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Timeline of the presidency of John F. Kennedy

Presidency of John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson
Personal details
Born John Fitzgerald Kennedy
(1917-05-29)May 29, 1917
Brookline, Massachusetts
Died November 22, 1963(1963-11-22) (aged 46)
Dallas, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy (1953-1963; his death)
Children Arabella Kennedy
Caroline Bouvier Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr.
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Naval officer, politician
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

The following is a timeline of the presidency of John F. Kennedy, also known as the Kennedy Administration, which began January 20, 1961 when he was inaugurated President of the United States, and ended when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, a span of 1,036 days. This timeline begins on January 2, 1960, the date when then Senator John F. Kennedy announced his intention to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and concludes on November 25, 1963, when the martyred president was buried. Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic elected President and the youngest individual elected to the presidency.[1] Kennedy was the eighth (and last) President to die in office and the fourth one to be assassinated.

Upon Kennedy's death, in accordance with Constitutional procedure in the case of the death of the President, his Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, succeeded to the Office of the Presidency and took the oath of office of the President of the United States aboard Air Force One less than an hour after Kennedy died. Johnson served out the remainder of Kennedy's term, and was elected to the Presidency in his own right in 1964.

Contents

  • Pre-presidency 1
    • 1960 1.1
      • January 1.1.1
      • July 1.1.2
      • September 1.1.3
      • October 1.1.4
      • November 1.1.5
      • December 1.1.6
  • 1961 2
    • January 2.1
    • February 2.2
    • March 2.3
    • April 2.4
    • May 2.5
    • September 2.6
  • 1962 3
    • January 3.1
    • February 3.2
    • March 3.3
    • May 3.4
    • September 3.5
    • October 3.6
    • November 3.7
    • December 3.8
  • 1963 4
    • January 4.1
    • February 4.2
    • March 4.3
    • June 4.4
    • August 4.5
    • September 4.6
    • October 4.7
    • November 4.8
  • Post-presidency 5
    • November 1963 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Pre-presidency

1960

January

Kennedy's second draft of his written remarks announcing his presidential candidacy, January 2, 1960.
See also Works related to Statement of Senator John F. Kennedy Announcing His Candidacy for the Presidency of the United States at Wikisource

July

September

September 26: Senator Kennedy and Vice President Nixon participate in the first television presidential debate.
  • September 12 - Senator Kennedy delivers a campaign speech in which he strongly reaffirms his support for separation of church and state, which successfully cooled tensions surrounding his Catholicism.[5] When inaugurated, he became the first Catholic President in American history.[6]
  • September 26 - Senator Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon participate in the first televised presidential debate.[7]

October

  • October 7 - Kennedy and Nixon participate in the second presidential debate, held in Washington, D.C.; NBC journalist Frank McGee moderates.[8]
  • October 13 - Senator Kennedy and Vice President Nixon debate each other for the third time; former Face the Nation anchor Bill Shadel moderates. Kennedy participates from a New York studio, while Nixon participates from a Los Angeles studio.[9]
  • October 21 - Kennedy and Nixon participate in the fourth and final presidential debate in New York; ABC News journalist Quincy Howe moderates.[10]

November

  • November 8 - The 1960 presidential election is held, the first to have both candidates born in the 20th century, and the first in which the two most recently admitted states, Alaska (January 3, 1959) and Hawaii (August 21, 1959), participated.[11]
  • November 9 - Current Vice President and Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon concedes the presidency to Kennedy.[12] Kennedy's official popular vote margin is 0.1% (112,827 votes) and his electoral margin is 84 electoral votes.[13] Nixon won more states, 26 to 22.[14] The electoral result proves to be the closest since the 1916 presidential election. The election of Kennedy and Johnson as President and Vice President was the last time until the 2008 election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden that two incumbent senators were elected on the same ticket.

December

December 6: President-elect Kennedy meets with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[15]
  • December 6: President-elect Kennedy meets with President Eisenhower.[15]

1961

January

January 20: John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States.
January 21:The Cabinet is sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren.
January 25: President Kennedy holds the first regular live televised press conference in the State Department Auditorium.
  • January 20 - Kennedy's presidency begins with his inauguration at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Kennedy is sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren and delivers a widely praised inaugural address, asking Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" and for the people of the world to "ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man".[16][17] He is congratulated by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy also formally nominates his cabinet and attends the inaugural balls.
  • January 21 - Kennedy meets with former President Harry S. Truman and issues Executive Order 10914 directing a doubling of the quantity of surplus food distributed to needy families. Kennedy also attends a meeting at the Democratic National Committee and hosts the swearing-in of his cabinet.[18]
  • January 22 - Kennedy meets with the poet Robert Frost. President Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and Paul B. Fay attend mass at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. Kennedy establishes the three-member Government Ethics Committee. Kennedy appoints Hickman Price, Jr. and Roland Burnstan as Assistant Commerce Secretaries.
  • January 23 - Kennedy meets with several defense, foreign policy, and intelligence advisers, including CIA Director Allen Dulles, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Lyman Lemnitzer. Kennedy nominates Frank Burton Ellis for a federal judgeship on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
  • January 24 - Kennedy meets with then-former Congressman (later Senator) White House from Naval Aide, Cmdr. Tazewell Shepard. He is presented plans for what would become the Food for Peace program and designates McGovern Director.
  • January 25 - Kennedy holds his first regular live televised press conference in the State Department Auditorium. He announces the release of two surviving USAF crewman by the Soviet Union after being captured when their RB-47 Stratojet was shot down on July 1, 1960.
  • January 30 - Kennedy delivers his first State of the Union address.

February

March

March 1: Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.

April

  • April 1 - Kennedy meets with Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Kennedy also declares parts of eastern Iowa flooded by the Cedar River to be a major disaster area.
  • April 2 - Kennedy meets with journalists Albert Merriman Smith and Marvin Arrowsmith. The First Family view the film All in a Night's Work.
  • April 12 - The Soviet Union's launch of Yuri Gagarin into low Earth orbit aboard Vostok 1 marks the first time a human being is launched into outer space. Kennedy messages Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, congratulating him on the successful launch of Vostok 1.
  • April 17 - Continuing a concept originating in the administration of his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Kennedy orders the invasion of Cuba in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the communist regime.
  • April 19 - The invasion of Cuba fails and results in a Cuban revolutionary victory. Kennedy's administration is severely embarrassed, so much so that Kennedy stated he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the wind".

May

May 25: Kennedy sets out the goal to "land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth".
May 5: President Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, and Vice President Johnson watch the launch of Freedom 7 from the White House Situation Room.
May 5: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space, when he is launched aboard a Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle on Freedom 7.
May 8: President Kennedy meets with Alan Shepard at the White House.
  • May 2 - The Freedom 7 spacecraft is readied for a launch attempt which would have resulted in the first American human spaceflight; it is canceled due to poor weather and rescheduled for May 5.
  • May 5 - Alan Shepard is launched on Freedom 7 on a sub-orbital spaceflight aboard a Mercury-Redstone rocket, and becomes the first American in outer space. The flight lasts 15 minutes 22 seconds, and reaches an apogee of 187.42 kilometres (116.46 mi), and a maximum speed of 8,277 kilometres per hour (5,143 mph) (Mach 6.94).
  • May 8 - Kennedy meets with Alan Shepard at the White House, to congratulate him on becoming the first American in space. He awards him the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in a ceremony on the White House lawn. The six other Mercury Seven astronauts attend the ceremony, the next of which, Gus Grissom, would launch into space less than three months later.
  • May 25 - In an address to a Joint session of the United States Congress, Kennedy announces full presidential support for the goal to "commit...before this decade is out, to landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" and urges Congress to appropriate the necessary funds, eventually consuming the largest financial expenditure of any nation in peacetime.[19] Though Kennedy had initially been convinced that NASA should attempt a manned mission to Mars, NASA Associate Administrator Robert Seamans spent three days and nights working, ultimately successfully, to convince him otherwise.[20]

September

  • September 25 - Address before the United Nations General Assembly (JFK's first of two) announcing the US intention to "challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race".

1962

February 20: John Glenn is launched into space on Friendship 7 and becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.

January

February

March

  • March 22 - Kennedy signs into law HR5143 (PL87-423), abolishing the mandatory death penalty for first degree murder in the District of Columbia, the only remaining jurisdiction in the United States with a mandatory death sentence for first degree murder, replacing it with life imprisonment with parole if the jury could not decide between life imprisonment and the death penalty, or if the jury chose life imprisonment by a unanimous vote.[22][23] The death penalty in the District of Columbia has not been applied since 1957, and has now been abolished.[24]

May

September 12: President Kennedy declares "we choose to go to the Moon in this decade" during a speech on the nation's space program at Rice University.
See also Works related to We choose to go to the Moon at Wikisource
September 12: President Kennedy visits Rice University to deliver a speech on the nation's space program.

September

  • September 12 - Kennedy delivers a speech at Rice University on the subject of the nation's plans to land humans on the Moon. Kennedy announces his continued support for increased space expenditures, saying "we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

October

  • October 22 - In a televised address, Kennedy announces the October 14 discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba, making public the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy also announces a naval "quarantine on all offensive military equipment" to that country.

November

  • November 6 - The 1962 elections are held. The Democrats lose seats in the House to Republicans, but maintain their majority; they increase their majority in the Senate. Kennedy's brother Ted wins a special election in Massachusetts to represent the state as junior senator, in the seat his brother formerly held and was at the time occupied by Benjamin A. Smith II who had been appointed to the seat upon President-elect Kennedy's victory.
December 12: President John F Kennedy with President Jorge Alessandri of Chile in his visit to the United States of America in 1962.
December 12: President and Mrs. Kennedy standing next to the White House Christmas tree, located in the Entrance Hall.

December

  • December 12 - President Kennedy meets with President Chile, have a working meeting to discuss the Alliance for Progress
  • December 25 - President and Mrs. Kennedy attend mass at St. Ann's Church in Palm Beach, Florida. The Kennedys later hold a party for members of the Secret Service and their families.



1963

January

January 14: President Kennedy delivers his third and final State of the Union address.

February

March

June

June 26: President Kennedy delivers his now-famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech.
June 11: University of Alabama. After the confrontation, the students are admitted peacefully.
June 10: President Kennedy delivers the commencement address at American University.

August

August 28: Martin Luther King delivers his I Have A Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

September

  • September 20 - Address before the United Nations General Assembly (JFK's second) stating various specific recommendations to "move the world to a just and lasting peace".
  • September 28 - Dedication of Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam just outside Redding, California in Shasta County. JFK touted the reservoir as the largest of the Trinity County Dams" that "could be used to benefit the farms and lands further south"

October

Kennedy and his son John, Jr. walk at the White House, October 1963.
October 7: President Kennedy signs the Partial Test Ban Treaty, a major milestone in early nuclear disarmament, despite occurring in the Nuclear Age.

November

  • November 18 - President Kennedy traveled to Tampa, Florida. There, he visited the military's Strike Command Headquarters, attended a luncheon at the officer's club, made a speech at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and another to the United Steelworker's Union.
  • November 21 - On the final full day of the Kennedy administration, the President asks his economic advisers to prepare the War on Poverty for 1964. Less than two months after the President's assassination, President Johnson introduces the legislation in his first State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, and two of the major pieces of related legislation – the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Social Security Act of 1965 – are signed into law on August 20, 1964 and July 30, 1965, respectively.
  • November 22 - Kennedy's administration abruptly ends when he is assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested and charged with the murder. Oswald is shot and killed two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

Post-presidency

November 1963

November 23: Kennedy lies in repose in the East Room of the White House.
November 22: Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in aboard Air Force One as the nation's 36th President hours after the Kennedy assassination.

References

  1. ^ Although Theodore Roosevelt was younger than Kennedy when he became president in 1901 upon the death of William McKinley, he was older than Kennedy when elected to the presidency in his own right in 1904.
  2. ^  
  3. ^  
  4. ^ W.H. Lawrence (July 15, 1960). "Johnson is Nominated for Vice President; Kennedy Picks Him to Placate the South". nytimes.com. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^  
  8. ^  
  9. ^  
  10. ^  
  11. ^  
  12. ^  
  13. ^ Russell D. Renka;  
  14. ^  
  15. ^ a b "December 1960 Chronology - Eisenhower Presidential Papers - Eisenhower Memorial Commission".  
  16. ^  
  17. ^  
  18. ^ Whealan, Ronald E. (October 30, 2005). "January 21, 1961".  
  19. ^ "NASA Langley Research Center's Contributions to the Apollo Program".  
  20. ^ "Robert C. Seamans Jr.".  
  21. ^ Riechmann, Deb (2008-07-29). "Bush: Former Army cook's crimes warrant execution".  
  22. ^ Whealan, Ronald E. (2005-12-05). "March 22, 1962 - The White House Diary".  
  23. ^ Whealan, Ronald E. (2006-01-19). "Kennedy Legislative Record, Page 2 - Summary of the Three Year Kennedy Record (Legislation)".  
  24. ^ "Norton Letter to U.S. Attorney Says Death Penalty Trial That Begins Today Part of Troubling and Futile Pattern". Office of Congresswoman  
  25. ^ J. F. Kennedy (February 20, 1963). "Victor Harry Feguer -- Petition for Commutation of Death Sentence".  

 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Archives and Records Administration document "The White House Diary".

External links

  • White House Diary at the website of the John F. Kennedy Library
  • , December 12, 1993.President Kennedy: Profile of Power interview with Reeves on Booknotes
  • The short film John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning/Day of Drums (1964) is available for free download at the Internet Archive []
  • The short film John F. Kennedy: 1,000 Days is available for free download at the Internet Archive []
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