat open. Joseph Kennedy funds Curley’s Democratic campaign. JFK runs as a Democrat. In April 23, 1946, John F. Kennedy runs for Congress. He wins the Congressional election on November 5. He moves to D.C. as a House member. In January of 1947, House minority whip John McCormick appointed John F. Kennedy to both the Education and Labor and the District of Columbia committees. He voted against the final passage of the anti-union Taft Hartley bill. He opposed corrupt lobbying. He supported the Housing Act. He is totally anti-Communist by wanting to solely back the Nationalist instead of Trump desiring a coalition government in China. In 1950, he supported home rule in Washington, D.C. Home rule is about giving more independent political power in D.C. From October to November 1951, John F. Kennedy toured Indochina (or Vietnam back then). He met with the State Department official Edmund Bullion. He told JFK in Saigon that France will not win the war since Ho Chi Minh had won the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese youth. He was right as the French was defeated by the Vietnamese people. Bobby Kennedy said that the meeting had a “very, very major” impact on JFK’s thinking. This is why JFK would later support African and Asian nationalists when he became President. On November 14, 1951, John F. Kennedy sent a letter to his voters. In that letter, he criticized Dean Acheson’s State Department for aiding the effort of a French regime that is promoting empire. In November 14, 1951, John F. Kennedy mentioned the following words:
“Southeast Asia is an area of human conflict between civilizations striving to be born and those desperately trying to retain what they had held for so long; in which the fires of nationalism so long dormant have been kindled and are now ablaze. Here, colonialism is not a topic for tea-talk discussion; it is the daily fare of millions of men.”
His Life in the Senate
By 1952, Kennedy said that he will run for the senate seat of Henry Cabot Lodge. He defeated Lodge in November of 1952 with 51.5% of the vote. JFK is appointed to the Labor and Public Welfare and Government Operations committees. From 1953 to 1960, John F. Kennedy is in the Senate of the United States Congress. In 1953, he sent Secretary of State John Foster Dulles a 44 question letter. That letter wants to question American involvement in Indochina. He later wants to promote a plan to develop the New England economy. His plan has a higher minimum wage, low cost energy plans, and job retraining. He proposed later over 300 bills to implement this plan. On September 12, 1953, John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island. In April of 1954, then Senator Kennedy said that the French can’t defeat the Vietnamese when they are opposed by the people in that region. He voted for the St. Lawrence Seaway project too in that year. That project established many canals to carry cargo from the Great Lakes area to the Atlantic Ocean. The imperialist French were defeated by the Vietnamese in May 7, 1954 in Dien Bien Phu. Eisenhower refused to agree with Foster Dulles’ request to use atomic weapons in Vietnam. The Dulles Brothers later form a CIA operation to create a government in Saigon to oppose Ho Chi Minh from unifying Vietnam. He had back surgeries in Boston in 1955. His famous book was Profiles in Courage which came out in 1956. It was created by his hands with research from Ted Sorenson. This book talked about eight senators who took on stands on issues in American history. It was very popular selling 2 million copies during that time. It won a Pulitzer Prize. In 1956, he supported Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. Senator Estes Kefauver would be his vice Presidential candidate of the Stevenson campaign. JFK was almost a Vice Presidential candidate during that time. Kennedy gave speeches that wanted people to realize the forces of nationalism in the Third World. Stevenson wires him to not any more speeches in his campaign. By 1957, JFK and RFK would use the McClellan Commit e to investigate mob infiltration in labor or union activities. RFK would target Jimmy Hoffa from the beginning.
In July of 1957, John F. Kennedy attacked the White House over America not wanting to force France out of the colonial war in Algeria. Many reactionaries hated the speech while many in Africa and other places of the world loved the speech. By September of 1957, JFK voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He is disappointed that Title 3 (or the part of the law that allowed the attorney general to enter states and file lawsuits) was dropped. One of his greatest books was the pro-immigrant “A Nation of Immigrants” book. It was a great book. It has the introduction by Robert F. Kennedy. The book criticized the immigration quota system, which happened in 1921. The early 20th century quota system was not only xenophobic and racist. It was very cruel too. The quota system was eliminated in the 1965 Immigration Act, which is a law that I do agree with. In 1960, John F. Kennedy announced in the Senate Caucus Room that he will be a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. He defeated Hubert Humphrey in the Democratic primaries. He selected Lyndon Johnson from Texas as his vice President. He accepts the nomination in Los Angeles and he runs for President. On August 2, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy gave a long and eloquent speech in the Senate to desire a higher minimum wage and expand its scope. He fights for unemployment insurance. During the campaign, many issues come up. One was about his religion as some believed that him being Catholic would cause the Presidency to be bounded under the authority of the Pope. JFK made it clear that he believes in the separation of church and state and told many Baptists in 1960 (in Houston, Texas) that no religious authority would dictate to him any political policy. Also, he debated Richard Nixon multiple times. He debated him first in Chicago. JFK look youthful while Nixon looked tired after heavy campaign. The televised debate caused many people to vote for JFK. Also, Kennedy set up arrangements to free Dr. King from prison in Georgia. Coretta Scott King was happy to see Dr. King out of jail. This caused a large number of African Americans to vote for John F. Kennedy too. In November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy won the 1960 Presidential election against Vice President Richard Nixon. He won by about 113,000 votes. This was a margin of 303 to 219 in the Electoral College. Harris Wofford is JFK’s civil rights advisor. In December 30, 1960, Wofford submits his memorandum to advise on how Kennedy would do in terms of achieving civil rights for African Americans. On January 17, 1961, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Congo was murdered in Katanga. The CIA kept this fact from Kennedy in the beginning. The CIA supported those who killed Lumumba. Kennedy favored Lumumba’s leadership.
The Beginning of his Presidency
The Kennedy Presidency started in 1961. He was inaugurated as President on January 20, 1961 in Washington, D.C. He gave a historic speech that wanted peace and desired to confront Communism overseas. He started an affirmative action program since he believed that there weren’t enough African Americans in that day’s ceremony. In other words, he invented the modern affirmative action system in America (which was before Nixon and before LBJ). The next day, Robert Kennedy is confirmed as Attorney General. JFK told Robert Kennedy to use lawsuits in the South to attack voting discrimination. On February 2, 1961, he wanted an UN force to establish peace in the Congo (along with releasing all political prisoners). He doesn’t know that Lumumba was killed. When he learned of Lumumba’s death via Ambassador Adlai Stevenson in the United Nations, he was sad about it. On March 6, 1961, John F. Kennedy signed an executive order to end discrimination in government employee hiring and contracting. The law would evolve into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On March 15, Kennedy appointed 2 seats to the Civil Rights Commission and a new staff director (since people resigned). The commission became more progressive. In March 20, 1961, the Kennedy administration interceded in the New Orleans School District desegregation case in the behalf of the integrationist Judge J. Skelly Wright. He later appointed Judge Wright to the D.C. Court of Appeals.
On April 12, 1961, there was talk about a U.S. operation against Cuba shown in the press. The Bay of Pigs Operation plans existed before JFK was inaugurated. The CIA planned it as early as 1960 during the Eisenhower administration. The Bay of Pigs invasion happened from April 17-20, 1961. Back in April 12, Kennedy pledged no American troops under any conditions will intervene in Cuba. On April 16, and with Kennedy’s knowledge, the Bay of Pigs assault forces leaves Guatemala. JFK doesn’t exercise his option to cancel within 24 hours of departure. On April 19, the amphibious force was defeated by the Cuban pro-Castro forces on the beach of Playa Giron. The Pentagon asked for American intervention with jet fighters. Kennedy refusds. So, Cuba remained under Castro’s control for decades into the future. This causes a widening of tensions among the intelligence community and JFK for the rest of his life. They (both JFK and the intelligence community) blame each other for the failure of the invasion. JFK takes responsible for the failure as he’s the President. Behind the scenes, Kennedy has more distrust of the CIA because of obvious reasons. JFK believed that the CIA lied to him about its chances of success. He privately commissions a White House study to see what went wrong. The CIA does the same thing. John F. Kennedy continued to have distrust of the CIA.
