John F. Kennedy: Happy birthday, Mr. President
A generation of Americans will never forget where they were on Nov. 22, 1963. On that day, President John F. Kennedy died after being fatally wounded by a sniper as his motorcade traveled through Dallas, Texas. Had his life not been tragically cut short, Kennedy would have turned 98 today.
Nearly a year after the president was shot, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was Kennedy’s lone assassin.
Kennedy, the nation’s first and only Catholic president, is remembered as a guiding light for America through the difficult Cold War, and he is particularly credited for bringing an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy also challenged America to lead the world in the exploration of what was then the next great frontier — outer space — and he saw America become the first country to put a man on the moon.
He also left a legacy through his humanitarian efforts, having laid down the foundation for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and started the Peace Corps. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” Kennedy said in his first speech as president on Jan. 20, 1961.
Kennedy’s pioneering spirit lives on today. Annually, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award is given out to officials who exhibit the politically courageous leadership the president described in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage.”