Remembering JFK: His Enduring Legacy: 45 Facts

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26JFK's Nuclear Economy Plan

JFK's Nuclear Economy Plan

John F. Kennedy proposed a nuclear economy in 1962, which would have made large-scale desalination facilities economically feasible. Producing potable water from salt water "would really dwarf any previous scientific accomplishments."

27. Despite the widespread rumors to the contrary, John F. Kennedy did not miss the 1962 Seattle World's Fair or the unveiling of the Space Needle due of "a bad cold." In reality, he was dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

28. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy was unaware that the United States had nuclear weapons in Turkey. During a crisis meeting, he was overheard declaring that deploying them there would be "Goddamned dangerous." Later, he found out that the US had put Jupiter IRBMs there in 1961, which made him very angry.

29. A day before he announced the trade embargo against Cuba, John F. Kennedy placed an order for 1,200 Cuban cigars.

30. In college, President John F. Kennedy was a star tight end for the Harvard Crimson. His coach would later comment that John F. Kennedy was "the most effective pass catcher, but his lack of weight was a hindrance." The spinal injury he sustained during his sophomore year was the beginning of a lifetime of pain for him.

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31JFK's Chronic Back Pain

JFK's Chronic Back Pain

John F. Kennedy suffered from persistent back pain throughout his life. He had four surgeries on his back—a discectomy, an instrumentation and fusion, and two smaller procedures—but none of them helped relieve his pain.

32. After doctors recommended a rocking chair for John F. Kennedy's back problems, the president began giving rocking chairs as presents to colleagues, acquaintances, and even foreign leaders.

33. During his time in office, John F. Kennedy took a lot of medicines that were prescribed by a doctor who was known as "Dr. Feelgood." As a result of White House pressure, he stopped dosing JFK, and the president's performance at critical moments, like the Cuban Missile Crisis, markedly improved.

34. John F. Kennedy was addicted to methamphetamine and had a "psychotic break" in the Carlyle Hotel, where he was staying. The secret service contacted a prominent physician in New York, who confirmed that Kennedy was experiencing "drug-induced mania" after witnessing him "in a manic condition, violently flailing his arms, and racing around without any clothing." The antipsychotic he gave the president helped him go back to normal quickly.

35. John F. Kennedy wasn't particularly healthy, despite his full head of hair and permanent tan. On the contrary, they were side effects of one of the many medications he took, and he was actually always sick. Addison's disease, which he had, was the true cause of his tan.

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36JFK's Home Movie

JFK's Home Movie

Two months before he was killed in Dallas, John F. Kennedy created a home video in which he portrayed his own demise. He wrote the script and acted in the film as himself.

37. In 1962, John F. Kennedy's older sister, Eunice Shriver Kennedy, established a sports camp for kids with intellectual disabilities. The camp would eventually give rise to what is now known as the Special Olympics.

38. John F. Kennedy’s bad health and horrible back problems required him to wear a hard back brace, which kept him sitting upright in the vehicle after he was shot by Oswald. As a result, Oswald had a clear second shot.

39. In answer to Nellie Connally, wife of the Texas governor, who said, "You certainly can't say that the people of Dallas haven't given you a nice welcome," John F. Kennedy's last words were, "No, you certainly can't." He was assassinated shortly after that.

40. Secret Service members had to physically remove Jacqueline Kennedy from the Parkland Hospital emergency room multiple times because she was trying to give the doctors a portion of her husband's brain that she was carrying with her.

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41JFK's Debate in Purgatory

JFK's Debate in Purgatory

John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley all died on the same day. In the book "Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley," the three of them were in Purgatory having a philosophical talk about faith.

42. To prevent the Vice President from gaining access to sensitive information after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, his brother Robert F. Kennedy phoned the White House and had the locks on the president’s cabinets altered and the recording tapes destroyed immediately.

43. After John F. Kennedy's autopsy, his brain was taken and placed in the National Archives for safekeeping. The brain was later lost and remains missing to this day.

44. The casket that was used to transport President John F. Kennedy's body from Dallas to Washington after his assassination was buried at sea.

45. In 1964, Canada honored John F. Kennedy by naming the highest unclimbed peak in North America after him. As part of a National Geographic expedition, Robert F. Kennedy was the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Kennedy in 1965.

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