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John F. Kennedy

Essay by   •  December 4, 2010  •  934 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,604 Views

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WHY IS J.F.K. STILL A FAMOUS AND CONTROVERSIAL

FIGURE TODAY?

John F. Kennedy was the first ever catholic president of the United States, he was married to Jacqueline Bouvier and together they had two children. Kennedy was young good-looking charismatic and lived a very "swinging" lifestyle, involving drink, jazz, women and the mafia. He got his links from to the mafia through his millionaire father Joseph Kennedy who was allegedly involved in bootlegging in the 1920s during prohibition.

Kennedy had been elected to president after winning one of the closest elections of all time, beating Nixon. It was said he "bought his presidency" with his links to the mafia, although people had met him had said he was very charismatic. This was the first ever televised election and Kennedy had more of an appeal to the public and television while Nixon was more of a radio candidate. Kennedy beat Nixon in the first ever televised debate so this could have been a main reason behind his election.

Kennedy became known as a "Camelot" figure, welcoming the media into the Whitehouse and continually giving the public an insight into his family life, the Kennedy's soon became known as a "Royal Family" for the American public.

When Kennedy was elected America was beginning to go through the cold war with the U.S.S.R., Kennedy had embraced the chance to be able to deal with the cold war and wanted to stand firm against the "evil" communism, this idea coming from his catholic routes possibly as communism was described as "Godless". However Kennedy's view of communism soon made him make a lot of mistakes on his foreign policy.

Kennedy wanted to get rid of the communist leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, to do this he hired a hit man to try and kill him and tried other assassination attempts such as sending him exploding cigars. But any assassination attempts failed and Kennedy was told about an attempt to train guerrillas for a paramilitary style campaign to overthrow Castro, at first Kennedy didn't like the idea of it, but his advisers assured him Castro was unpopular in Cuba and the public would get behind them. So when 72 boats reached the Bay of Pigs they expected an easy victory, unfortunately all the troops were either killed or took prisoner and it was a humiliating defeat for Kennedy and in another blow it made Castro untouchable as he had become a hero in Cuba and Khrushchev admired Castro for beating the American's and offered him the U.S.S.R.'s support.

A year later Kennedy had discovered that the USSR were building ICBM launch sites in Cuba so he put up a naval blockade along Cuba. Soon there was a nuclear arms race between America and USSR and Kennedy only negotiated with Khrushchev at the last minute to stop the nuclear war.

Then came Kennedy's revolutionary policies which seemed to be ahead of their time and lost Kennedy a great deal of support. The proposed policies included, Medicare, a national health service. Improvements on America's dreadful educational system. An attack on poverty. And equal rights for all. The first 3 policies meant that it was mainly working class people being the beneficiaries and this was the group that voted least, and they meant that there would be an increase in taxes for the people who were a lot

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