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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. Kennedy studied at Harvard and after he had finished, he also had to serve in World War II as a lieutenant of the famous PT 109.

In 1952 Kennedy became senator of Massachusetts. In 1958 he won reelection in Massachusetts by 875,000 votes, the largest majority in the state’s history. He was elected for president in November 1960, defeating Richard Nixon and became the youngest to be elected to the White House in American history.

The 35th, first Catholic, president ended his inaugural address on January 20th in 1961 with the following words: “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man”.

During his short presidency there were many crisis. The first in April 1961, at the Bay of Pigs, was an assault on Cuba. The Cuba crisis in 1962 is a much more complicated crisis, caused by placing of intermediate range missiles in Cuba by the Russians. In 1961, the problem of West and East Berlin were not yet solved and it became even worse because of the construction of the Berlin Wall.

The Cold War offered Kennedy opportunities to establish a ‘hotline’ to insure instantaneous communication between the Kremlin and White House for times of crisis threatening the peace. Both governments became more peaceful and in 1963 they signed the Test Ban Treaty, which outlawed atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.

On 22 November 1963 Kennedy visited Dallas with his wife. He was shot during a riding tour in an open limousine and died after about half an hour. The sad fact is that John F. Kennedy was just forty six years old and left a wife and two children.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”

“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

“The best road to progress is freedom’s road.”

“The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.”

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.”

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”

“When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

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