What was JFK's birthday

Born 100 years agoUS President John F. Kennedy and his rendezvous with fate

"You, John Fitzgerald Kennedy do solemnly swear - I, John Fitzgerald Kennedy do solemnly swear ..."

When John F. Kennedy was sworn in in front of the Capitol in Washington as the 35th President of the United States of America on January 20, 1961, the sky was cloudless blue - as is so often the case at his important appearances. "Kennedy weather" became a catchphrase, and that fitted the aura of a man apparently spoiled by happiness: youthfulness, wealth, power, attractiveness - outwardly, John F. Kennedy embodied the collective longings of people between the post-war era and the pop era.

But outward appearance was deceptive: there were dark shadows over Kennedy's life. Born on May 29, 1917 as the son of a multimillionaire of Irish descent, he lost two siblings who were particularly close to him as a young man. He himself was plagued by diseases and had narrowly escaped death several times, once spectacularly as the commander of a patrol boat during World War II, which is why he was considered a war hero. After these experiences, John F. Kennedy was convinced that he would not live to be older than 45 - the result was a restless vitality which was expressed both in his impatient political will to rise and in his constant greed for women.

Addicted to pills and a notorious philanderer

With the nomination of a Catholic, notorious philanderer and pill addict, whose health problems had to be carefully hidden from the public, the Democratic Party had taken a considerable risk in the 1960 presidential election campaign. On the other hand, Kennedy, who had been elected to the Senate in 1952, was a distinguished anti-communist and was not part of the left-wing liberal wing of the party, so that he was hardly a target for the Republicans. In the television duel with his Republican opponent Richard Nixon, Kennedy cut the better figure, also because he knew how to play virtuoso with catchy formulas:

"Franklin Roosevelt said in 1936 ... Franklin Roosevelt spoke in 1936 that the generation of that time had a rendezvous with fate. I believe that we too will have a rendezvous with fate in the next four years. And I believe that it is our duty is to defend the USA and freedom; and for that this country needs leadership - we have to get America moving again! " ... we must get America moving again! "

Kennedy's word about the rendezvous with fate turned out to be prophetic. The Cold War quickly came to a head: In October 1962, President Kennedy shocked the world with the news that the Soviet Union had secretly brought nuclear medium-range missiles into Cuba:

"This sudden ... This sudden, secret decision to deploy strategic weapons outside the USSR for the first time is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo that our nation cannot accept if our courage and our obligations in the future are with friends and colleagues Enemy should still apply to something. ... by either friend or foe. "

A political conflict resolution was given priority

In response, Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on Cuba, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. But he resisted the pressure of his generals to invade Cuba and put through the priority of a political conflict resolution. Finally, the Soviets withdrew the missiles from Cuba, in return the US undertook to withdraw nuclear weapons from Turkey and renounced all plans to intervene militarily against the socialist regime in Cuba. This solution to the Cuba crisis paved the way for a policy of d├ętente: In January 1963, Kennedy was able to announce the conclusion of an agreement with the Soviet Union to stop nuclear tests:

"Now for the first time in many years ... Now, for the first time in many years, a path to peace could open up. Nobody can say with certainty what the future will bring ... but history and our own consciences will be harsh judgment speak to us when we don't make every effort to put our hopes into action ... to test our hopes by action. "

Domestically, too, Kennedy's brief presidency was anything but a period of good weather: the racial conflict in the south shook the country, and Kennedy enacted a civil rights law that prohibited racial segregation. He did not live to see him say goodbye: On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed by a mentally ill assassin in Dallas while driving in an open convertible. He was 46 years old.