Hi all! We wanted to share with you some little known facts about John F. Kennedy to help commemorate his birthday, which was May 29th of this year. Not long ago, we did a piece on Marilyn Monroe and her singing the very famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” song. Everyone across the globe is familiar with that beautiful blonde and her breathy, sing-song voice serenading a sitting JFK. Not to mention, the skin-tight dress showing off her gorgeous figure! So, today, let’s take a look at the man himself that Marilyn serenaded. The man who literally captured a nation and a world with his youth, his charisma, and his smarts.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917, and died while in office on November 22, 1963. He spent a good portion of his life as a public figure, from one of the wealthiest, most well-connected families in New England. JFK was the richest president ever, based on the estimated value of his family’s fortune. After his tragic death, most of his life has been written about in great detail.
From among the wealth of knowledge about President Kennedy, here are some interesting facts about the 35th president of the United States of America that you may have not known.
~~His father, Joseph P Kennedy, was near a terror attack just after JFK was born.
His father escaped the infamous 1920 Wall Street bombing. An unknown group of anarchists planted a bomb in a wagon full of lead weights on the street; that explosion killed 38 bystanders on Wall Street. JFK’s father was thrown to the ground by the blast, but was unharmed.
~~JFK grew up partly in the Bronx (isn’t he cute!!)
He spent the first ten years of his life in Brookline, until his family moved to the Bronx. He then spent his middle-school years in the Bronx area until his family sent him to private school in Connecticut.
~~President Kennedy played the role of movie producer.
Warren Beatty almost played Kennedy in the movie PT-109, which was based on the sinking of Kennedy’s boat in the Solomon Islands. JFK wanted Cliff Robertson to play a young Lieutenant Kennedy in the war movie, but the first lady wanted Beatty. JFK won out and he also helped pick the movie’s director.
~~He was the only president to win a Purple Heart.
Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in the Pacific during World War II. Two recent presidential candidates, John Kerry and John McCain, were Purple Heart recipients.
~~JFK wasn’t the youngest president ever.
In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt was a little more than nine months younger than Kennedy, at the age of 42 years, 10 months, when he succeeded William McKinley as president. However, JFK was the youngest elected president, at the age of 43 years, seven months, when he became president in 1961. Bill Clinton was the third youngest president, at 46 years of age.
~~JFK’s popular vote win over Richard Nixon was very, very narrow.
JFK defeated Nixon in the 1960 election when votes were counted in the Electoral College, by a margin of 303 to 219. But in the popular vote, Kennedy won by 112,000 votes out of 68 million cast. Also, arguments persist to this day about vote-counting in two states: Illinois and Texas. If Nixon had won those two states, he would have defeated Kennedy by two votes in the Electoral College.
~~JFK recorded conversations in the White House.
We mention this in our book, Fateful Night. Actually, JFK wasn’t the first president to record private conversations in the White House. That honor goes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. There have been many theories, but the most accepted one is that JFK had already written two books and wanted the tapes for when he wrote his memoirs after leaving office. Many of the tapes have been declassified over the past years and have helped us with our research for the What She Knew Trilogy.
Well, we hope you have enjoyed our tidbits on JFK!!
K.R. and T.L.