Monday, May 29, 2017

John F. Kennedy Centennial

May 29 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy. It seems almost impossible to imagine a person so associated with youth and vigor in our collective experience was born a century ago.

As the cliche would have it, we know where we were when we heard the news of his assassination on November 22, 1963. It remains one of the darkest, most shocking days of our lives. While his term only lasted 1,036 days, Kennedy left an indelible impression on generations of Americans and people around the world. His time in office was marked with mistakes like the Bay of Pigs invasion and ramping up U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. But it was also marked by improving relations with Latin America and third world nations, establishing the Peace Corps, and standing up for civil rights against segregationists like Alabama's George Wallace and Mississippi's Ross Barnett. Perhaps most importantly, he energized America's advance into space, pushing our country to be the first to land a man on the moon and face other challenges "not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

It was that sense that anything was possible that was a hallmark of Kennedy's brief time in office, and why he is remembered so fondly so many years later.

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