by Muriel Simonson


John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy, (May 29, 1917 -Nov. 22, 1963), the  23rd. President of the United States, serving from January, 1961 until his assassination November 22, 1963. He was known as JFK.

Kennedy, a democrat, was the first U.S. president born in the 20th Century. At the age of 43, he became the youngest of our elected presidents, becoming the second youngest president. Kennedy defeated Republican candidate Vice President Richard Nixon. JFK was the first Roman Catholic elected to be our president. Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest to become president at the age of 42 following the assassination of William McKinley.

He received a Pulitzer Prize for his biography “Profiles in Courage.”  He served in World War II, also served in the U.S. House of Representative from the state of Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas TX as he rode in a motorcade. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested later that day and was himself shot two days later by Jack Ruby in a jail corridor which was on live tv as it occurred.  A few years later, when we visited Dallas, we toured this site where this sad part of our history occurred.

I vividly remember those days! I was at the kitchen sink doing dishes when the first news broke into the tv to tell of the shooting, later that our president was dead. The scenes showed on tv over and over, then the swearing in as Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson became our President. Then the shooting of Oswald. Later the funeral service, his widow, Jackie and their two children, Caroline and John John, as well as all his other loved ones and dignitaries. Our country was in shock, disbelief and mourning.

You can find much related information and many photos of this man and the events on the internet. I tried to locate our copy of “Profiles in Courage”  from Don’s vast library, but it is packed away at this time with many of his other good books.