Remembering JFK: His Enduring Legacy: 45 Facts

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1JFK Harvard Essay

JFK Harvard Essay

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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6Rosemary Kennedy

Rosemary Kennedy

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.

7. 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."

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

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11JFK's Pocket Note

JFK's Pocket Note

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.

12. 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.

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

14. 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."

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

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16JFK's Order to Secret Service

JFK's Order to Secret Service

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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21US-USSR Joint Space Project

US-USSR Joint Space Project

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.

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

23. 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.

24. Sammy Davis Jr. was denied permission to play at the White House by President John F. Kennedy because he was a black guy who had married a white woman.

25. There is just one photograph of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe together. Since the Secret Service didn't want any photos taken of the two together to fuel the affair claims, no one was allowed to snap any. The Secret Service grabbed all the photos Cecil Stoughton made of them while the film was still developing. For Jackie Kennedy's sake, he hid it.

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