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             John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States of America, addressed the nation on January 20, 1961. His dramatic speech influenced American citizens and continued to do so in the turbulent years that would follow. Kennedy's inaugural speech was a message of hope that pledged the United States to remain faithful to allies, firm but fair to enemies, and unified and free from suppression. His view of leading a historical effort of peace across the world enticed and enthused the people of the nation. .
             Kennedy first came to light in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. He was born of Irish descent and into the Roman Catholic religion, being the second oldest of his eight brothers and sisters. Starting from childhood, his competitive and ambitious nature set a tone for his impressive future. His father, Joseph Kennedy, "was a father with very high expectations and wanted the boys to win at sports and everything they tried" (1). Kennedy attended Harvard University while his father was holding the stressful position of U. S. Ambassador to England, living over seas. After visiting his father he took interest in politics and global affairs, "returning to Harvard more eager to learn about history and government and to keep up with current events" (1). Kennedy wrote his thesis on why Great Britain was unprepared for war with Germany, which was later published soon after World War II began. After graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. He quickly progressed to Lieutenant and was assigned to the South Pacific as commander of a patrol torpedo boat. In 1943 he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal for his courageous actions "when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety (2). After rupturing a disk in his spine in the collision and loosing his brother to the developing war Kennedy came home to consider his future role in politics.

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