Son of Massachusetts ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy born May 29, 1917

On this day – May 29, 1917 – John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts to Joseph and Rose (Fitzgerald) Kennedy. John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy – often referred to by his initials JFK – was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

From the White House Presidential Biographies site:

John F. Kennedy

On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin’s bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die.

Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety.

Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area, advancing in 1953 to the Senate. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. In 1955, while recuperating from a back operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history.

In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for President. Millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic President.

His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty.

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A local memory ~ JFK in Lowell in 1957 (Photo from the Lowell Sun – courtesy of Pat Nickles)

Then-Sen. John F. Kennedy, second from left, received two standing ovations at the Knights of Columbus in Lowell in 1957, at the mention that KennedyThen-Sen. John F. Kennedy, second from left, received two standing ovations at the Knights of Columbus in Lowell in 1957, at the mention that Kennedy should be the next president of the United States. Sitting with Kennedy were, from left, Richard Donahue, who would later work for Kennedy in the White House; Charlie Santos, K of C grand knight and later Lowell’s postmaster; and Deputy Grand Knight John McLaughlin. PHOTO COURTESy of PAT NICKLES

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