Friday, November 22, 2013

Top 10 Fifty Years Ago Today Remembering JFK

1. Home of the Kennedy Family at 83 Beals Street in  Brookline, Massachusetts where JFK's family lived when he was born in 1917. You can take a virtual tour online with the voice of the Kennedy matriarch Rose Kennedy. He lived there for ten years through the fourth grade.

2. Lieutenant John F. Kennedy was a decorated hero during World War II.  He received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for courage, endurance and excellence in leadership. He also received a Purple Heart for his injuries.

3. He is the only President to date to win the Pulitzer Prize for writing Profiles in Courage while he was recuperating from a back operation. I have been reading this book and found the Senators that he selected an interesting bunch of men. I am up to Sam Houston.

4. Senator John F. Kennedy came to Chester on October 29th, 1960 during his presidential campaign.  I was four years old, I remember the police motorcyle escort coming down the street.  I had a great vantage point from our porch on Edgemont Avenue. I saw his car go by but I mostly remember the motorcycle escorts. You can read a transcript from that speech at the John F. Kennedy Library Museum website.  Note, he mentions the rain.  You can see the rain on the car window in the picture.

5. He ran a tough campaign against Vice President Richard Nixon and won by a very narrow margin.  He went to sleep at 4AM not knowing if he had won the election or not.

6. He was elected 35th President of the United States in 1961.

7. To date he has been the only non-Protestant President.  He was a Catholic.

8. He was a very popular president that faced a lot of challenges while he was in office. The Bay of Pigs was a great disappointment to him.  The Cuban Missile Crisis was a averted and people were starting to stand up for equal rights.

9. The events surrounding his assassinated are still a debated topic.  One thing no one can dispute, it was a crime to strike down a man so young in his prime who never got to reach his full potential. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963, fifty years ago today. Allegedly, Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and shot and killed the President of the United States.  It was a shock wave heard around the world. The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas is still a haunting place to visit.  I have been there twice and each time I heard an emergency vehicle pass through that intersection and down under the bridge just as the president's convertible would have sped on November 22nd.

10. He is laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia with his wife Jacqueline and two of their infant children.  He is one of only two presidents that are buried at Arlington. Taft is the other.  Two of his brothers Robert and Edward (Ted) are buried nearby. His grave is one of the most popular stops for visitors and silence is requested out of respect.

 President John F. Kennedy

Senator Robert F. Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy

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