Happy Birthday Mr. President – JFK

10 Facts about President John F. Kennedy

May 29, 2014 by NCC Staff

On the occasion of President John F. Kennedy’s birthday, here’s a look at one of the most documented figures of the 20th century.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917, and died while in office on November 22, 1963. He spent a good portion of his life as a public figure, from one of the wealthiest, most well-connected families in New England. After his tragic death, most of his life has been written about in great detail.

From among the wealth of knowledge about President Kennedy, here are 10 interesting facts about the 35th president.

1. His family was very, very rich.

The Kennedy family

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., is shown surrounded by his family. Clockwise, from bottom left: Robert, Eunice, John, Kathleen, Joe Jr., Rosemary, wife Rose, Teddy, Patricia and Jean. (AP Photo)

President Kennedy was the richest president ever, based on the estimated value of his family’s fortune. In fact, his part of that fortune may have been worth $1 billion at the time of Kennedy’s death. His father, Joseph Kennedy, was involved heavily in Wall Street and other investment opportunities.

2. His father was near a terror attack just after JFK was born.

Joseph Kennedy escaped the infamous 1920 Wall Street bombing. An unknown group of anarchists planted a bomb in a wagon full of lead weights on the street. The explosion killed 38 bystanders on Wall Street. The elder Kennedy was thrown to the ground by the blast, but was unharmed.

3. He grew up partly in the Bronx.

The stereotype of Kennedy is that he was a born-and-bred Bostonian. In reality, Kennedy spent the first 10 years of his life in Brookline, in suburban Boston, until his family moved to the Bronx. The future president spent his middle-school years in the Bronx area until his family sent him to private school in Connecticut.

4. President Kennedy played the role of movie producer.

Warren Beatty almost played Kennedy in the movie PT-109, which was based on the sinking of Kennedy’s boat in the Solomon Islands. President Kennedy wanted Cliff Robertson to play a young Lieutenant Kennedy in the war movie, but the first lady wanted Beatty. The president’s choice wound up appearing in the 1963 movie, which also features a lot of familiar faces who wound up on baby boomer TV shows. Kennedy also helped pick the movie’s director.

JFK receives the purple heart

War Hero: June 12, 1944 – The presentation of the Navy and Marine Corps medal for Gallantry in Action to Lt. John F. Kennedy during a simple ceremony at Chelsea Naval hospital in Massachusetts. Jack had also received the Purple Heart. Later in June, he underwent his first back surgery, but would suffer lifelong discomfort.

5. He was the only president to win a Purple Heart.

Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in the Pacific during World War II. Two recent presidential candidates, John Kerry and John McCain, were Purple Heart recipients.

6. Kennedy wasn’t the youngest president ever.

That title goes to Theodore Roosevelt, who was a little more than nine months younger than Kennedy, at the age of 42 years, 10 months, when he succeeded William McKinley as president in 1901. However, Kennedy was the youngest person elected president, at the age of 43 years, seven months, when he became president in 1961. Bill Clinton was the third youngest president, as 46 years of age.

7. Kennedy was an experienced politician at a young age.

In 1946, Kennedy ran for the House of Representatives at the age of 29 and won. His older brother had been expected to be the family’s political standard bearer, but he was killed in action during World War II. Kennedy was elected three times to the House and two times to the U.S. Senate before becoming president, and he had more national political experience than our two most recent presidents. Health problems did keep Kennedy from attending Congress for some periods.

8. Kennedy’s popular vote win over Richard Nixon was very, very narrow.

Kennedy defeated Nixon in the 1960 election when votes were counted in the Electoral College, by a margin of 303 to 219. But in the popular vote, Kennedy won by 112,000 votes out of 68 million cast. Also, arguments persist to this day about vote-counting in two states: Illinois and Texas. If Nixon had won those two states, he would have defeated Kennedy by two votes in the Electoral College.

9. JFK recorded conversations in the White House.

Actually, Kennedy wasn’t the first president to record private conversations in the White House (that was President Franklin D. Roosevelt). One theory for the Kennedy taping system was that the president had already written two books and wanted the tapes for when he wrote his memoirs after leaving office. Many of the tapes have been declassified over the past decades.

10. Kennedy almost died twice before he became president.

Not including his run-in with a Japanese ship on the PT-109, Kennedy long suffered with health problems. Today, those health issues are well-documented, and two incidents resulted in a priest giving Kennedy last rites in a hospital. In 1948, when Kennedy was in Great Britain, his health looked dire after he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, according to author Robert Dallek. And in 1954, Kennedy nearly died from an infection after back surgery.

 

Happy Birthday, Mr. President from Marilyn

Almond Strawberry Salad recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Almond Strawberry Salad

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced honey-roasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, honey and sugar. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.

Nutritional Facts
3/4 cup equals 74 calories, 4 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 98 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat.
Originally published as Almond Strawberry Salad in Simple & Delicious March/April 2006, p17

Strawberry-Orange Vinegar and Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing Recipes

Strawberry-Orange Vinegar Dressing

This light and refreshing strawberry-orange dressing from our Test Kitchen will nicely accent any fresh green salad. Use your favorite salad greens or a ready-to-serve package to keep things simple. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
Strawberry Orange Vinegar
Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 1-2/3 cups or 26 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 c. sliced fresh strawberries

Directions:

  1. Using a citrus zester, peel rind from orange in long narrow strips (being careful not to remove pith). In a large saucepan, heat vinegar and sugar to just below the boiling point. Place strawberries in a warm sterilized quart jar; add heated vinegar mixture and orange peel. Cover and let stand in a cool dark place 10 days.
  2. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth; discard pulp and orange rind. Pour into a sterilized pint jar. Seal tightly. Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.

Nutritional Facts
1 tablespoon equals 15 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, trace sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein. Diabetic Exchange: Free food.

Originally published as Strawberry Orange Vinegar in Healthy Cooking April/May 2012, p31

 

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
Photo by Taste of Home©

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup Strawberry Orange Vinegar (see above recipe) or raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Nutritional Facts:
2 tablespoons equals 108 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 74 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1/2 starch.

Originally published as Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing in Healthy Cooking April/May 2012, p33

 

Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate Recipe

Yield: 20 Servings

Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds fresh raspberries (about 14 cups)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 cups lemon juice
  • Chilled tonic water or ginger ale
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Place raspberries in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Strain raspberries, reserving juice. Discard seeds. Place juice in a Dutch oven; stir in sugar and lemon juice. Heat over medium-high heat to 190°. Do not boil.
  2. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into five hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  3. Place jars into canner simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

To use concentrate: Mix 1 pint concentrate with 1 pint tonic water. Serve over ice. Yield: 5 pints (4 servings each)

Editor’s Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

Nutritional Facts:
1 cup lemonade equals 319 calories, trace fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 83 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Originally published as Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate in Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2010, p209

Jalapeno Spinach Dip

Jalapeno Spinach Dip

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 1/4 cup each or 16 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded jalapeno peppers
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • Tortilla chips

Directions:
In a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through. Serve with chips.
Editor’s Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutritional Facts
1/4 cup (calculated without chips) equals 153 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 43 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.
Originally published as Jalapeno Spinach Dip in Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes Annual 2013, p85

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken recipe

Yield: 8 Servings

Grilled Buttermilk Chicken

Photo by Real Simple.com/Con Poulos

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 pounds bone-in chicken pieces

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, garlic, paprika, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Divide the buttermilk mixture and chicken between 2 large resealable plastic bags. Let marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bags occasionally, for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Heat grill to medium-low. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and grill, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Grilled Corn with Cheese and Lime

Yield: 8 Servings

Grilled Corn with Cheese and Lime

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese) or Feta
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Brush the corn with the oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Grill, turning often, until tender and charred, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the corn with the cheese and cayenne. Serve with the lime wedges.