President John F. Kennedy believes in space exploration. On May 7, 1961, astronaut Alan Shepard was the first American to achieve human spaceflight. By May 25, John F. Kennedy gave a speech which wanted a big space exploration program. He wanted man to go to the moon. He wanted a Rover nuclear rocket, weather satellites and other space projects. On May 14, 1961, Freedom Riders come into Anniston and then Montgomery, Alabama. They wanted to enforce existing law regarding integration of interstate bus travel. They were pulled off buses and beaten up with baseball bats and other objects. The governor double crossed the President. The FBI did nothing to stop this. So, Kennedy sent in 500 U.S. Marshals to rescue them. Many civil rights leaders back then criticized the Kennedy administration for taking a piecemeal approach as it relates to civil rights. By 1963, JFK would take more militant steps on addressing civil rights issues. On May 29, Kennedy wired all embassies abroad. He wants all decisions to be done by the ambassador in nations as it relates to U.S. policy not the CIA. The Vienna summit between President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev started in June 4, 1961. The Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev wanted Berlin to be part of East Germany. He sees at first JFK as a young, inexperienced man. By 1963, both men would gain better respect for each other. By July 20, 1961, the CIA and the Pentagon wanted JFK to use a first strike nuclear attack on Russia during the fall of 1963. JFK asks a few questions and walks out. He opposes this extremist policy. He told Dean Rusk, “And we call ourselves the human race.”
The Cold War gets more heated when East Germany closed its border with West Berlin. The construction of the Berlin Wall starts on August 14. John F. Kennedy on August 17 had a plan to extend loans and aid to Latin America. This was the Alliance for Progress program, which was signed in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The Peace Corps Act was passed by the House in September of 1961. JFK would sign the bill. Sargent Shriver was the Peace Corps first Director. He was Kennedy’s brother in law. The Peace Corps would use men and women to help many human beings worldwide, especially in the Third World. In late September 1961, the UN leader Dag Hammarskjold is killed when his plane was sabotaged. JFK called him the greatest statesman of the 20th century. He wanted to continue the policies of an independent, neutral Congo and freeing West Irian from the Netherlands. On September 22, 1961 (with the urging of RFK), the Interstate Commerce Commission passed laws to integrate all travel facilities. The enforcement of the law by the end of 1962 existed. The Freedom Riders earned a victory. John F. Kennedy on September 25, 1961 issued his famous address to the United Nations. In it, JFK urged the U.N. to not forsake Hammarskjold’s mission in Congo. Edmund Gullion goes to Congo as Kennedy’s ambassador. On October 16, 1961, important events transpire. On that time, Lyman Kirkpatrick finished the CIA report on the Bay of Pigs. This report and General Maxwell Taylor’s White House report caused President John F. Kennedy to do something. Kennedy asks for the resignations of Director of the CIA Allen Dulles, his deputy Charles Cabell, and Director of Plans Dick Bissell. This angered many people, especially members of the CIA. Dulles, Cabell, and Bissell are in essence fired by JFK. On October 28, 1961, U.S. and Soviet tanks face each other at Brandenburg Gate in Gate over the rights of a diplomatic passage through the wall. Kennedy and Khrushchev negotiate a solution through proxies. Kennedy concluded that, “Better a wall than a war.” This comment angered anti-Communist extremists once again. On November 2, 1961, discussions and debates about Vietnam erupt. Maxwell Taylor and Walt Rostow on that time return from Vietnam. They recommend Kennedy to commit combat troops to the conflict. On November 21, on a secret mission to Saigon, India Ambassador John K. Galbraith wrote to JFK that there should be no more U.S. involvement (and he should plan to withdraw). On November 22, 1961, during a two week debate, Kennedy blocked all attempts to commit troops to Vietnam. He signs NSAM 111, which sends 15,000 advisors instead. To keep it real, “advisors” is code for some military “advising” of South Vietnamese forces.
1962 would be a year of transformative changes during the Kennedy Presidency. On January 17, 1962, JFK signed a law that granted federal employees the right to form unions and bargain collectively. Over 1.2 million federal employees in 1967 would join unions. The idea does expand to local and state governments. On February 2, Ted Shackley moves to the Miami CIA state to supervise Operation Mongoose. Operation Mongoose was the program that the CIA and others wanted to attack and eliminate Castro in Cuba. On February 10, Kennedy arranged an exchange of Soviet spy Rudolph Abel for U2 pilot Gary Powers in Berlin by James Donovan. Kennedy signed the Manpower Development and Training Act in March 15, 1962. This law will try to aim to alleviate African American unemployment. By the fall of 1967, almost 350,000 persons were retrained and over 90 percent will get jobs within a year. On March 16, 1962, the Pentagon proposed Operation Northwoods to Kennedy. Operation Northwoods wanted false flag operations to be executed by the U.S. government as a pretext for an American invasion of Cuba. JFK rejected this reckless plan outright. On March 17, 1962, Fred Shuttlesworth, Frank Dukes, and students from Miles College in Birmingham started a department store boycott. This would grow into a yearlong campaign that would be joined by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others. The Birmingham movement would have a big involvement by JFK and RFK by 1963.
