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John F. Kennedy: Timeline

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  • 1850s

    • 1851: "You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
  • 1910s

    • 1916: He needed Johnson's strength in the South to win what was considered likely to be the closest election since 1916. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September 12, 1916: To address fears that his Roman Catholicism would impact his decision-making, he famously told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960, "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
  • 1920s

  • 1930s

    • September, 1930: For 8th grade in September 1930, the 13-year old Kennedy was sent fifty miles away to Canterbury School, a lay Roman Catholic boarding school for boys in New Milford, Connecticut. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September, 1931: Kennedy was sent to The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall), an elite boys boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut, for his 9th through 12th grade years. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • June, 1934: He was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and diagnosed with colitis. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • June, 1935: When Kennedy graduated from Choate in June 1935 his superlative in The Brief, the school yearbook (of which he had been business manager), was "Most likely to Succeed."[9] - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September, 1935: He sailed on the SS Normandie on his first trip abroad with his parents and his sister Kathleen to London with the intent of studying for a year with Professor Harold Laski at the London School of Economics (LSE) as his elder brother Joe had done. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • October, 1935: Kennedy enrolled late and spent six weeks at Princeton University. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • February, 1936: He was then hospitalized for two months' observation for possible leukemia at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston in January and February 1936. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September, 1936: He enrolled as a freshman at Harvard College, where he produced that year's annual Freshman Smoker, called by a reviewer "an elaborate entertainment, which included in its cast outstanding personalities of the radio, screen and sports world."[10] He tried out for the football, golf, and swimming teams. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • July, 1937: In early July 1937, Kennedy took his convertible, sailed on the SS Washington to France, and spent ten weeks driving with a friend through France, Italy, Germany, Holland, and England. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • June, 1938: In late June 1938, Kennedy sailed with his father and his brother Joe on the SS Normandie to spend July working with his father, recently appointed U.S. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September 1, 1939: He spent the last ten days of August in Czechoslovakia and Germany before returning to London on September 1, 1939, the day Germany invaded Poland. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September 3, 1939: Kennedy and his family were in attendance at the Strangers Gallery of the House of Commons to hear speeches in support of the United Kingdom's declaration of war on Germany. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September, 1939: From February through September 1939, Kennedy toured Europe, the Soviet Union, the Balkans, and the Middle East to gather background information for his Harvard senior honors thesis. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
  • 1940s

  • 1950s

    • 1952: Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic nominee in 1952 and 1956, was not officially running but had broad grassroots support inside and outside the convention hall. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • 1953: From the time of publication, there have been rumors that this work was actually coauthored by his close adviser Ted Sorensen, who had joined his Senate office staff in 1953 and would serve as a speechwriter for Kennedy until his death. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • September 12, 1953: Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on September 12, 1953. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • 1954: The United States Supreme Court had ruled in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • December 2, 1954: When on December 2, 1954, the Senate rendered its highly publicized decision to censure McCarthy, Senator Kennedy was in the hospital. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • 1956: In the 1956 presidential election, presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson left the choice of a Vice Presidential nominee to the Democratic convention, and Kennedy finished second in that balloting to Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • 1956: His father, Joseph Kennedy, Sr., pointed out that it was just as well that John did not get that nomination, as some people sought to blame anything they could on Roman Catholics, even though it was privately known that any Democrat would have trouble running against Eisenhower in 1956. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • February 22, 1957: Its mandate was expanded via Executive Order 11085 by President John F. Kennedy on February 22, 1963, so that the board would recommend to the President people to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. - Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board, Wikipedia.
    • 1957: The book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1957. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
    • November 23, 1958: Connally was in the seat in front of President John F. Kennedy when he was shot and killed in their open-air limousine in Dallas on November 23, 1963. - Robert Hale (Alaska), Wikipedia.
  • 1960s


    • 1960

      • January 2, 1960: Kennedy officially declared his intent to run for President of the United States. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1960: Kennedy supported racial integration and civil rights, and during the 1960 campaign he telephoned Coretta Scott King, wife of the jailed Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., which perhaps drew some additional black support to his candidacy. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1960: Kennedy defeated then Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election, one of the closest in American history. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • July 15, 1960: "The New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises — it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • September 14, 1960: "If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."" - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • September 12, 1960: John F. Kennedy, in his Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on 12 September 1960, said, - Article Six of the United States Constitution, Wikipedia.
      • September 12, 1960: To address fears that his Roman Catholicism would impact his decision-making, John F. Kennedy famously told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960, "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. - Anti-Catholicism in the United States, Wikipedia.
      • September 26, 1960: The debate between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place September 26, 1960, at WBBM-TV's former studios on McClurg Court. - Museum of Broadcast Communications, Wikipedia.
      • October 29, 1960: "If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all — except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • November 9, 1960: "I can assure you that every degree of mind and spirit that I possess will be devoted to the long-range interests of the United States and to the cause of freedom around the world." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.

