John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. However, during this period he managed to do a lot - under him the Cuban missile crisis occurred, the Apollo space program was launched, and public consciousness shifted towards improving the rights of blacks.
Today it is Kennedy who is the most popular President of America for Russians. Today archives of those times become available, which allow to debunk some myths about John F. Kennedy.
John F. Kennedy was wildly popular among Americans. Today, more than half a century later, Americans' love for their president seems limitless. In fact, at the time of Kennedy's death, only 58 percent of voters supported him. Even Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan had a higher rating when they left office. However, it should be said that Kennedy was still the most popular of all the country's rulers since 1937, when such polls began. On average, seven out of ten Americans said they were satisfied with their president's performance.
During the Cold War, Kennedy proved himself to be a peaceful politician. The negative features of this president are associated with his love affairs. But in politics he is considered a model of peacefulness and the main opponent of the supporters of war. It is said that it was Kennedy who was able to resolve the Cuban missile crisis, redirect resources from the army to space, creating the Peace Corps. Fans of the politician believe that with him America would not get involved in the Vietnam War. Indeed, a few days after the assassination of Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson signed NSAM 273, which marked the beginning of the invasion of a distant Asian country. Yes, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said that Kennedy could smooth out the conflict, and not resolve it with the help of weapons, as his successor did. In fact, all this is a beautiful myth. Kennedy himself, along with his administration, constantly intrigued against the governments of other countries. In particular, the Cuban project, which turned into the Cuban missile crisis, initially provided for the assassination of Castro. The CIA undertook a series of assassination attempts on the Cuban leader, of course, with the knowledge of the head of the country. Kennedy spoke about Vietnam in an interview in September 1963. The President said that withdrawing troops from Vietnam would be a mistake. After all, then the Communists will immediately come to the country, who would then aim at Burma and India. For the next 10 years, American politicians referred to this phrase with might and main. And Kennedy didn't just support the Vietnam War, he actually prepared it. It was the American authorities who sanctioned the overthrow, and possibly the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem. So Kennedy wasn’t such a nice, peaceful guy.
In the Kennedy family, everyone was successful politicians. It is believed that the father prepared the Kennedy sons for big politics. He himself actively supported Roosevelt, entering his inner circle. But a seemingly successful political career went downhill due to convictions. Joseph saw fit to adhere to American isolationism during World War II. But his father's hopes and ambitions were supported by his sons John, Robert and Edward, who were fighting for the presidency. During the struggle for John's post, the whole family worked to win, investing huge amounts of money in this project. Even the politician's mother, Rose, became a participant in the TV show "For a Cup of Coffee with Kennedy", answering questions from viewers. So John's victory in the election meant the success of the whole family. Robert Kennedy served as Attorney General in his brother's administration, and then as a Senator. In 1968 he ran for president but was assassinated five months before the election. The younger brother, Edward Kennedy, became Senator from Massachusetts, serving in this post from 1962 to 2009.
The Kennedy family was happy. On the one hand, the men have achieved a lot, but on the other hand, Kennedy had to endure too many tragedies. They even talked about the curse of the family. It is difficult to assert for certain about such intangible things. Researchers have found data on the Kennedy assassination in the predictions of Nostradamus. Not only was John killed, and Roberta suffered a similar fate just 5 years later. Yes, and the older brother, Joseph, died in 1944, as a pilot. His plane, filled with explosives, never reached the target, exploding in the sky. Thus, of the four brothers, only one managed to live a full life. And the Kennedy sisters had a hard time. Kathleen died in a car accident at the age of 28, and Rosemary, having been mentally retarded since childhood, in the course of an unsuccessful operation, essentially ceased to be human. She spent the rest of her life in a monastery. Such a series of tragedies within the same family really makes you think about the curse. Yes, and subsequent generations Kennedy pursued rock deaths from overdoses, accidents, rape charges.
Kennedy was happily married. In May 1952, John met 23-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier. A year later, the engagement took place, and on September 12, the wedding. When John took office, Jacqueline became the youngest first lady of the United States in history, she was only 31 years old. The wife was able to become a fairy princess for the White House. She has created a new image of the country's first lady. Jacqueline talked to the press, influenced fashion. And although the spouse was constantly surrounded by scandals, both in politics and public life, she constantly supported John. America could not stop looking at this couple. In addition, two out of four children died, which aroused the sympathy of the entire nation. The tears in the eyes of the first lady did not leave anyone indifferent. As soon as John's ratings were threatened, the PR people immediately brought Jacqueline to the fore, who returned the people's love. But family life was overshadowed by John's constant betrayal, which in general was not a secret. After the death of her husband, Jacqueline in 1968 married the Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis, which caused resentment and misunderstanding among the Americans. After all, the first lady continued to live, and not grieve. It was only after her death from cancer in 1994 that the Americans forgave their Jackie Kennedy.
