It was back on May 29th 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts when a notable public figure was born and eventually would become our 35th commander-in-chief.

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To this day, Bay State residents take pride that John Fitzgerald Kennedy became President  of the United States. Prior to his arrival at The White House, he was a Congressman in Massachusetts 11th District followed by a 7 year appointment as a U.S. Senator representing his home state in The Nation's Capital.

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The pinnacle of Kennedy's political career took place when he defeated Vice-President Richard Nixon as his margin of 874,608 in Massachusetts was the largest ever recorded in political history. He took the top honor by picking up 303 electoral votes. His opponent tallied 219 votes and 269 was the magic number needed to win. An interesting sidebar: 3 out of the 6 New England States, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine threw their support for Nixon. Either way, the win secured JFK a 4 year term at The White House (sadly he did not complete his required time in office).


(Photo image of JFK Inauguration courtesy of The Records 111 Group based from The White House in Washington, DC)

Throughout his 2 years and 10 months as President, Kennedy's accomplishments included establishment of The Peace Corps, advancement in the US space program where his premonition about putting a man on the moon came true in 1969 with Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin accomplishing the task at hand. He also stabilized the economy as The US was about to head into a recession. One of his accomplishments in Washington was to implement "equal pay" for both men and women in the working world.


(Photo image of President Kennedy signing The proclamation of Interdiction to deliver offensive weapons to Cuba in 1962 courtesy of Robert LeRoy Knudsen on display at The JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts)

There were also major challenges in his administration including The Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuba's missile crisis, the Vienna Summit and questions regarding advisors sent to Vietnam. We will never know if the conflict would escalate as a 2nd term was not in the picture. However, his Vice-President and successor, Lyndon Johnson was noted as being instrumental to keep a US presence in Vietnam. He was also plagued with health problems stemming back from his days in World War II as efforts to save his shipmates on PT-109 earned him a purple heart. The end result was he became the first commander-in-chief to hold cabinet meetings while upside down at the Oval Office entrance to relieve his constant back pain.


(Photo image of JFK in Ireland courtesy of Robert LeRoy Knudsen from The US National Archival Records Administration)'

Prior to his death in 1963, there were memorable overseas trips included a visit to his native Ireland where massive crowds greeted JFK in county Cork. A sense of Irish pride filled the streets to greet the first Roman Catholic President across the pond.


(Photo image of JFK Germany speech courtesy of cbsmix96.5Houston) 

His world famous oratory words across the Iron Curtain was a turning point in attempts to make Germany a united country. The speech is known for his famous phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I Am A Berliner)

Martin Luther King In London
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Kennedy was a strong advocate of civil rights as he appointed Judge Thurgood Marshall to the US Court of Appeals and was an avid supporter of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Library of Congress
Library of Congress

The Camelot Era came to an abrupt end on November 22nd 1963 as President Kennedy was assassinated while in a motorcade that was traveling through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Governor John Connally was also wounded, but survived. Our commander-in-chief passed away at Parkland Hospital. He was only 46 years old, but his legacy lives on to this day. His assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended at a local movie theater, then met his own fate two days later when nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot him in point blank range. Questions still remain rampant on where the fatal shots were fired.


(Photo image of JFK in the Oval Office courtesy of Cecil Stoughton, White House photographer)

If he were still with us, JFK would celebrated his 107th birthday today. His accomplishments in the Bay State and nationwide are recognized to this day. He truly left the legacy of a charismatic leader who mentioned the famous phrase "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Words of wisdom that remain in our hearts forever.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of

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