John F. Kennedy, better known as JFK, is an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States. He is one of the most iconic political figures in the history of the country. Here, MusicSnake Magazine put together a list of fourteen surprising facts you probably didn’t know about JFK.
Number One: Four People Tried to Assassinate John F. Kennedy Before Oswald. It’s true! Four other people tried to kill him before Lee Harvey Oswald was successful. JFK was quoted as saying, “Brother, they could have gotten me in Palm Beach. There is no way to keep anyone from killing me.” The president didn’t know how right he would be at the time.
Number Two: His Presidential and Congressional Wages Were Given to Charity. Throughout his 16 years working in public office, John Kennedy never accepted a single dollar of his salary. The politician was paid $100,000 per year, but he gave it all away to different charitable causes.
Number Three: JFK Wanted to Go to the Moon Together With the Soviets. In ’61, he made a promise that, as a nation, the U.S. would land someone on the moon by the end of the decade. During the height of the Cold War, Kennedy suggested that the US and the USSR collaborate together to have a man go to the moon. Kennedy thought this would save the nation money.
Number Four: Kennedy Holds a Record for Public Speaking. In certain sections of a speech the president made in ’61, he said 327 words per minute. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this is the fastest rate of public speaking in history.
Number Five: JFK Was Way Ahead of Nixon. Years before Nixon installed a secret taping setup in the Whitehouse, John F. Kennedy did it. In ’62, he installed a taping system in the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office.
Number Six: Kennedy Is the Only President to Win a Purple Heart. He was given a purple heart after having back problems and spending time in a military hospital. Though other presidential candidates have received the purple heart, he is the only president elected with a purple heart.
Number Seven: JFK Was the Youngest President Ever Elected. He was just 43 years old when he was elected. However, he was not the youngest president to assume office; that honor is held by Roosevelt, who was 42 years and 322 days old when he assumed office following McKinley’s assassination.
Number Eight: JFK Was Very Vain. There is no denying that the politician was attractive, but do you realize just how vain JFK was? The president was so obsessed with his own weight that he carried a set of bathroom scales with him at all times while traveling.
Number Nine: John Kennedy Was Given His Last Rites Four Times. He was the first Catholic to be elected president, but that’s not the most interesting thing about this tidbit. Three instances warranted him being given his last rites: first, in ’47 due to a disease; second, in ’51 after he had a very high fever; and lastly, after he fell into a coma after surgery. The president was served his final last rites after his assassination.
Number Ten: The Canadian Government Named a Mountain After JFK. After he was assassinated, the Canadian government decided to honor him by naming their highest unclimbed mountain after him. Interestingly, his brother, Robert Kennedy, was the first person to climb the mountain.
Number Eleven: The Politician Wasn’t Supposed to Serve in the Military. Technically, he was disqualified from enlisting in the military because of his medical conditions. However, John F. Kennedy used his father’s connections to enlist and serve in the navy.
Number Twelve: JFK Won a Pulitzer Prize. In ’57, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for writing a biography titled Profiles in Courage. However, there was some controversy surrounding his prize because it was rumored that the book was ghostwritten by his aid, Theodore Sorensen.
Number Thirteen: The President Was Really Obsessed With James Bond. He loved James Bond so much that he wrote his own spy novel. One of his favorite novels was the Bond classic, From Russia With Love; in his novel, he made Vice President at the time Lyndon B. Johnson the architect of an attempted coup d’etat.
Number Fourteen: Kennedy Attended Harvard and Princeton. He went to Princeton in ’35; however, after just 2 months, John came down with a gastrointestinal illness and had to stop. Kennedy was able to return to school in ’36, but instead of Princeton, he returned to Harvard.
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