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Presidency of John F. Kennedy

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Presidency of John F. Kennedy

Presidency of John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson
Personal details
Born John Fitzgerald Kennedy
(1917-05-29)May 29, 1917
Brookline, Massachusetts
Died November 22, 1963(1963-11-22) (aged 46)
Dallas, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy
Children Arabella Kennedy
Caroline Bouvier Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr.
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Naval officer, politician
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature


The following is a timeline of the Presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, also known as the Kennedy Administration, which took place from his inauguration on January 20, 1961, to his assassination on November 22, 1963, a span of 1,036 days. The timeline also includes major events preceding and succeeding his presidency.

The timeline begins on January 2, 1960, just over a year before Kennedy's inauguration on January 20, 1961, when then-Senator John F. Kennedy first announced his intention to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, and concludes on November 25, 1963, just three days after his assassination in Dallas, Texas abruptly ended his Presidency, when the slain President Kennedy's funeral was held, attended by representatives from over 90 countries.

After Kennedy's assassination, in accordance with Constitutional procedure in the case of the death of the President, his Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, succeeded to the Office of the Presidency and took the oath of office of the President of the United States aboard Air Force One less than an hour after Kennedy died. Johnson served out the remainder of Kennedy's term, and was elected to the Presidency in his own right in a landslide in the 1964 presidential election, setting an electoral victory result which has not been exceeded by a Democratic presidential nominee since.

Kennedy was the first Catholic President, the youngest elected President (Theodore Roosevelt, who succeeded to the Presidency after William McKinley's assassination, was younger), and the fourth President to be assassinated.

Pre-presidency

1960

January


July

September

  • September 12 - Senator Kennedy delivers a campaign speech in which he strongly reaffirms his support for separation of church and state, which successfully cooled tensions surrounding his Catholicism.[4] When inaugurated, he became the first Catholic President in American history.[5]
  • September 26 - Senator Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon participate in the first televised presidential debate.[6]

October

  • October 7 - Kennedy and Nixon participate in the second presidential debate, held in Washington, D.C.; NBC journalist Frank McGee moderates.[7]
  • October 13 - Senator Kennedy and Vice President Nixon debate each other for the third time; former Face the Nation anchor Bill Shadel moderates. Kennedy participates from a New York studio, while Nixon participates from a Los Angeles studio.[8]
  • October 21 - Kennedy and Nixon participate in the fourth and final presidential debate in New York; ABC News journalist Quincy Howe moderates.[9]

November

  • November 8 - The 1960 presidential election is held, the first to have both candidates born in the 20th century, and the first in which the two most recently admitted states, Alaska (January 3, 1959) and Hawaii (August 21, 1959), participated.[10]
  • November 9 - Current Vice President and Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon concedes the presidency to Kennedy.[11] Kennedy's official popular vote margin is 0.1% (112,827 votes) and his electoral margin is 84 electoral votes.[12] Nixon won more states, 26 to 22.[13] The electoral result proves to be the closest since the 1916 presidential election. The election of Kennedy and Johnson as President and Vice President was the last time until the 2008 election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden that two incumbent senators were elected on the same ticket.

December

  • December 6: President-elect Kennedy meets with President Eisenhower.[14]

1961

January


February

March


April

  • April 1 - Kennedy meets with Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Kennedy also declares parts of eastern Iowa flooded by the Cedar River to be a major disaster area.
  • April 2 - Kennedy meets with journalists Albert Merriman Smith and Marvin Arrowsmith. The First Family view the film All in a Night's Work.
  • April 12 - The Soviet Union's launch of Yuri Gagarin into low Earth orbit aboard Vostok 1 marks the first time a human being is launched into outer space. Kennedy messages Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, congratulating him on the successful launch of Vostok 1.
  • April 17 - Continuing a concept originating in the administration of his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Kennedy orders the invasion of Cuba in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the communist regime.
  • April 19 - The invasion of Cuba fails and results in a Cuban revolutionary victory. Kennedy's administration is severely embarrassed, so much so that Kennedy stated he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the wind".