On April 4, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave Defense Secretary Robert McNamara John Kenneth Galbraith’s report recommending withdrawal from Vietnam. From that moment on, McNamara became JFK’s agent for his withdrawal plan. On April 11, in a televised address, Kennedy attacked the steel companies for breaking a deal that he had brokered between them and the union not to raise their prices. After RFK issued subpoenas, steel companies capitulated in 72 hours. On June 7, President John F. Kennedy announced that he will move for a tax cut to increase demand and stop a recession. Walter Heller and James Tobin are his Keynesian advisors. They agree to a capital investment plan after the tax cut to ratchet up the economy. On July 2, 1962, the CIA pilot Allen Pope is released from Indonesian house arrest by Sukarno at the request of Robert Kennedy. On July 6, David Rockefeller and JFK exchange letters in Life magazine on differing views of the economy. The politeness masks deep divisions among both men. By July 17, 1962, John F. Kennedy’s Medicare bill is defeated by a combination of the AMA and Senator Robert Kerr. On the day of his assassination, Kennedy was working with Rep. Wilbur Mills to bring the bill back. On July 23, the Laos neutralization plan was signed in Geneva. This was about ending the conflict in Laos. Kennedy wanted this though it allows infiltration by North Vietnamese troops into the south. On July 25, and on McNamara’s orders, the Joint Chiefs of under the pacific command prepare a phased withdrawal from Vietnam which would conclude in 1965. On August 15, 1962, Robert Kennedy and Ellsworth Bunker created the New York Agreement that turns over West Irian to Indonesia. On September 30, Governor Ross Barnett and General Edwin Walker provoke a riot by white racists over the admittance of the African American James Meredith at Ole Miss. Two people were killed and 27 people were shot. So, President John F. Kennedy sent in hundreds of marshals and regular army troop to quell the violence.
The Cuban Missile Crisis happens in October of 1962. This was when John F. Kennedy learnt that the USSR sent ICBMs into Cuba. This 13 day nuclear crisis ended with an accepted offer by Khrushchev to remove missiles from Cuba if JFK withdraws NATO missiles from Turkey and Italy. This once again causes many in the intelligence community to be angry at John F. Kennedy, because JFK promoted a solution not war mongering involving the Cuban Missile Crisis. By October 31, 1962, Operation Mongoose is placed on hiatus and is formally disbanded by next month. On October 20, China invades India. Kennedy started to send a massive weapons airlift to help Nehru. He also agrees to send an aircraft career fleet. China ends the invasion the day after this decision was made. On November 16, the Programs for Fair Practices agreement was signed by 116 unions to end discrimination in membership and apprenticeship programs. On November 20, 1962, Kennedy signed an executive order that prohibited discrimination in sales and rental for housing. On December 11, 1962, Khrushchev wrote a letter to President Kennedy. This starts the push for détente by Kennedy and Khrushchev. Pope John XXIII wanted détente too including the author Norman Cousins. On December 21, attorney James Donovan negotiates the release of Bay of Pigs prisoners from Cuba for $53 million in food and medicine. By December 29, 1962, President John F. Kennedy approved the U.S. participation in Grand Slam, the UN military mission to stop the Belgian and British goal of separating Katanga from Congo. This achieves its aim when the separation movement ends by the end of January of 1963.
1963 and the End of his Presidency
The year of 1963 was the most important year of the Kennedy Presidency. It represented a new era and the end of JFK’s longevity. On January 2, 1963, near the Mekong River, the Battle of Ap Bac started. In that battle, the South Vietnamese had more men, air support, and American advisors. Yet, South Vietnam lost that battle. This would convince many people that South Vietnam couldn’t win without American combat troops (which I disagree with). It caused others to desire to end the war once and for all. On January 26, James Donovan was ready to return to America from Cuba. Donovan was approached by Castro physician Rene Vallejo. He told Donovan that Cuba was interested in talking about re-establishing relations with Washington. On May 6, 1963, the eighth Secretary/Defense meeting took place in Hawaii. McNamara was part of it. There were plans for withdrawal that Kennedy ordered the year before they were submitted. The Kennedy administration stated that schedules were too slow and must be speed up. On May 10, after direct intervention by the White House, there is an agreement in Birmingham which includes integration, hiring practices, and the creation of a committee on both matters. Yet, reform would be slow in Birmingham. President John F. Kennedy gave his historic American University commencement address on June 10, 1963. It has been called the peace speech. The speech wanted peace in the world, détente with Russia, and a better society. People in America and in the USSR praised the speech as great and powerful. On June 11, Governor George Wallace brought in 825 state troops to block the entry of two African American students to the University of Alabama. Kennedy nationalized the Alabama National Guard afterwards to remove Wallace from blocking the front door. The University of Alabama now is integrated. RFK inspired JFK to give another historic speech on civil rights.
