Kennedy faced Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the first televised presidential debate that probably swung the election in his favor. The first debate was viewed by 70 million people.
The JFK presidential campaign song “High Hopes’’ was sung by Frank Sinatra.
He was the youngest man elected president, at age 43.
He defeated Nixon in a tightly contested race, winning by fewer than 120,000 votes.
His inauguration speech sought a new activism among Americans and is among the most quoted inauguration speeches of any president.
He was the first president to dance with an African-American woman at the inaugural ball.
Alan Shepard became the first American in space during Kennedy’s first year as president.
Kennedy was so alarmed by the cost of the space program that by September 1963 he proposed that the United States and Soviet Union partner on a joint expedition to the moon.
His speech in 1962 on the steps of the Schöneberger City Hall in Berlin, which ended with the words “Ich bin ein Berliner,” would immortalize him.
His executive order in January 1962 allowed federal workers to collectively bargain for the first time.