President John F. Kennedy (When was he president? What are at least 2 important decisions he made regarding civil rights? When was he assassinated?)

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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John F. Kennedy was the President of the United States from January 1961 until his death in November of 1963.  Kennedy was elected in November of 1960 and took office the next January.  He was assassinated on November 22, 1963 by a man named Lee Harvey Oswald.  So far as we know, Kennedy was assassinated simply because Oswald was mentally imbalanced.  Oswald was a communist sympathizer who had lived in the Soviet Union, but it is not generally believed that he killed Kennedy for political reasons.

One important decision that Kennedy made on civil rights was when he decided to intervene on behalf of Martin Luther King, Jr. when King was jailed.  Kennedy called King’s wife to express support and then had his brother make a call to get King released.  This did not enact any policy, but it signaled that his administration would support civil rights.  The most important decision that Kennedy made was to put forward a major civil rights bill in the fall of 1963.

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