Elections: John F Kennedy


Quote of the Day: 

And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. - John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

I hope that no American will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant. - John F. Kennedy

Day 17 VoCaBulary:









John F Kennedy: 

Sometimes simply referred to as  “JFK,” John Fitzgerald Kennedy became one of the youngest and most popular presidents. He guided the nation through the early 1960s, handling conflicts with other nations and working to improve the lives of all Americans.

The second of nine children, Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He grew up in a wealthy, Catholic, Irish American family with a strong political background.  In 1936, he finished boarding school and went to college at Harvard University. After the war, Kennedy decided to become a politician. He was successful in his first attempt, becoming elected to a seat in the House of Representatives in 1946. After serving three terms, Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1952. He married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier the following year. Kennedy decided to run for president. He became the Democratic candidate for the 1960 presidential election and ran against Republican Richard Nixon, the

country's Vice President. Kennedy narrowly beat Nixon in the election, becoming the first Catholic president of the United States.

During his presidency, Kennedy worked hard to end racial segregation-the practice of keeping white people and black people separated. Kennedy also proposed new ways to improve civil rights. Wanting to help others in the world, he created the Peace Corps. The corps sends American volunteers to different countries to provide assistance to those in need. Kennedy also sought to learn more about the universe through his support of space exploration.

Some of the greatest challenges Kennedy faced as a president involved the fight against communism. Communism is a form of government that believes that the whole nation should own all of its land and businesses. Kennedy oversaw the failed invasion of communist Cuba (called the "Bay of Pigs Invasion") in 1961.The next year, he found himself in a standoff with the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. The Soviet Union, which was the world's largest communist nation, had set up missile bases in Cuba. Kennedy discovered their plan and took action to stop them. In October 1962, it looked like the United States and the Soviet Union might go to war over these bases. Kennedy, however, was able to resolve what is now called the Cuban Missile Crisis peacefully.

Sadly, Kennedy's time as president was short. On November 22, 1963, he was shot during a trip to Dallas Texas while riding in a parade with his wife. Kennedy was taken to a nearby hospital, but the doctors were unable to save him. The entire nation mourned the loss of their much loved president.

Discovering Elections:

Whom did President Kennedy have to campaign against when he was running to become president of the United States?

How can Americans participate in their government?

What is a political action committee (PAC)?

When is Election Day held for the presidental election and why did the framers of the Constitution choose this day?

What is life like for the presidential condidates between the primaries and the general election? What are some of the ways that they contact potential voters?

What do you think it is like to go vote?

How has the growth of the internet changed or impacted election campaigns?