Kennedy was a successful politician. The main idea of Kennedy's presidency is embodied in his legendary phrase: "Do not ask what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." The media created the image of a charismatic president, talented, tough and energetic, defending the interests of the country. In addition, Kennedy was an excellent speaker, captivating his listeners at press conferences. He was excellent at explaining his failures in foreign and domestic policy, blaming everything on his predecessors. But in the eyes of millions of fellow citizens, Kennedy remained a kind of knight who fought bravely for America. Later it became clear that the health care reform was carried out by Lyndon Johnson, and he finally granted civil rights to blacks.
Kennedy was assassinated in his prime. In November 2002, medical reports on the health of the 35th president of the country were disclosed and published. It turned out that John F. Kennedy was not at all as big as he seemed. He had a number of serious illnesses. Kennedy suffered from pain in his injured spine, which no medical procedures could fix. Also, the president had problems with digestion and suffered from Addison's disease (problems with the adrenal glands). It is known that Kennedy was often given painkillers prior to performances to keep him looking energetic and healthy.
John F. Kennedy became a new type of president. Kennedy was in many ways the "first" for this post. This is the first head of the country, born in the 20th century, the first Catholic president and the youngest. When he took office, John F. Kennedy was only 43 years old. I must say that the president was really strikingly different from his predecessors. Eisenhower generally said bluntly that he was no longer a politician, but a playboy, as if from Hollywood. But this is exactly the kind of man America needed in the 1960s. She was tired of dignified presidential fathers, she needed freshness, youth, a president-lover. In this regard, Kennedy was an excellent candidate. He smiled from the covers of magazines and TV screens, ordinary Americans believed in his charm, not really listening to the election speeches. Kennedy simply looked better than his rivals. And in the confrontation with the USSR, the young president successfully opposed Nikita Khrushchev. As an American, Kennedy seemed like a simple, understandable guy. The politician's entourage was also young, the average age of the team was only 45 years.
John F. Kennedy has always dreamed of being president. When Joseph, the first heir, was born, his grandfather said that his parents would try to make him the president of the United States. Only the war intervened in the calculation. The father of the family, Joseph Sr., stood up to the last for American non-intervention, which turned out to be a mistake. Political shortsightedness cost a career, the eldest son had to pay for his father's mistakes. He fought, but died while performing a dangerous mission. But it was Joseph who was supposed to bring the family clan to the White House. John was unexpectedly new hope for his father. This witty handsome intellectual did not even think about a political career, planning to devote himself to journalism. John confessed to his friends that now his father decided to bet on him and there was nothing left but to obey. Even the wedding to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953 was a successful career step. An educated, intelligent and beautiful wife was an excellent candidate for the post of First Lady. It is said that it was Joseph Sr. who blessed a wholesome marriage.
Kennedy's victory was won in a televised debate with Nixon. The series of four televised debates was new for the 1960 presidential race. It immediately became obvious how much Senator Kennedy surpassed his competitor with his appearance and energy. However, after the first speech on September 26, Nixon drew conclusions from his mistakes and intensified. He put special emphasis on foreign policy, in which he was stronger. The few polls then conducted show that the small dividends Kennedy received from his first speech had disappeared by election day. In addition, the popular President Eisenhower supported Nixon until the end of the race. The vote showed that Kennedy received 49.72 percent of the vote against his competitor's 49.55 percent. The difference was negligible, only 119 thousand votes. So the debates were an unforgettable precedent, but they did not affect the balance of power.
Kennedy was a liberal president. This is a fairly popular myth, because Kennedy is associated with the civil rights movement, and the much more liberal brothers Robert and Edward were called his political heirs. In fact, the president pursued a cautious and conservative policy, planning to be re-elected in 1964. Kennedy behaved similarly in the economy, limiting spending and deficits. And after the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy spoke out so unequivocally against communism that even Reagan and other Republicans quoted him. In his views on civil rights, the president was timid and insecure, beginning to disappoint the leaders of the movement. It was only in 1963 that Kennedy openly opposed discrimination against blacks and equal rights. His indecision led to the fact that blacks chose provocative tactics and began to act more radically.
