Community Magazine

My JFK Memory

By Thegenaboveme @TheGenAboveMe

My JFK Memory

Detail of photo taken by Seansie
at the
National Portrait Gallery

Even though I am a Boomer, I cannot provide a specific answer to the question, "Where were you when Kennedy was shot" because I was only 22 months old.  I can, however, report that JFK's image was prevalent all through my childhood.
While growing up in the 1960s, I was immersed with images of this young president with boyish good looks.  He and Jackie somehow managed to reflect the ideal while also being relatable. Their young children revealed the softer side of America's power couple.
This post is part of a Midlife Boulevard Blog Hop! Check back after 10 am Central for links to others' posts on the same topic. 
But it wasn't Jack's dimples or Jackie's wardrobe that resonated with me the most during my youth. It was a statement about Kennedy's political failures that stuck with me the most.
I remember one of my grade school teachers giving us a worksheet about JFK.  I learned that JFK had made a number of failed runs for office over his political career.   I was stunned to read this.  And as I moved from a child to a teen to a young adult, this memory helped me to persevere past failures and into success.
This week, I tried to find the exact sentence that my teacher provided. It was phrased something like this: "Before becoming the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy failed to be elected in [x number] of elections."
I couldn't find such a statement, but I did find these specific examples of failures that JFK suffered, survived and then thrived.
  • In 1936, Kennedy failed to be elected as president of the freshman class, losing to James D. Lightbody. Actually Lightbody and five others beat out JFK and 28 other contenders for a spot on th ballot. 
  • In 1937, Kennedy failed to win a spot on the student council for his sophomore year. (See slide 29 on this slide show of 60 Famous Failures.)
  • In the fall of 1940, Kennedy audited some business classes at Stanford for one semester, left and never returned.
  • In 1956, the nomination for the candidate for vice president was determined by the Democratic National Committee.  Kennedy failed to secure the win.   Estes Kefauver of Tennesse won 755 1/2 votes; Kennedy only secured 598. 
On the topic of failure, Kennedy boldly declared,  "Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly."  
It might be easy to point to his family's wealth as a buffer to the failures listed above. However, he also had health problems that money might have eased--but could not entirely erase. 
In addition to these low points in his educational pursuits and his political career, Kennedy had to deal with health problems for his entire life. These problems ranged from colitis to back problems that required surgery to Addison's Disease.  Nevertheless, Kennedy found the strength to hold office, raise a family, travel and secure a place in the nation's memory. 
And it's this memory of Kennedy -- as the comeback kid -- that has influenced me the most as a young baby boomer. 

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener