Friday, May 13, 2016

Some Unknown Facts about John F. Kennedy


Surprising Facts of JFK

John Fitzgerald `Jack’ Kennedy, commonly referred by his initials JFK was an American politician who had served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 till his assassination in November 1963 and was the youngest man elected to the office. When he had hardly completed his first thousand days in office, he had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas thus becoming the youngest President to die. There are some surprising facts regarding JFK that is not known to many.

JFK & Jackie Kennedy had four children

Besides Caroline and John Jr., the Ke nnedys had two other children. Jackie had given birth to a stillborn girl in 1956 whom the couple decided to name Arabella and Patrick Bouvier Kenned was born five and a half week early on August 7, 1963. The baby had weighed below five pounds and died two days later due to pulmonary disease. The bodies of the two children had been removed from Massachusetts in 1963 to be placed next to their father in Arlington National Cemetery.

Kennedy received last rites three times before his presidency

Kennedy had been suffering from poor health all through his life and fearing imminent death, America’s first Catholic president had received the sacramental last rites of the church on three occasions. In 1947, on a trip to England, Kennedy fell ill and was given possibly a year to live after he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease which was a rare disorder of the adrenal glands. While returning to America aboard the Queen Mary, he had been so ill that a priest had to be summoned to administer the last rites. He once again received the sacrament again in 1951 after suffering from a very high fever while traveling in Asia and in 1954, after he had slipped into a coma from an infection after a surgery to treat his chronic back problems.

Medically disqualified from service by the army

In the months earlier to the United States had entered World War II, Kennedy tried to register in the military but due to his intestinal and back problems, had failed the physical examination for the Army’s as well as the Navy’s officer candidate schools. With the help of his father’s influence, however, the future president got admitted in October 1941 to the Navy. He became a wartime hero after helping his crewmates survive the gunboats’ 1943 sinking, as a commanding officer of PT-109.

He won a Pulitzer Prize

At the age of 22, Kennedy authored his first book - `Why England Slept’ and in 1945, he spent some months as a newspaper correspondent for William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper covering the United Nations conference in San Francisco and the repercussion of World War II in Europe. A Pulitzer Prize in biography had been awarded to Kennedy in 1957, for `Profiles in Courage’, though there had been controversy since then as to how much of the book was ghost-written by his aide Theodore Sorensen.

Kennedy installed a secret taping system in the White House

Richard Nixon had not been the first president to record his private White House conversation.Kennedy had secretly installed a taping system in the Oval Office and Cabinet Room which transmitted recording to a reel-to-reel tape recorder in the White House basement, in the summer of 1962. The president probably installed the system to help him in writing his future memoir which captured several historical discussions between Kennedy and his staff, comprising of discussion during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Kennedy proposed a joint Soviet mission to the moon

Kennedy, though had notably challenged the country during his first month of presidency to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, by September 1963 he had so much concern regarding the space program’s high cost that he planned partnering with the Soviet Union on a joint expedition to the moon. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, he had asked `Why, should man’s first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplication of research, construction and expenditure?’

Rumours that he considered dropping Lyndon Johnson from the 1964 ticket

Having over a year before the 1964 presidential election, there were rumours circulating that Kennedy had been considering replacing Johnson as his running mate with Florida Senator George Smathers, North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford or another Democrat. Evelyn Lincoln, Secretary of Kennedy had written in her 1968 memoir that the president had mentioned a possible switch to her three day before his death and hours before the assassination. The November 22, 1963 edition of the Dallas Morning News had printed an interview with Nixon who had been in the city on business, with the headlines – Nixon Predicts JFK May Drop Johnson.

Kennedy feared running for re-election against Mitt Romney’s father

Kennedy welcomed the prospect of running against Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater who had eventually received his party’s nomination, while evaluating prospective Republican candidates for the 1964 presidential campaign, but was apprehensive regarding the prospect of facing more moderate Michigan governor George Romney, father of the Republican presidential nominee of 2012. He had privately confided with a friend in 1963, that the one fellow he did not want to run against was Romney and that guy could be tough.

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