On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech where he advocated for equality and civil rights. He wanted a civil rights bill to be passed by Congress. This was the most direct Presidential civil rights speech in a long time. Dr. King sent JFK a telegram to praise the speech. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. always wanted JFK to be more militant in advocating for civil rights and Kennedy changed to be more progressive by 1963. President John F. Kennedy sent his Civil Rights bill of 1963 to Congress on June 19. It would be a powerful bill and the first of its kind since 1875. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would be signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Also, on June 11, 1963, the press reported on how Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in Saigon. This was a protest against the regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem persecuting Buddhists based on their religion (and Diem’s anti-democratic policies in general). The sister in law of Diem, Madam Nhu, disrespected this event by calling it a “barbecue” and wanted volunteers to supply the gasoline for the next self-immolation. On July 1, 1963, President Kennedy visited Italy. He back l’apertura, which was an attempt to move the socialist party into the ruling Christian Democrats. In this act, JFK supported the socialist Party of Italy. This angered the media publisher Henry Luce and CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton. On July 17, 1963, President John F. Kennedy tells the press that he will be supporting Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. He is the first President to support such a historic march in public. He assigned Bobby Kennedy to supervise. The problem was that JFK censored any speech in the march that criticized him and many of his plans tried to sugarcoat the powerful militancy of SNCC (which was involved in the March along with countless civil rights leaders and activists. The March was the dream of A. Philip Randolph being fulfilled finally).
On August 5, 1963, Russia, Great Britain, and America signed the Limited Atomic Test Ban Treaty in Moscow. Kennedy helped to get it passed by the Senate in a vote of 80-19 on September 23. The treaty was one of the greatest accomplishments of the Kennedy administration. It would ban above ground nuclear tests. 36 other nations would sign the agreement too. On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his eloquent, powerful “I Have a Dream” speech in the March on Washington. It was a speech that not only had hope for justice, but it criticized the current state of injustices that black Americans experienced. It was critical of the current political situation state wide and nationally and it desired a change. Dr. King, in his speech, criticized racism, segregation, police brutality, and economic oppression. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted all people to be free. Kennedy praised the speech. On September 20, Kennedy visited the United Nations to urge them to not abandon Congo. He convinced the UN to extend the peacekeeping mission for one year. On September 23, Kennedy asked for a cooperative venture to the moon with the USSR. This was part of the movement towards détente. On September 25, 1963, Kennedy’s tax cut bill passed the House under the Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills. In 1965, it will cut unemployment by 17% and boost GNP by over 20%. Yet, the capital improvements part is foregone. On October 1, in Hawaii, Kennedy substituted his own trip report (written in Washington) for McNamara and General Taylor’s report. He wanted to be sure that it forms the basis for his withdrawal plan. On October 4, Kennedy suspended diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic until the military restore elected president Juan Bosch to power. On October 11, Kennedy approved of NSAM 263. This started his withdrawal plan with the removal of a thousand men from Vietnam by the end of 1963. On October 21, the Senate passed Kennedy’s Aid to Higher Education Act. This was the first education bill since 1945. LBJ would sign it on December 16, 1963. October 24, 1963 is the time when Kennedy met with journalist Jean Daniel before his trip to Cuba. JFK gives a long message to him to deliver to Castro. It is about the upcoming resumption of relations.
