Nickname: JFK

Years in office: 1961–1963

Political party: Democratic

Birthday: May 29, 1917

Official presidential portrait of John F. Kennedy

by Aaron Shikler, 1970

John F. Kennedy PT-109 tie clip, 1960 (National Museum of American History)

In World War II, John F. Kennedy was credited with saving the crew of the PT-109 boat after it was hit by a Japanese destroyer. Campaign souvenirs, such as this tie clip, were used as symbols of the strength and courage of the young Kennedy.

In the election of 1960, the young war hero, John F. Kennedy, faced Vice President Richard Nixon. Although Nixon had the benefit of experience, election polls showed the two men at a near tie.

Kennedy gained the advantage during the first televised debates.  Kennedy looked cool and collected, while Nixon appeared pale and nervous. This advantage would push Kennedy right into the White House, making him the youngest president ever elected.


Brookline, MA


Dallas, TX


Boston, MA


Arlington National Cemetery, VA


Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.


Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com

Library of Congress, loc.gov

Miller Center, University of Virginia, millercenter.org/the-presidency

The White House, whitehouse.gov

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