May 29, 1917 - Nov. 22, 1963 State: Massachusetts Religion: Roman Catholic Marriage: Jacqueline L. Bouvier Military service: He served in the Navy during World War II, rising from ensign to lieutenant, and commanded a motor torpedo boat, PT-109, that was rammed in two by a Japanese destroyer. Despite being injured, Kennedy swam for four hours to an island where he and three others were rescued. He earned the Purple Heart. Party: Democrat Term: Jan. 20, 1961 - Nov. 22, 1963 Vice president: Lyndon Baines Johnson Highlights of presidency: Kennedy ordered the Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961 to overthrow the communist regime of Fidel Castro, but internal resistance never took hold and the maneuver failed. He established the Alliance for Progress to provide U.S. aid to Latin America and created the Peace Corps to provide education and technical manpower to underdeveloped countries. In November 1963, Kennedy supported a military coup in Vietnam and sent military advisers, but he refused to commit U.S. combat forces to the region. Kennedy led civil rights legislation through Congress, established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and called for desegregation of public facilities. He stood at the Berlin Wall and spoke of West German freedom and stood up to the Soviet missile buildup in Cuba and saw its eventual removal. In May 1961, Kennedy set the goal of the United States putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade -- a goal he did not live to see accomplished. Did you know? Kennedy was the first president to be born in the 20th Century. His left leg was 3/4 of an inch shorter than his left leg, and he wore corrective shoes. He was the first to have been a Boy Scout. Kennedy also had served as a member of the House in 1947-53 and as a senator in 1953-60. He was the first and only Roman Catholic president. He was the first president to have served in the Navy. He is the only president to have won the Pulitzer Prize, in 1957 for his book "Profiles In Courage." At age 43, he became the youngest man elected president. Theodore Roosevelt was younger than Kennedy, but Roosevelt assumed the presidency upon the death of William McKinley. Kennedy was the only president to appoint a brother to a Cabinet post. Robert Kennedy was attorney general. Kennedy was the first president to give a live televised news conference. Kennedy was a very fast speaker, once clocking 350 words per minute. He was the fourth president to be assassinated and, at 46, the youngest president to be assassinated. He is only the second president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery; the first was William Howard Taft in 1930.
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