Opinion: Three days in 1963 that are still changing America
Opinion by Peniel E. Joseph
8 minute read
8:39 AM EST, Wed November 22, 2023
John F. Kennedy poses for a photo in the Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, in 1960. He was a US senator before becoming president.
Kennedy sits in the sand at Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts, in 1918. He was born on May 29, 1917.
John F. Kennedy, center, poses with his older brother, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., and his father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1919.
Kennedy, second from left, poses for a photo with some of his siblings and their mother, Rose, in 1921.
Kennedy in his football uniform at the Dexter Southfield School in Boston in 1926.
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Kennedy recovers from an illness at a hospital in London in 1937.
Kennedy attends swimming practice at Harvard University in March 1938. He graduated from Harvard in 1940.
Kennedy links arms with his father aboard the Queen Mary ocean liner as they arrive in New York for the Christmas holidays in December 1938. At the time, the elder Kennedy was the US ambassador to the United Kingdom.
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Kennedy poses for a portrait in his US Navy uniform. He joined the US Naval Reserve in 1941 and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his courage as commander of the torpedo boat PT-109.
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Kennedy, second from left, joins members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars from Boston during a meeting with President Harry Truman, center, at the White House in May 1946.
Kennedy relaxes with his dog Mo in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in June 1946.
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Kennedy looks through real estate advertisements on Capitol Hill in November 1946. That month, he was elected to the US House of Representatives.
Kennedy is showered with confetti by his Boston campaign staff during his campaign for a US Senate seat in November 1952. He defeated three-term incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Kennedy and his then-fiancee, Jacqueline Bouvier, vacation at the Kennedy compound in June 1953. They were married months later.
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Kennedy, accompanied by teenagers Dick and Melissa Mayer, inspects tornado damage in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, in June 1953.
The Kennedys cut into their wedding cake after being married in Newport, Rhode Island, in September 1953.
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Kennedy, lying on a stretcher, leaves a hospital in New York after surgery on his spine in December 1954. Helping him is his wife, Jacqueline, and nurse Mary Virtue.
Kennedy speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August 1956.
Kennedy watches as his 15-day-old daughter, Caroline, is christened in New York in December 1957.
Kennedy receives an honorary degree from Fordham University in New York in February 1958.
Kennedy makes his way through a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles, shortly before the Democratic National Convention in July 1960. He was running for president at the time.
US Sen. Lyndon Johnson and Kennedy shake hands in Pasadena, California, in July 1960. Johnson was running for the presidency, too, but he joined Kennedy's ticket during the Democratic National Convention a few days later.
Kennedy formally accepts the Democratic Party's nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in July 1960.
Caroline Kennedy reaches for her father while sitting on her mother's lap at their home in Hyannis Port in July 1960.