Sample Research Paper on JOHN F KENNEDY

John Kennedy was elected as the US president at the age of 43 and thereby representing a new future for the country. He won by a slight margin of less than 120,000 votes hence turning out to be the youngest person and the first Roman Catholic to assume presidential office in America. During his inaugural speech Kennedy stated that “Let the word go into the world from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the mantle has been passed to a fresh  American generation,” (Ions 4). Although his tenure as a president lasted just for 34 months, his political achievements helped strengthen his legacy as the greatest president in the history of US.

Kennedy’s first year in office was a tragedy, as the president himself acknowledged. Nonetheless, he also contributed to several remarkable accomplishments. The most significant, and most renowned, was his proficient managing of the Cuban nuclear disaster in 1962, usually termed as the most terrifying moment since the 2nd World War (Craig 1367). Subsequent to a failed U.S. effort to bring down Fidel Castro in 1961, Soviet Prime minister Nikita Khrushchev made a secret pact with Cuba’s counterpart to place Soviet nuclear war heads in Cuba in an attempt to thwart future American attack. They had planned to convert Cuba into a Russia nuclear weapons site. Later on, an American spy jet took pictures of nuclear weapon sites being constructed in Cuba. Kennedy thought of a U.S. air attack to demolish the missiles, but it was not clear whether or not the nuclear weapons in Cuba were already functional, which meant that any such invasion could have ignited a nuclear war. Majority of his military advisers thought that America should attack the missile sites in Cuba (Craig 1368). Kennedy, cognizant of the risk of escalating the disaster, instead directed a blockade of Soviet vessels. Eventually, a diplomatic accord was reached and afterward, both Kennedy and the Soviet premier started to alleviate the relationship among the two nations.

Kennedy proposed numerous significant steps forward during his short tenure as the president of America. In his lecture to an American University, he spoke benevolently of the Soviet Union, thus alleviating the Cold War (Ions 7). The next day, after nearly two years of mostly evading the problem of civil rights, he presented a speech of exceptional classiness, and initiated a campaign for a human rights legislation that he hoped would stop ethnic segregation. He also brought forward a voting-rights act and government programs to offer health care to the aged and the underprivileged. However, only a small number of of his proposals were converted into law during his tenure, which was disappointment to him since he was not doing well with Congress. However, majority of these proposals were converted into law following his death since they seemed like a tribute to a martyred president (Ions 8).

Kennedy’s personal charisma played a major role in shaping his legend. He was a sharp and an eloquent speaker who appeared built for the era of television (Duncan 32). While watching Kennedy on film today, a person is struck by the command of his tone and the humor and classiness of his oratory. His famous inaugural speech was filled with expressions that seemed planned to be engraved in stone, for example he urged Americans to “Ask not what their country can do for them but rather ask what they can do for their country” (Duncan 32). Additionally, Kennedy launched the Peace Corps in 1961, which was a volunteer program that sends youthful Americans to foreign nations in an attempt to promote global peace and companionship (Duncan 33). This marked his first great accomplishment as president since the program promoted the spirit of service and tapped into the optimism of the younger generation. Since its initiation, more than 210,000 volunteers have served in more than139 states working on matters ranging from AIDS awareness campaigns to economic development (Duncan 36).

Kennedy also stood before a Joint Sitting of parliament and laid down a goal of sending a man to the moon and returning him unharmed to the earth. He was quoted saying that, “No single space plan in this era will be more remarkable to human being or more vital for the long-range discovery of space” (Ions 9). Although the first moon landing did not happen until 1969, his speech revolutionized NASA and the space plan.

After 50 years of his administration, the continued existence of Kennedy’s principles is not just the product of a craft figure and individual charm but it also replicates the historical period in which he became known. In the period around 1960s, majority of the American citizens thought that he was the person who would get the nation on its heels again, during a point when the nation was all set to move. Action and enthusiasm were key to Kennedy’s appeal and during his 1960 presidential drive, he kept sneering at the Republicans for lack of development (Ions 11). He said that, “I have founded my drive for the presidency on an assumption that the American citizens are uncomfortable with the current drift in our nationalized course … and that they have the determination and the potency to start America moving yet again.” Kennedy remains a prevailing emblem of a lost episode, of a towering idealism and optimism that succeeding generations still struggle to recover. He reminds Americans of a period when it was feasible to presume that politics could address society’s moral cravings and be connected to its utmost aspirations. Also, Kennedy reminds Americans of a point when the nation’s capabilities looked inexhaustible and when its future seemed unrestrained thus making him the greatest president in American history.

Works cited

Craig, Campbell. “Kennedy’s international legacy, fifty years on.” International Affairs 89.6 (2013): 1367-1378. 

Duncan, Jason K. John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism. Routledge, 2013. 

Ions, Edmund. The Politics of John F. Kennedy (Routledge Library Editions: Political Science Volume 1). Routledge, 2013.