As I stated in my movie quote post, I am a fan of the 40-60’s time era. I am not sure why, but the past has always had an allure to me. In particular, the 60’s is one of my favorite time eras to discuss. What political figure comes to mind when you think of the 60’s? John F. Kennedy (well in my opinion it should be). The Kennedys are one of the most established families in the country. They exude grace, Americana, and yet are the perfect portrayal of tragedy.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, more commonly known as JFK, was the 35th president of the United States serving until he was assassinated. Before his death in 1963, Kennedy served in the South Pacific during World War II and then later represented the Massachusetts’s 11th congressional district in the House of Representatives from 47-53. After serving in the senate from 53-60, he ran in the presidential election against Nixon and was the youngest president elected to office.
Kennedy’s presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, and the African American Civil Rights Movement. Kennedy was assassinated in Dall, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was charged with the crime but was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby. Till this date, Kennedy continues to rank highly in public opinion ratings of former United States presidents.
As I just mentioned, John Kennedy is a major public figure, even in the year 2011. First of all, his charisma is undeniable. I have seen news videos of his speeches on youtube and have become utterly enthralled at his excellence in public speaking. He speaks with a certainty, wisdom, assurance, and grace. The manner of Kennedy’s death gave him a saintly reputation and the rumors of affairs with Marilyn Monroe gave him a notoriously glamorous life.
In high school, I would listen to some of Kennedy’s speeches inspired by his ability to speak so elegantly. In one of his speeches, he said, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” I found this quote particularly beautiful. I never considered ideas to have this kind of immortality, but what Kennedy said is true. Ideas can surpass a person’s life. A person ideas and thoughts can live on forever in other people’s memories or society. A person can live on through their ideas-they can be immortal in this aspect. I believe this quote perfectly reflects John F. Kennedy.