May



  • May 2 - The Freedom 7 spacecraft is readied for a launch attempt which would have resulted in the first American human spaceflight; it is canceled due to poor weather and rescheduled for May 5.
  • May 5 - Alan Shepard is launched on Freedom 7 on a sub-orbital spaceflight aboard a Mercury-Redstone rocket, and becomes the first American in outer space. The flight lasts 15 minutes 22 seconds, and reaches an apogee of 187.42 kilometres (116.46 mi), and a maximum speed of 8,277 kilometres per hour (5,143 mph) (Mach 6.94).
  • May 6 - Kennedy meets with Alan Shepard at the White House, to congratulate him on becoming the first American in space. He awards him the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in a ceremony on the White House lawn. The six other Mercury Seven astronauts attends the ceremony, the next of which, Gus Grissom, would launch into space less than three months later.
  • May 25 - In an address to a Joint session of the United States Congress, Kennedy announces full presidential support for the goal to "commit...before this decade is out, to landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" and urges Congress to appropriate the necessary funds, eventually consuming the largest financial expenditure of any nation in peacetime.[18] Though Kennedy had initially been convinced that NASA should attempt a manned mission to Mars, NASA Associate Administrator Robert Seamans spent three days and nights working, ultimately successfully, to convince him otherwise.[19]

September

  • September 25 - Address before the United Nations General Assembly (JFK's first of two) announcing the US intention to "challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race".

1962

January

February

  • February 12 - As Commander-in-chief, Kennedy commutes the military death sentence of seaman Jimmie Henderson to life imprisonment, marking the last time in the 20th century that an American president was faced with such a decision (the most recent such decision came on July 28, 2008, when President George W. Bush decided to deny clemency to Private Ronald A. Gray).[20]
  • February 20 - John Glenn is launched on Friendship 7 on an orbital spaceflight aboard a Mercury-Atlas rocket, and becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.

March

  • March 22 - Kennedy signs into law HR5143 (PL87-423), abolishing the mandatory death penalty for first degree murder in the District of Columbia, the only remaining jurisdiction in the United States with a mandatory death sentence for first degree murder, replacing it with life imprisonment with parole if the jury could not decide between life imprisonment and the death penalty, or if the jury chose life imprisonment by a unanimous vote.[21][22] The death penalty in the District of Columbia has not been applied since 1957, and has now been abolished.[23]

May

File:Jfk rice university we choose to go to the moon.ogg

September

  • September 12 - Kennedy delivers a speech at Rice University on the subject of the nation's plans to land humans on the Moon. Kennedy announces his continued support for increased space expenditures, saying "we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

October

  • October 22 - In a televised address, Kennedy announces the October 14 discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba, making public the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy also announces a naval "quarantine on all offensive military equipment" to that country.

November

  • November 6 - The 1962 elections are held. The Democrats lose seats in the House to Republicans, but maintain their majority; they increase their majority in the Senate. Kennedy's brother Ted wins a special election in Massachusetts to represent the state as junior senator, in the seat his brother formerly held and was at the time occupied by Benjamin A. Smith II who had been appointed to the seat upon President-elect Kennedy's victory.


December

1963

January

February

March

June


August


September

  • September 20 - Address before the United Nations General Assembly (JFK's second) stating various specific recommendations to "move the world to a just and lasting peace".
  • September 28 - Dedication of Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam just outside Redding, California in Shasta County. JFK touted the reservoir as the largest of the Trinity County Dams" that "could be used to benefit the farms and lands further south"

October


November

  • November 21 - On the final full day of the Kennedy administration, the President asks his economic advisers to prepare the War on Poverty for 1964. Less than two months after the President's assassination, President Johnson introduces the legislation in his first State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, and two of the major pieces of related legislation – the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Social Security Act of 1965 – are signed into law on August 20, 1964 and July 30, 1965, respectively.
  • November 22 - Kennedy's administration abruptly ends when he is assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested and charged with the murder. Oswald is shot and killed two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

Post-presidency

1963

November


References

 This article incorporates "The White House Diary".

External links

  • White House Diary at the website of the John F. Kennedy Library
  • , December 12, 1993.
  • The short film ]
  • The short film ]


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