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  1. JFK: The Legacy. PC 94 Ensign John F. Kennedy, USN, in South Carolina. January 1, 1942. Courtesy: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. President John Kennedy took office during one of ...

    • American Experience
    • Assessment
    • Impact
    • Analysis
    • Significance
    • Issues
    • Legacy

    John F. Kennedy had promised much but never had the opportunity to see his program through. It was, in the words of one notable biographer, an unfinished life. For that reason, assessments of the Kennedy presidency remain mixed.

    Kennedy played a role in revolutionizing American politics. Television began to have a real impact on voters and long, drawn-out election campaigns became the norm. Style became an essential complement to substance.

    Before winning the presidency, Kennedy had lived a life of privilege and comfort, and his relatively short congressional career had been unremarkable. Many voters yearned for the dynamism that Kennedy's youth and politics implied, but others worried that Kennedy's inexperience made him a poor choice to lead the nation during such a challenging time.

    Early errors in judgment, particularly in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, seemingly confirmed these fears. By the summer of 1962, the administration was in trouble. A particularly difficult Cold War climate abroad, an antagonistic Congress at home, increasingly bold activist groups agitating for change, and a discouraging economic outlook all contributed to an increasingly negative view of the Kennedy White House.

    But serious issues remained. Throughout the summer and fall of 1963, the situation in South Vietnam deteriorated; by the end of Kennedy's presidency, 16,000 US military advisers had been dispatched to the country. More importantly, the administration apparently had no realistic plan to resolve the conflict. In the area of civil rights, some progress had been achieved, but these successes had come mostly in spite ofnot because ofthe White House. Bloody conflict was becoming more prevalent on America's streets, and racial injustice remained rampant.

    Assessments of Kennedy's presidency have spanned a wide spectrum. Early studies, the most influential of which were written by New Frontiersmen close to Kennedy, were openly admiring. They built upon on the collective grief from Kennedy's public slayingthe quintessential national trauma. Later, many historians focused on the seedier side of Kennedy family dealings and John Kennedy's questionable personal morals. More recent works have tried to find a middle ground. In nation's popular memory, Kennedy still commands fascination as a compelling, charismatic leader during a period of immense challenge to the American body politic.

  2. May 05, 2017 · Jack Schlossberg, JFK's only living grandson, made his first ever live TV appearance on the "TODAY" show, where he discussed his family's political legacy.

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  3. John F. Kennedy (archival): This government will do whatever must be done to preserve order, to protect the lives of its citizens, and to uphold the law of the land. Narrator : The President was ...

  4. May 29, 2017 · John F. Kennedy's legacy 05:59. Our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, was born 100 years ago today. CBS News contributor Bob Schieffer explores how the youthful scion of a prominent family mastered ...

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  5. Sep 19, 2013 · John F. Kennedy was a good president but not a great one, most scholars concur. A poll of historians in 1982 ranked him 13th out of the 36 presidents included in the survey.

  6. May 22, 2017 · Tragically, President Kennedy, or JFK as he was known universally, did not live to see the ripe old age of 100 or even get close to it. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963 - when he was only 46 years old - as he sat with his wife Jackie in an open top convertible in a Dallas motorcade.

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