    • 1961

      • January 9, 1961: "For of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state, our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions: First, were we truly men of courage… Second, were we truly men of judgment… Third, were we truly men of integrity… Finally were we truly men of dedication?" - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • January 20, 1961: Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President at noon on January 20, 1961. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • February 15, 1961: President Kennedy warns the Soviet Union to avoid interfering with the United Nations pacification of the Congo. - 1961 in the United States, Wikipedia.
      • April 19, 1961: By April 19, 1961, the Cuban government had captured or killed the invading exiles, and Kennedy was forced to negotiate for the release of the 1,189 survivors. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1961: Kennedy signed the executive order creating the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women in 1961. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1961: "We cannot expect that all nations will adopt like systems — for conformity is the jailor of freedom, and the enemy of growth." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1961: "If a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1961: "Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1961: "I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1961: "And it is in the light of that history that every nation today should know, be he friend or foe, that the United States has both the will and the weapons to join free men in standing up to their responsibilities." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1961: "To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1961: "So let us begin anew — remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • November 16, 1961: "In short, we must face problems which do not lend themselves to easy or quick or permanent solutions. And we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we are only six percent of the world's population, that we cannot impose our will upon the other ninety-four percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • December 14, 1961: President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10980 on December 14, 1961 establishing the organization of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. - Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, Wikipedia.

    • 1962

      • March 13, 1962: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • April 29, 1962: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1962: One reason to support the coup was a fear that Diem might negotiate a neutralist coalition government which included Communists, as had occurred in Laos in 1962. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • September 12, 1962: Kennedy later made a speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962, in which he said - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • September, 1962: James Meredith tried to enroll at the University of Mississippi, but he was prevented from doing so by white students and other Mississippians. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • October 22, 1962: "We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of a worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth — but neither shall we shrink from that risk any time it must be faced." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • October 14, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis began on October 14, 1962, when American U-2 CIA spy planes took photographs of a Soviet intermediate-range ballistic missile site under construction in Cuba. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • October 22, 1962: "The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are; but it is one of the most consistent with our character and our courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The cost of freedom is always high — but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and this is the path of surrender or submission. Our goal is not victory of might but the vindication of right — not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved. Thank you, and good night." - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • October 16, 1962: The photos were shown to Kennedy on October 16, 1962. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • December 29, 1962: Manuel Artime was on stage next to US President John F. Kennedy at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, during the 'welcome back' ceremony for captured Brigade 2506 veterans. - Manuel Artime, Wikipedia.

    • 1963

      • February 12, 1963: Kennedy commuted a death sentence imposed by military court on seaman Jimmie Henderson on February 12, 1962, changing the penalty to life in prison. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • May 25, 1963: Kennedy first announced the goal for landing a man on the Moon in speaking to a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961, saying - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • June 10, 1963: Nevertheless, given the stated reason for the overthrow of the Diem government, such action would have been a policy reversal, but Kennedy was generally moving in a less hawkish direction in the Cold War since his acclaimed speech about World Peace at American University the previous June 10, 1963. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1963: The Kennedy administration backed a coup against the government of Iraq headed by General Abdel Karim Kassem, who five years earlier had deposed the Western-allied Iraqi monarchy. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • June 11, 1963: President Kennedy intervened when Alabama Governor George Wallace blocked the doorway to the University of Alabama to stop two African American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from enrolling. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1963: He proposed a tax reform which included income tax cuts, but this was not passed by Congress until 1964, after his death. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • June 29, 1963: "This is not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection, and I certainly will come back in the springtime" - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
      • 1963: On the occasion of his visit to the Republic of Ireland in 1963, President Kennedy joined with Irish President Éamon de Valera to form The American Irish Foundation. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1963: Irish citizens who were alive in 1963 often have very strong memories of Kennedy's momentous visit. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • October 11, 1963: Additional evidence is Kennedy's National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 263, dated October 11, 1963, which ordered withdrawal of 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • November 21, 1963: US Department of Justice files reveal that the Kennedy administration ordered the American Zionist Council to register as an agent of the Israeli government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act on November 21, 1963; these files were declassified in 2008. - American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Wikipedia.
      • November 1, 1963: South Vietnamese generals overthrew the Diem government, arresting and soon killing Diem (though the circumstances of his death were obfuscated). - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • November 22, 1963: Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • November 22, 1963: Regular programing comes to a halt for the next four days due to the assassination and funeral of the American president John F. Kennedy. - List of years in television, Wikipedia.
      • November 22, 1963: Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. - John F. Kennedy, Althistory_wikia.
      • November 22, 1963: On 22 November 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street while his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas. - History of Dallas, Wikipedia.

    • 1964

      • 1964: It remains a point of some controversy among historians whether or not Vietnam would have escalated to the point it did had Kennedy served out his full term and been re-elected in 1964. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1964: Kennedy proposed what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • 1964: Fueling the debate are statements made by Kennedy and Johnson's Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara that Kennedy was strongly considering pulling out of Vietnam after the 1964 election. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
      • November 22, 1964: The Byrds' version featured newly written lyrics by McGuinn dealing with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. - Turn! Turn! Turn! (album), Wikipedia.

    • 1965

  • 1970s

    • 1971: The extent of Kennedy's involvement in Vietnam remained classified until the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
  • 1980s

  • 2000s

    • November 4, 2005: "Gretchen Rubin radio interview: November 4, 2005 on Up To Date" - John F. Kennedy, Wikiquote.
    • September 12, 2006: The stadium was the site of Super Bowl VIII and a speech by John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1962 in which he challenged the nation to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. - Rice University, Wikipedia.
    • December 22, 2006: He also visited the original cottage at Dunganstown, near New Ross, where previous Kennedys had lived before emigrating to America, and said: "This is where it all began …" On December 22, 2006, the Irish Department of Justice released declassified police documents that indicated that Kennedy was the subject of three death threats during this visit. - John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia.
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