After I read the given text about Kennedy's failures and  successes I was wondering if his presidency was successful or not? What is the correct answer to that question? I felt like he was quite...

After I read the given text about Kennedy's failures and  successes I was wondering if his presidency was successful or not? What is the correct answer to that question? I felt like he was quite successful during the 1036 days in office.

Expert Answers
mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The presidency of John F. Kennedy was successful. However, because he didn’t have the opportunity to complete his entire term, there was some unfinished business.

President Kennedy was successful in several areas. He was very successful in handling the Cuban Missile Crisis. There was a significant concern that this crisis would lead to a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. President Kennedy didn’t back down from his insistence that the Soviet Union remove the missiles in Cuba, and that they would dismantle the missile sites there. Through diplomacy, President Kennedy reached an agreement with the Soviet Union that ended the crisis peacefully. We removed our missiles in Turkey and promised not to invade Cuba. The Soviet Union removed their missiles in Cuba and dismantled the missile sites in Cuba.

President Kennedy also furthered the cause of women. He established the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. The Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, and he issued an executive order ending gender discrimination for jobs in civil service. He also appointed women to jobs in his administration.

While President, a few other things occurred. The minimum wage increased to $1.25. More jobs were also created, especially in the defensive industry. The groundwork was done for later achievements in the area of civil rights.

There were some goals of President Kennedy that weren’t accomplished. He wanted a health insurance program for the elderly. He also wanted to increase federal aid to public schools. His programs for improvements in civil rights were not progressing in Congress. Part of the problem President Kennedy faced is that when he ran for President in 1960, he didn’t campaign for other Democrats running for office. Thus, these members of Congress didn’t feel they owed anything to him, especially on issues that were considered controversial, such as proposed civil rights laws and health insurance for the elderly.

One failure in foreign policy was the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. This was a disastrous event for which President Kennedy took full responsibility.

After Kennedy’s assassination, some of his ideas were passed. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. The Medicare program was established. More federal aid was provided to schools. Thus, while these achievements occurred while President Johnson was in office, President Kennedy was the person who proposed these ideas and worked for their implementation.

President Kennedy’s term in office was a success. He just didn’t have enough time to accomplish more of his goals due to his assassination in November 1963.

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