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John F. Kennedy - President of the United States of America | Biography Documentary

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Published on Apr 11, 2013

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This documentary created in 1964 is a filmed memorial tribute to President John F. Kennedy. The film, containing both color and black-and-white footage, is narrated by Gregory Peck, and features extensive excerpts from President Kennedy's speeches, including color footage of his swearing in and inaugural address. It was written and directed by Bruce Herschensohn, who also composed the music.

It was produced by the United States Information Agency, and was originally not intended for viewing by the general public. However, the quality of the film was considered so outstanding that a special act of Congress allowed it to be shown in regular motion picture theatres.

The film concentrates only on Kennedy's public achievements in office, among them the launching of the Peace Corps, the successful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the successful attempt to put American astronauts into outer space, the beginning of the Alliance for Progress, the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and Kennedy's original drafting of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alternating coverage of these achievements with somber footage of his funeral.


About Kennedy:
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his death in 1963.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, developments in the Space Race, the building of the Berlin Wall, the African-American Civil Rights Movement all took place during his presidency. Kennedy also avoided any significant increase in the American presence in Vietnam, keeping the level of troops, mostly military advisors, to only 16,000, compared to the 536,000 troops committed by his successor, Lyndon Johnson, by 1968.

Kennedy's time in office is also marked by high tensions with Communist states, particularly Cuba. An attempt in April 1961 at the Bay of Pigs to overthrow the country's dictator, Fidel Castro, was thwarted by armed forces within three days. In October 1962, it was discovered that Soviet ballistic missiles had been deployed in Cuba; the resulting period of unease, often termed the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After military service in the United States Naval Reserve, Kennedy represented Massachusetts' 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1960. Kennedy defeated Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election. At 43 years of age, he is the youngest to have been elected to the office, the second-youngest President (after Theodore Roosevelt). A Catholic, Kennedy is the only non Protestant president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize, for his biography “Profiles in Courage”.

Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested that afternoon and determined to have fired shots that hit the President from a sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald denied the accusation, claiming he was a patsy. Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby mortally wounded Oswald two days later in a jail corridor, before he could be indicted or tried. The FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin, but its report was sharply criticized. It was concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy. The majority of Americans alive at the time of the event believe both that there was a conspiracy and that Oswald was not the only shooter.


John F. Kennedy - President of the United States of America | Biography Documentary

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