Discover more from Okay History
Happy Birthday, Bobby Kennedy's Brother!
Bobby Kennedy had three brothers, but only one ended up being president of the United States. Today we reflect on JFK on what would have been his 104th birthday.
Bobby Kennedy's older brother, the 35th president of the United States, was born on this day in 1917.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or JFK, was the second son of a wealthy political family – a dynasty that, despite an ever-looming cloud of death, doesn't appear it will just go away. Born in Massachusetts, it should not surprise you that Jack was educated in prestigious private institutions, the pinnacle being earning his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1940.
When World War II broke out, JFK became a Naval reserve officer who commanded two PT Cruiser patrols in the Pacific Theater. It was during this time that Kennedy committed heroic acts. He also experienced his most painful losses.
To summarize, the Japanese snapped two of his boats in two, and Kennedy swam around in the ocean, saving the lives of Americans. The cost of this was Kennedy's back was all jacked up. This will have a debilitating effect on his health for the remainder of his life. Of course, we know how his life ended. A bad back doesn't sound too bad at this point.
Kennedy collected a Purple Heart and a few other awards, returned to Massachusetts, and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946.
Dad Political ATM
Not content to be a Congressman, what a waste of Dad's money, Kennedy ran for the Senate in 1952, defeating long-time incumbent, a guy named Henry Lodge. Kennedy cruised to reelection in 1958, and of course, this dude was running for president in 1960.
Back then-presidential nominees were chosen through political conventions. Candidates could bypass primaries, and a few of them did, such as Lyndon B. Johnson or LBJ.
Kennedy, however, chose the primary route to overcome his biggest flaw, which of course, was his Roman Catholicism. Despite this, Kennedy defeated Hubert Horatio Humphrey in the Wisconsin primaries. This was a massive upset because Triple H, a name he was never referred to, came from the state next door, Minnesota.
Come summer, Kennedy secured the nomination in LA, where Dad's cash still spent the same as it did on the East Coast and Midwest. Kennedy faced Richard Nixon, who was the sitting Vice President and also a huge square.
That's PRESIDENT Kennedy
JFK won surrounded by controversy. He entered the office of the presidency at the dawn of the Cold War. He was forced to confront the spread of communism influence after World War II concluded.
Kennedy was president for almost three years. His administration had to deal with the Bay of Pigs, The Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the Nuclear Test Ban, selling arms to Israel, the Civil Rights Movement, and the race to the moon, to mention a few. Kennedy was a big advocate of the arts, which is helpful since I worked here like ten times throughout my career.
Trip Gone Bad
On November 22, 1963, while riding in a convertible with the top down in Dallas, Texas, an assassin's bullet entered the back of JFK's head and made his back pain go away forever.
The man who shot him was then murdered on live television, and at this point, if you were alive, you had to think the world was coming to an end.
Kennedy is buried across the Potomac from Washington, DC, at Arlington National Cemetery, a must-visit if you get the chance.
Kennedy was ranked 13th in DPPR the past two years running. This position puts him just into the top tier of presidents and by far the highest-ranking anyone who did not complete a full first term in office. Thankfully, Kennedy remains our most recent president to have died in office. Let's hope that distinction remains intact.
What are your thoughts on JFK? Is 13 too high? Too low? Do I prefer Bobby too much?