John F. Kennedy’s Legacy

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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President John F. Kennedy had one of the longest lasting legacies out of the United States presidents. Kennedy was elected as the president in 1960 as the 35th president. He was born into one of the wealthiest families which out such a strong expectation on him. Kennedy had a successful run for Congress in 1946 and for senate in 1952. JFK announced that he was going to run for president on January 2, 1960, where he defeated Richard Nixon in the election. Television helped Kennedy win the presidency because he could project to the audience because Nixon seemed nervous and appeared to sweat. However, if you listen to the debates on radio Nixon was believed to of actually win because his arguments were stronger. Kennedy made many decisions during his presidency that made such a strong impression on the public. John F. Kennedy had 3 events during his presidency that defined his legacy as president in which were his pledge to support the Space Program, him igniting foreign affairs,

and how well he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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President John F. Kennedy dedicated tremendous amounts money and time into the Space Program during his presidency. During his time as president the space race was beginning and he was determined to win. Once Kennedy was elected, he “had extreme determination to go to the moon” ( Once the USSR launched Sputnik and were the first country to send a man into space safely, JFK acted. On May 25, 1961 Kennedy announced that the United States were going to send land someone on the moon. In his famous speech he said “commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon” ( His huge decision involved much consideration before he could go public with it. This is because if he went public with it and did not follow through with it he would be considered weak. Many human efforts and expenditures were needed to accomplish this huge goal. With the determination that he had Apollo 11 was launch on July 16, 1969. Four days later successfully 3 astronauts landed on the moon planting the American Flag. President Kennedy’s wish was now accomplished. Also during JFK’s presidency he began to drastically expand the U.S Space Program. He knew that he needed to restore America’s confidence especially since they were losing in the space race. In order to successfully complete his goals he asked for 7-9 billion dollars to improve the program.

John. F Kennedy had many amazing accomplishments through his presidency but one of the greatest ones include his actions to ignite foreign affairs. President Kennedy had many ideas of programs that he wanted to create which includes the Peace Corps. Kennedy established the program because he believe that the United States needed to compete the world for the hearts and minds of people around the world. This program was brought to life in September of 1961 where he had people volunteer to help struggling countries. The volunteers were sent out to help improve social and economic conditions throughout the world. The first volunteer was sent to teach English in Ghana. By the end of the century over 170,000 Peace Corps volunteers would serve in over 135 countries. Peace Corps were sought out to improve America’s standing in the region with countries in need ( This helped to bring Kennedy’s reputation up especially after the bay of pigs in which destroyed the countries faith in him. This program continues to succeed in today’s world. “Thousands of Americans each year are drawn to humanitarian mission and sense of adventure that characterized the Peace Corps” ( Many citizens after hearing Kennedy’s call for volunteers were skeptical of his decisions which was leading to his reputation on the line. However once the program succeeded Kennedy’s reputation was now positive which lead to his legacy being positive. “This program had been endured for 50 years and has positively affected so many people around the world, and provided life-changing experienced for tens of thousands of young Americans” ( Peace Corps have not only positively impacted people around the world but even American citizens. Kennedy’s legacy greatly improved from him helping around the world.

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JFK was often lowered by his tragic decision of the bay of pigs, however his reputation was imported through they way he handled to Cuban Missile Crisis. JFK was often received the full credit for succeed in the Cuban Missile Crisis”. In 1962, the United States found that the Soviet union was building secret missile bases in Cuba” ( The missiles being built could strike the US writhing 7 minutes. With the pressure of Cuba being able to start a nuclear war Kennedy had to think of and effective plan fast. Kennedy “was strong enough to force the Soviets to back down, while being careful to avoid any situation where a miscalculation could lead to war” ( The US quarantine Cuba in order to make sure no supply could enter Cuba so that no new missiles could be produced. Kennedy negotiated with the soviets until they agreed to dismantle the base. America achieved this goal by stating that they will never invade Cuba and remove their missiles from Turkey. After the Cuban Missile Crisis there were many signs of lessening the tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis greatly helped to improve Kennedy’s legacy and made him to be seemed as an important figure in American history.

President John F. Kennedy had a very impactful presidency. After he was assassinated he left behind a huge a legacy. All of his decisions as president left behind a footprint in today’s world. Although his first year was not the best his other 2 made up for it with his other depictions made in the other years of his term. Kennedy proposed many important footsteps forward for America, and will continue to be one of the best presidents in the United States of America.

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John F. Kennedy's Legacy. (2020, Apr 07). Retrieved from