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John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Major Historic Events

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963 while travelling through Dallas, Texas in a motorcade.

Throughout his presidency JFK was involved in many major historic events.


On the 20th January 1960 JFK was sworn into presidency and delivered his inaugural speech. In this speech he urged his fellow Americans to seek opportunities to serve for their country. “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world”.

Peace Corps

On the 1st of March 1961 JFK established the Peace Corps. President Kennedy pointed out that the Soviet Union had hundreds of men and women prepared to spend their lives abroad in the service of communism. The United States had no such program, and Kennedy wanted to involve Americans more actively in the cause of global democracy, peace, development, and freedom. So JFK and his brother-in-law Sargent Shriver directed an order to start the Peace Corps. Shriver was elected to leads the task force. Shriver recruited an energized a talented group to implement the task force’s recommendations. On his first trip abroad as director, he received invitations from leaders in India, Ghana, and Burma to place Peace Corps volunteers in their countries.

To participate countries had to meet certain criteria

  • A country must invite the peace corps
  • The peace corps decide what countries they enter
  • Volunteers must be guaranteed safety

In 1959 Cuban President Fulgencio Batista collapsed as he was unable to survive the uprising of guerilla armies led by a charismatic young man named Fidel Castro. Castro’s overthrow of Batista appalled some Cubans especially members of the upper classes who had gained a lot of wealth under his reign. Castro’s relationship with the U.S was always going to be a hard one. Though Castro’s revolution was not sponsored by the Soviet Union, the young revolutionary’s left-leaning nationalism caused alarm in Washington. In 1960 Castro seized millions of acres of land owned by big American corporations and gave it back to Cuban peasants, this led to the United States imposing economic sanctions against Cuba. Castro was always eager to pick a fight with his neighbors up north. Castro retaliated by nationalizing Cuba’s oil refineries and other American-owned businesses.

The next episode of arguments between Castro and his northern neighbor saw diplomatic relations breaking down in 1961. This action led to Castro seeking a formal alliance with America’s enemy, the Soviet Union. This alliance was frowned upon by the Americans as Kennedy soon found out the soviet union was building missile silos in Cuba to hit America.

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