If ever there was a story so ingrained in the American minds, it is the story of JFK and the American Camelot. It is immortalized by numerous films, plays, web series and thanks for these, the American President John F. Kennedy has become an unforgettable character in the American history. Recent news of his various indiscretions still place this long gone president in the headlines, more than 50 years after his assassination.

Although his presidency lasted less than 3 years, his leadership at the height of the Cold War remains an iconic one. His diplomacy in matters American and abroad, the power of his speeches, his contribution to civil rights are some of the things that have contributed towards his place as a most remarkable president in the history of the United States of America.

Looking beyond his popular profile, there is so much that one needs to know about this powerful icon. Let’s look at some facts derived from the presidential database of InsideGov.

  1. In 1962, the American economy experienced a 1.18 inflation (shy of 2, the ideal inflation rate indicative of a growing economy), the highest during Kennedy’s presidency.
  2. Kennedy served in the Navy during World War II and his service also earned him a Navy Marine Corps Medal and a Purple Heart.
  3. Before he became the President of the United States of America, JFK’s work “Profiles in Courage” won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1957. It went on to become a best seller and contained the biographies of eight U.S. senators who as per Kennedy, had displayed great political courage.
  4. Byron Raymond White and Arthur Joseph Goldberg were two Supreme Court nominations that were successfully approved by the senate. However, Goldberg, after 3 years of having been appointed as the Ambassador to the United Nations by President Lyndon B. Johnson, resigned from the Supreme Court.
  5. Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy had 4 children together. Two died in infancy, only Caroline Kennedy and John Jr survived. John Jr too died in a plane crash along with his wife at the age of 38.
  6. Kennedy visited the Vatican and 6 European countries during his presidency – namely France, Italy, Ireland, UK, West Germany and Austria.
  7. John F. Kennedy remains one of the tallest American presidents at 6 feet in height.
  8. The Kennedys had 5 horses, 5 dogs, 2 hamsters, 2 parakeets, a rabbit names Zsa Zsa and a cat during their time at the White House. Pushinka, one of their dogs, is a gift from Nikita Khrushchev, then-Premier of the Soviet Union.
  9. During his presidency, Kennedy is known to have made 9 Oval Office Speeches. One of his most remembered speeches took place on October 22, 1962 when he spoke about the ongoing Cuban Missile Crisis to the public. “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission”, he is known to have said in his speech.
  10. Kennedy has vetoed 21 pieces of legislation, made up of 12 regular vetoes and 9 pocketed vetoes. He is not the champion of vetoes yet. At a whopping 635, President Franklin Roosevelt holds the title of King of vetoes with a record for issuing the most amount of vetoes.
  11. It was at the tender age of 29 years that JFK managed to successfully run for a seat in the U.S. House. He served 3 terms before landing himself in the Senate in 1952.

Image Courtesy:
John F. Kennedy by Cecil Stoughton, White House – National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia