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John F. Kennedy


"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

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Attribution: Inaugural address. This is one of seven inscriptions carved on the walls at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy, Arlington National Cemetery.

Date: January 20,1961

John Fitzgerald  Kennedy


35th President of the United States (1961–63) Born in Brookline, MA. After graduating from Harvard (1936–40) he enlisted in the navy in 1941, and became commander of a PT boat in the Pacific in World War II. In action off the Solomon Islands (Aug., 1943), his boat was sunk, and Kennedy was credited with saving the life of at least one of his crew. From 1947–53 was a Massachusetts congressman. In 1952, he defeated Henry Cabot Lodge for a seat in the U.S. Senate. In 1960 he captured the Democratic nomination and selected Lyndon B. Johnson as his vice-presidential candidate. In the campaign that followed, Kennedy engaged in a series of televised debates with Republican opponent, Richard M. Nixon. Defeating Nixon, Kennedy became at 43 the youngest person ever, and the first Catholic, elected President.

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