50 Facts About John F. Kennedy, the Last Assassinated US President

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1 Joseph Kennedy

Joseph Kennedy

Joseph Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s father, amassed a large fortune through insider trading. Subsequently, Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him head of the SEC. When questioned about his choice to appoint a criminal, FDR explained, “Set a thief to catch a thief.” Kennedy then made it illegal for anyone to engage in the practices that had made him wealthy.

2. Despite being born during the Great Depression, John F. Kennedy had a “privileged upbringing of top private schools, yachts, maids, and summer houses.” Later in life, he said he had little knowledge of the Great Depression until he read about it in textbooks at Harvard.

3. With barely five sentences in his application essay, John F. Kennedy got accepted to Harvard.

4. John F. Kennedy went to Stanford Business School for a short time before he dropped out when it looked like the U.S. would join World War II. In 1943, a Japanese destroyer collided with and sank a tiny United States Navy vessel commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy. He and the other survivors swam for five hours to get to a small island. During that time, he pulled an injured crew member behind him with his teeth.

5. After his ship sank during World War 2, John F. Kennedy was left adrift on a desolate island. To signal for help, he cut an SOS into a coconut, which was finally found and used to locate him and the other survivors. He eventually put the coconut on display in the Oval Office.

6 JFK’s Medals

JFK's Medals

Following World War 2, John F. Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for valor as well as the Purple Heart Medal for injuries sustained during the war.

7. Joseph Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s older brother, was groomed and projected to be the President of the USA since his childhood, but he was killed in World War 2, passing the burden to his younger brother John.

8. Rosemary Kennedy, the younger sister of John and Robert, was lobotomized at the age of 23 in an effort to control her mood swings and unstable behavior. Her mother was told about this after the procedure had been done. This procedure rendered her permanently disabled for the rest of her life.

9. As a cab driver, Leonard Nimoy once gave John F. Kennedy a ride. The future head of state told the wannabe actor, “There’s lots of competition in your profession, just like there is in mine. The important thing to keep in mind is that there is always room for one more good one.”

10. Despite being an excellent golfer, John F. Kennedy never advertised his hobby for fear of seeming out of touch with the average American. When he almost made a hole-in-one during his presidential campaign, he was terrified.

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11 JFK’s Presidential Election

JFK's Presidential Election

If it hadn’t been for a phone call to Martin Luther King’s wife when he was imprisoned in Atlanta, John F. Kennedy could have lost the presidential race. Despite fears of retaliation from white Southerners, Kennedy’s support soared in Nixon-leaning southern states due to that call, which ultimately helped him win over black voters.

12. To confuse voters and split the “Russo” support in John F. Kennedy’s 1946 congressional election, his team recruited a janitor named Joe Russo to run against him and Boston City Councilor Joe Russo.

13. John F. Kennedy used to carry a note in his pocket with the number “118,574” on it, which represented the margin of victory he had against Richard Nixon.

14. Before and after he became president, Kennedy is said to have had affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Gunilla von Post, Judith Campbell, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Marlene Dietrich, Mimi Alford, and Pamela Turnure, who was his wife’s press secretary.

15. John F. Kennedy gave his whole salary to charity while he served in Congress and then as President of the United States.

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16 JFK’s Appointment of RFK

JFK's Appointment of RFK

Even though he had no prior legal training, US President John F. Kennedy chose his brother Robert for the position of Attorney General. JFK jokingly remarked, “I can’t see why it’s improper to give him a little legal experience before he goes out to practice law.”

17. John F. Kennedy effectively voided Congress’s Narcotics Control Act of 1956 by pardoning all first-time offenders when he became president.

18. President John F. Kennedy ordered the Secret Service to prevent First Lady Jackie Kennedy from meeting with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. After Kennedy was killed, she married him.

19. John F. Kennedy, was a big James Bond fan. On November 21, 1963, he saw a preview of “From Russia with Love” in the White House. The next day, he was gunned down in Dallas, making this the final film he ever saw.

20. Joseph Luns, the former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, told John F. Kennedy, “I fok horses,” when Kennedy inquired about his interests. Kennedy was taken aback and said, “Pardon?” The answer from Luns was “Yes, paarden!” Horses are known as paarden in Dutch, and the verb “fokken” means to breed them.

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21 JFK’s Failed Assasination Attempt

JFK's Failed Assasination Attempt

Richard Pavlick, a retired postal worker, tried to avoid the Secret Service and made plans to kill President-elect John F. Kennedy in 1960. However, he decided not to go through with the plan because he was worried about Kennedy’s family.

22. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev presented John F. Kennedy with a puppy as a gift. The dog’s mother was a former Soviet space dog named Strelka. Strelka was one of the dogs that the Soviet Union sent into space.

23. In June of 1961, President John F. Kennedy met with Nikita Khrushchev, the Premier of the Soviet Union, and offered to make the moon landing a cooperative initiative between the two countries. Khrushchev declined. In 1963 (just before his assassination), Kennedy once again advocated a joint mission to the Moon.

24. John F. Kennedy once penned an espionage book in which Lyndon B. Johnson played a pivotal role in a plot to overthrow his presidency.

25. After John F. Kennedy’s promise to end segregation with the stroke of a pen went unfulfilled for two years, African Americans in large numbers brought pens to the White House along with notes that stated, “In case you needed that pen.” This prompted JFK to sign an order that prohibited racial discrimination in salaries.

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