John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States (1961-1963). He was the youngest person ever to be elected president. Also, He was the first Roman Catholic president and the first president to be born in the 20the century. He served in World War II on PT boat. He also helped to solve the Cuban Missile Crisis and started Peace of Corps to help 3rd world countries better them selves. Kennedy was assassinated before he completed his third year as president. Therefore, his achievements were limited. He was shot in the head and died within an hour.
Kennedy was born on May 29,1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the second of nine children of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. "The other children in the family were Joseph, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Robert, Jean, and Edward."(Encarta' 95). "The Kennedys were an active family. With 11 people in the house, someone was always busy. The children took swimming, sailing, and tennis lessons."(Potts, Steve - 7). The Kennedy family had long been active in politics. His brothers Robert and Edward Kennedy also entered politics. Kennedy's both grand fathers had been active in politics. His father was a self-made millionaire. He served as first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Kennedy's family called him jack. He and his older brother Joe were strong rivals. Jack was quiet and often shy, but held his owns in fights with Joe. "The boys enjoyed playing touch football."(The World Book Encyclopedia, 261). His childhood was full of sports, fun and activity. This all ended when he grew up old enough to leave for school.
Kennedy attended elementary schools in Brookline and Riverdale. "In 1930, when he was 13 years old, his father sent him to the Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn." (The World Book Encyclopedia, 261). One year later, he transferred to Choate Academy in Wallingford, Coon. He graduated from Choate in 1935 at the age of 18. He was promised a trip to London as a graduation gift but he became ill with jaundice and would have to go to the hospital. He spent the rest of the summer trying to recover. He was not entirely well when he started Princeton, several weeks later in the fall of 1935. The jaundice returned and he had to drop out of school. Before the next school year began, he told his father he wanted to go to Harvard. He entered Harvard University in 1936. There he majored in government and international relations. At Harvard, he tried to explain in his senior thesis why Britain had not been ready for war. Kennedy began to send his paper to publishers, and it was accepted on his second try. Wilfrid Funk published it under the title Why England Slept. It became a bestseller. He became a literary sensation.
"In the spring of 1941, both John and Joe, Jr. decided to enroll in the armed service." (Reevs, Thomas C., 37)Joe was accepted but John was turned down. He hoped to fight in the WWII but he was rejected by the U.S. Army because of his back trouble and history of illness. He reapplied after five months program of special exercise and was accepted into the Navy as a desk clerk in Washington. He was disgusted and applied for a transfer. Kennedy was sent to Naval Officers Training School at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1941. Later he was sent for additional training at the Motor Torpedo Boat Center at Melville, Rhode Island.
In late April 1943, he was put in command of a PT 109 in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Kennedy saw action in the form of night patrols and participated in enemy bombings. "On August 1, 1943, during a routine night patrol, a Japanese destroyer collided in the darkness with Kennedy's craft and the PT 109 was sunk." (Falkolf, Lucille - 7). Kennedy heroically swam back and forth rescuing his wounded crew. Two were killed in the crash. The injury once again aggravated his back. Still, Kennedy pushed on swimming from island to island in the South Pacific hoping for a patrol to come by. Kennedy had no idea he had been in the water for eight hours. Finally, an island was spotted that could