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Alysa Scobee

102H Professor McKeever

Word Count: 1237
Profile John Fitzgerald Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was the thirty fifth president of the United States, yet he had
the shortest term known to presidency. He was born May 29 th, 1917, in Brookline
Massachusetts. He was president from January 1961 until his assassination in
November 1963. He did many notable things during his presidency including the
Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile crisis, the Space Race, the Berlin Wall, the
Civil Rights Movement, and increased involvement of the US in the Vietnam War.
Since the 1960s, information has been leaked about Kennedys personal life.
Details that he struggled with health problems and being unfaithful in his marriage
have been brought to the publics attention, yet he is highly ranked among opinion
of U.S. presidents. President John F. Kennedy, one of the best presidents the United
States had in his short term, is best known for his speech about the Berlin Wall, his
cunning attitude, and his will to change America.
John F. Kennedy became president on January 20 th, 1961. His inaugural
speech included many things, included that the need for all Americans to be active
citizens. The famous quote, Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what
you can do for your country. Excited people for Kennedys presidency. He asked the
nations of the world to join together to fight the common enemies of man: Tyranny,
poverty, disease, and war.
President Kennedy, his wife and two children brought a youthful spirit into the
White House, which should celebrate American history, culture, and achievement.
The Kennedys invited artists, writers, scientists, poets, actors, athletes, anyone to

come visit them. Jacqueline Kennedy also shared interest in American history,
restoring rooms in the White House with fine art and furniture to make it truly reflect
Americas history and creativity. The White House also seemed fun because of the
two young children, Caroline and John-John. There was many added things to the
White House including a pre-school, a pool and even a tree house. President
Kennedy was the busiest man, yet he still found time to play with his children.
Yet there were also many worries that President Kennedy had to worry about.
He worried mostly about the possibility of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union
and the United States. Since World War II, there had been a lot of suspicion between
the two countries, yet neither country took action. The Cold War was unlike any
normal war it was a struggle between the Soviet Union and its communist system
of government and the United States with its democratic system. There were many
times that the United States and the Soviet Union could have ended in a nuclear
war, such as the divided city of Berlin.
At the end of World War II, the main powers the United States, France, Great
Britain, and the Soviet Union divided Germany into two zones. The Soviet Union
occupied East Germany and installed a controlled communist state. The other three
allied countries shared the occupation of West Germany and helped rebuild the
destroyed city and a capitalist democracy. Though the city of Berlin was located 200
miles inside East Germany, yet it was also split. Many East Germans didnt want to
live in a communist country and decided to cross into West Berlin, where they could
settle there or move to West Germany. By 1961, 4 million East Germans had moved
into West Germany. This movement showed the East Germans dissatisfaction with
the way of life, and also posed an economic treat.

In June, President John F. Kennedy traveled to Vienna, Austria for a meeting

with the Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev. This meeting was unsuccessful with its goal
of building trust, and also increased tensions between the two countries, especially
with discussion regarding the city of Berlin. Krushchev threatened to cut of ally
access to West Berlin startling Kennedy with the combative style. Kennedy ordered
increases in American divisions, increasing air and military reserves.
On August 13th, 1961, the citizens of East Berlin were startled to see heavy
machinery heading toward the line that divided the east and west. Citizens watched
as workers began digging holes and jackhammering sidewalks, making way for
barbed wire that would soon be strung across the division. Over the night, freedom
to pass between the sections of Berlin was ended. The Berlin wall was the chilling
symbol of an iron curtain that divided Europe between democracy and communism.
In 1962, the Soviets and East Germans added a second barrier, creating a policed
no mans land between the two walls, meaning more than 260 people died trying to
flee to the west.
In 1963, Kennedy visited Berlin, greeted by happy crowds that showered his
entourage with flowers, rice, and torn paper. In the Rudolph Wilde Platz, President
Kennedy gave one of the most memorable speeches to the audience:
"There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say
they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist
world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is
the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say
in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to
Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an

evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass'sie nach Berlin
kommen. Let them come to Berlin." (Life of JFK, last paragraph)
The Ich bin ein Berliner speech was the most memorable speech given by
President Kennedy. Within the speech he uses the Berlin Wall as an example of how
communism is a failure. It is also used in relation to President Ronald Reagans
speech, Tear down this wall! The repeated use of the sentence, Let them come to
Berlin. also makes the speech memorable. Repeating the same phrase again and
again gives important emphasis to Kennedys speech. It was his way of trying to
make the communists see his way. Separating East and West Berlin, one as a show
of force and the other to show that communism was an overall more powerful
government system then democracy was an overall failure. Although the Berlin Wall
stayed up way past President Kennedys time, the speech he used to try and get the
communists to tear down the wall was one step closer to when Ronald Reagan used
his speech to tear down the wall.
President John F. Kennedy did many amazing things during his short time as
president. He accomplished a lot for a president who died so suddenly. Including the
Space Race, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Berlin Wall, President
Kennedy dealt with Communism swiftly and easily. Without President Kennedys
help, who knows where we would be today. With his quick words, cunning and
charming attitude, and his dreams for a better America, without these qualities, the
United States may still have been in turmoil without him. President John F. Kennedy
was a great asset to America and his legacy today still lives on.

Works Cited

"Life of John F. Kennedy." - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr.
"The Cold War in Berlin." - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr.