It seems fitting in this time of nuclear threats to remember that 50 years ago, our 35th president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was assassinated by a former Marine ex-patriot with a rifle and telescopic sight.
The youngest elected president (43 years old), a volunteer Naval lieutenant war hero, was called “Little Boy Blue” by President (Gen.) Dwight Eisenhower.
Early on, he weathered the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and was thought to be weak by Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, who then constructed the Berlin Wall to prevent “brain drain” to West Berlin.
Kennedy grew in maturity following the Bay of Pigs, but Khrushchev began quietly installing missiles with atomic warheads in Cuba with Fidel Castro’s approval, leading to the defining moment of JFK’s presidency (the Cuban Missile Crisis).
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
JFK went against his generals who wanted to vaporize Cuba, and he set up a blockade of all ships with weapons material coming to Cuba. Khrushchev backed down and sent the ships back home, and he also removed all the weapons in Cuba.
Khrushchev was subsequently removed from office.
JFK enjoyed much admiration at home and overseas for preventing possible nuclear war until he was cowardly killed at 46 years of age in November 1963.