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PDF The Power of Citizenship: Why John F. Kennedy Matters to a New Generation

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To be a 'Harvard man' is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.

He tried out for the football, golf, and swimming teams and earned a spot on the varsity swimming team. Roosevelt 's U. Ambassador to the Court of St. Two days later, the family was in the House of Commons for speeches endorsing the United Kingdom's declaration of war on Germany. Kennedy was sent as his father's representative to help with arrangements for American survivors of the SS Athenia before flying back to the U.

When Kennedy was an upperclassman at Harvard, he began to take his studies more seriously and developed an interest in political philosophy. He made the Dean's List in his junior year. The thesis eventually became a bestseller under the title Why England Slept. Kennedy became increasingly supportive of U. This created a split between the Kennedy and Roosevelt families.

NVJBF: Scott Reich - The Power of Citizenship: Why John F. Kennedy Matters to a New Generation

In , Kennedy graduated cum laude from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts in government, concentrating on international affairs. That fall, he enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and audited classes there. In , Kennedy attempted to enter the army's Officer Candidate School. Despite months of training, he was medically disqualified due to his chronic lower back problems.

He was commissioned an ensign on October 26, , [31] and joined the staff of the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.

The 1960s in America: Crash Course US History #40

Accompanied by a female acquaintance from a wealthy Newport family, the couple had stopped in Middletown, Rhode Island at the cemetery where the decorated, naval spy , Commander Hugo W. Koehler , USN, had been buried the previous year. Ambling around the plots near the tiny St. Columba's chapel , Kennedy paused over Koehler's white granite cross grave marker and pondered his own mortality, hoping out loud that when his time came, he would not have to die without religion.

Senator Claiborne Pell had become good friends and political allies, although they had been acquaintances since the mids during their " salad days " on the same Newport debutante party "circuit" and when Pell had dated Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy.

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His first command was PT from December 7, , until February 23, [33] It was a patrol torpedo PT boat used for training while Kennedy was an instructor at Melville. During the trip south, he was hospitalized briefly in Jacksonville after diving into the cold water to unfoul a propeller. Thereafter, Kennedy was assigned duty in Panama and later in the Pacific theater , where he eventually commanded two more PT boats.

Intelligence had been sent to Kennedy's Commander Thomas G. Warfield expecting the arrival of the large Japanese naval force that would pass on the evening of August 1. Of the 24 torpedoes fired that night by eight of the American PT's, not one hit the Japanese convoy. Kennedy gathered around the wreckage his surviving ten crew members to vote on whether to "fight or surrender". Kennedy stated: "There's nothing in the book about a situation like this.

Scott Reich, J.D.

A lot of you men have families and some of you have children. What do you want to do? I have nothing to lose. On August 4, , he and Lenny Thom assisted his injured and hungry crew on a demanding swim 3. They swam against a strong current, and once again Kennedy towed the badly burned motor machinist "Pappy" MacMahon by his life vest. The somewhat larger Olasana Island had ripe coconut trees, but still no fresh water. Kennedy and Ross found a small canoe, packages of crackers, candy and a fifty-gallon drum of drinkable water left by the Japanese, which Kennedy paddled another half mile back to Olasana in the acquired canoe to provide his hungry crew.

Lieutenant "Bud" Liebenow, a friend and former tentmate of Kennedy's, rescued Kennedy and his crew on Olasana Island on August 8, aboard his boat, PT , with the help of coast watcher Lieutenant Reginald Evans and several native coast watchers, particularly Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana. Kennedy took only a month to recover and returned to duty, commanding of the PT , first removing the torpedo tubes and depth charges and refitting her in one month into a heavily armed gunboat mounting two automatic 40mm guns and ten. The plan was to attach one gunboat to each PT boat section to add gun range and power against barges and shore batteries which the 59 encountered on several occasions in mid-October through mid-November.

The 59 acted as a shield from shore fire and protected them as they escaped on two rescue landing craft at the base of the Warrior River at Choiseul Island , taking ten marines aboard and delivering them to safety. After receiving treatment for his back injury, he was released from active duty in late Kennedy's father also requested that his son receive the Silver Star, which is awarded for gallantry in action.

On August 12, , Kennedy's older brother, Joe Jr. His explosive-laden plane blew up when the plane's bombs detonated prematurely while the aircraft was flying over the English Channel. On March 1, , Kennedy retired from the Navy Reserve on physical disability and was honorably discharged with the full rank of lieutenant. They cut my PT boat in half.

In , the Department of the Navy offered Kennedy a Bronze Star Medal in recognition of his meritorious service, which he declined. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. For extremely heroic conduct as Commanding Officer of Motor Torpedo Boat following the collision and sinking of that vessel in the Pacific War area on August 1—2, Unmindful of personal danger, Lieutenant then Lieutenant, Junior Grade Kennedy unhesitatingly braved the difficulties and hazards of darkness to direct rescue operations, swimming many hours to secure aid and food after he had succeeded in getting his crew ashore.

His outstanding courage, endurance and leadership contributed to the saving of several lives and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. In April , Kennedy's father, who was a friend of William Randolph Hearst , arranged a position for his son as a special correspondent for Hearst Newspapers ; the assignment kept Kennedy's name in the public eye and "expose[d] him to journalism as a possible career". JFK's elder brother Joe had been the family's political standard-bearer and had been tapped by their father to seek the Presidency.

Joe's death during the war in changed that course and the assignment fell to JFK as the second eldest of the Kennedy siblings.

At the urging of Kennedy's father, U. Representative James Michael Curley vacated his seat in the strongly Democratic 11th congressional district of Massachusetts to become mayor of Boston in Kennedy established his residency at an apartment building on Bowdoin Street across from the Massachusetts State House.

Though Republicans took control of the House in the elections , Kennedy defeated his Republican opponent in the general election, taking 73 percent of the vote. He concentrated his attention on international affairs, supporting the Truman Doctrine as the appropriate response to the emerging Cold War. He also supported public housing and opposed the Labor Management Relations Act of , which restricted the power of labor unions. Though not as vocal an anti-communist as McCarthy, Kennedy supported the Immigration and Nationality Act of , which required Communists to register with the government, and he deplored the " loss of China ".

Eisenhower carried Massachusetts by a margin of , votes, but Kennedy defeated Lodge by 70, votes for the Senate seat. Kennedy underwent several spinal operations over the next two years. Often absent from the Senate, he was at times critically ill and received Catholic last rites. During his convalescence in , he published Profiles in Courage , a book about U. At the start of his first term, Kennedy focused on Massachusetts-specific issues by sponsoring bills to help the fishing , textile manufacturing , and watchmaking industries. Senators in history so their portraits could decorate the Senate Reception Room.

Kennedy finished second in the balloting, losing to Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee but receiving national exposure as a result. Johnson agreed to let the provision die as a compromise measure. Many civil rights advocates at the time criticized that vote as one which would weaken the act. In , Kennedy was re-elected to a second term in the Senate, defeating Republican opponent, Boston lawyer Vincent J. Celeste, by a margin of , votes, the largest margin in the history of Massachusetts politics.


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Thompson , put together a film entitled The U. Senator John F. Kennedy Story , which exhibited a day in the life of the Senator and showcased his family life as well as the inner workings of his office.