Thanks to Kennedy, the Americans landed on the moon. In May 1961, it became clear that America was losing the space race. The president himself allowed himself a number of openly inappropriate statements. However, the administration immediately began to actively consider alternative ways of developing the program. At first it was decided to send astronauts to Mars, but this turned out to be very impractical. Then NASA turned its gaze to the moon, but in September 1963 Kennedy was still wondering what it would give the country. The president even turned to Khrushchev with a proposal to end the space race and establish a Soviet-American partnership for a joint manned flight to the moon. The Secretary General replied in the affirmative, as reported by Kennedy in his speech at the UN in the fall of 1963. However, the plans were thwarted by the new administration. Thus, it is obvious that Kennedy envisioned the development of the space program differently than it did in the end.
After the assassination of Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson continued his work. Johnson enjoyed the good reputation of his predecessor with might and main. The 36th President has mentioned his name in public speeches more than 500 times, more than anyone else. However, you shouldn't think that Johnson was a less charismatic Kennedy clone. For example, the presidents took different approaches in the fight against poverty. Before traveling to Dallas, Kennedy reviewed the program proposed by his assistant Heller, but agreed to try it in only a few cities. He didn't want to overspend the budget. The day after Kennedy's assassination, Heller met with Johnson. Tom really liked the "folk" program. Johnson ordered the project to be given the highest priority and get it up and running. Another example is the Vietnam War. It is not known whether Kennedy would have withdrawn troops from there, but he clearly would not have driven a half-million army into Asia, as Johnson did.
Half a century after the assassination of Kennedy, everything about this case is already known. In fact, even after half a century, the complete picture of what happened is unknown. Many government documents remain classified. Authorities estimate that there are 1,171 unpublished CIA documents relating to November 22, 1963. And this is only the visible part of the iceberg. It is impossible to close that story without considering these documents. In 1992, President George W. Bush signed a decree requiring all classified documents to be released on October 26, 2017. However, it is to be expected that the next rulers will come under pressure from the CIA to keep the secret. In addition, new technologies are emerging that can provide a fresh perspective on those events. So, the analysis of the audio recording of the Dallas police made it possible to prove that two people were shooting.
Kennedy's killer was ... Hundreds of articles, books, and many films have been written on this subject. On September 24, 1964, a commission led by US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren presented a report to the White House. According to him, the only performer was Lee Harvey Oswald, who had no accomplices. In 1966, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison began his investigation. He believed the assassination was organized by far-right activists associated with the CIA and Cuban émigrés. Former pilot David Ferry and banker Shaw were suspected. The first did not live to see the trial, and the jury found the second accused innocent. In 1975, the Rockefeller Commission examined the CIA's abuses, including the Kennedy assassination.No evidence of the involvement of the special services was found. There are many alternative versions of the Kennedy assassination. Customers call the government, bankers, the Soviet Union, the mafia, Cubans and even aliens. However, it seems that no one will ever know the truth.
Kennedy is the model of the modern democrat. For Kennedy, communism was not just alien to ideology, he was outraged by godlessness. In his speeches, the president paid quite a lot of attention to religion, which in modern America is inherent only in the most conservative republicans. In a speech in 1955, Kennedy stated that religion is not just a weapon, it is the essence of struggle. Faith in God elevates a person and makes him responsible. Modern democrats have slightly different approaches.
Kennedy was a pioneer in the implementation of civil rights. This is one of the main myths about Kennedy. It is no coincidence that Martin Luther King, King, described the president and his brother Robert as cautious and defensive politicians. Kennedy refused to allow the 1963 March on Washington. The president held back the abolition of segregation to the last, fearing to lose the support of the southern democrats in future elections. And the civil rights law that abolished segregation was passed by Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Kennedy had many mistresses. But this is true. Today there are many memories of the rich sex life of a politician. Actresses, models, secretaries tell how they had affairs with Kennedy both before and after his wedding. Intimate letters are even put up for auction. And the most famous mistress of the president, Marilyn Monroe, quite possibly even lost her life because of her love for John. They say that she was going to reveal to the public a secret about her affair with a politician. The secret services, fearing a scandal, quietly removed an unnecessary witness. It is no coincidence that the actress's room was packed with listening devices. To the public, John was an exemplary family man, appearing with Jacqueline. For the sake of her husband's career, the spouse maintained the illusion of a happy, loving family.