On October 31, and due to a tip by an informant named “Lee,” the Secret Service foiled an attempt to kill Kennedy in Chicago. Kennedy’s November 2 appearance is cancelled. On November 1, 1963, South Vietnamese generals, led by "Big Minh", overthrew the Diem government. The coup of Diem involved the arresting and then killing of Diem and Nhu (Nhu was Diem's brother. They died on November 2, 1963). Kennedy was shocked by the deaths. He found out afterwards that Minh had asked the CIA field office to secure safe-passage out of the country for Diem and Nhu, but was told that 24 hours were needed to procure a plane. Minh responded that he could not hold them that long. This was a turning point in the Vietnam War. By this time, 16,000 American troop “advisors” were in Vietnam. Those involved in the coup were South Vietnamese generals who opposed Diem. Conein and Lodge had sided with the generals (from South Vietnam who opposed Diem). There is no evidence that John F. Kennedy directly ordered the assassination order personally against Diem. He did approve of Cable 243 (the Kennedy administration was split into those who supported the coup and opposed it), but he never ordered the murder of Diem and his brother. Kennedy according to sources suspected that Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was involved in their deaths. He wanted to recall Lodge to Washington to fire him. Yet, John F. Kennedy was as assassinated in November 22, 1963.
Before leaving for Dallas, Kennedy told Michael Forrestal that "after the first of the year ... [he wanted] an in depth study of every possible option, including how to get out of there ... to review this whole thing from the bottom to the top." Just before his assassination, on November 18, JFK finalized a trip to Jakarta for 1964 to bolster the nationalist Sukarno and stop a confrontation with Malaysia. He came into Dallas in November of 1963 in order to mend political fences and to campaign for the upcoming 1964 Presidential election. The crowds in Dallas was large. He rode in a motorcade along with Secret Service members. The day was sunny. Soon, Kennedy was assassinated and the world mourns. The nation changed. LBJ became the new President and he takes a more militaristic tone involving the Vietnam War. After Kennedy's assassination, President Johnson passed NSAM 273 on November 26, 1963. It reversed Kennedy's decision to withdraw 1,000 troops, and reaffirmed the policy of assistance to the South Vietnamese. Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald on national television on November 24, 1963. LBJ would support the Warren Commission Report (with members in it among those JFK fired or were members of Congress). President John F. Kennedy's legacy continues to influence the world today.
John F. Kennedy lived a very short life, but his life has been discussed for a long time. President John F. Kennedy represented the idealism of what America could be and he expressed that idealism with his eloquent speeches. After the 100 years after his birth, we live in a new generation which seeks justice, true equality, and tranquility for the human race. He lived during the era of the Cold War. For the early stage of his Presidency, he was a dedicated Cold War liberal. He spoke of militarist language. He supported investments in building up the American military (especially after the Berlin Crisis when he sent 1,500 U.S. troops to West Berlin. Khrushchev advocated the building of the Berlin Wall to stop East German workers to come into West Germany) and fallout shelters to be constructed nationwide in America even when America back then had an extremely more amount of nuclear weapons than the USSR. He funded covert U.S. military operations overseas which caused more violence in many other nations. He supported capitalism and had an hatred of Communism. The Cuban Missile Crisis changed him. He realized that reactionary generals (with their hatred of him and some of these generals had a paranoid anti-Communism) could promote war so badly that humanity could mostly be obliterated from the face of the Earth. Therefore, since the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy took even more steps to advocate for the goal of detente with the Soviet Union. He would also set up a "hot line" telephone system with Khrushchev to keep communications open. President John F. Kennedy would promote peace as a solution in dealing with the Soviet Union. Many right wing people were angry with him over that. JFK wasn't perfect and he admitted his imperfections and the imperfections of America. He wanted America to reach its highest potential in terms of its goal to make freedom real. He had many enemies like: segregationists, right wing intelligence members, anti-Castro Cuban extremists, some Wall Street banking interests (who disagreed with his economic views), and other far right people. JFK persisted to outline his views and advance his agenda for the world. He created the 1962 Commission on the Status of Women to study how poverty and discrimination affected women. He advanced the Equal Pay Act in 1963 to require equal pay for equal work. JFK advocated for many social programs in Congress like an increased minimum wage, an extension of Social Security benefits, and improvements in the welfare system. In 1963, he became more engaged to advocate for the Civil Rights Act and more funding to help the poor and the working class. He traveled the country to give eloquent speeches on the beauty of the arts, on the importance of improving the environment, and to advocate for the enrichment of the human race (as outlined in his speech at Amherst College on the date of October 26th, 1963). In essence, President Kennedy matured as time went onward during his Presidency. He promoted a New Frontier, which has similarities to the New Deal. Many of his New Frontier proposals from universal health care for the elderly and civil rights would exist under the Great Society. President John F. Kennedy was a representation of the vision that many Americans had. We should use his life as inspiration for us to fight for a free, progressive society that we desire.