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Remembering JFK on his 102nd birthday (May 29)

Updated : May 24, 2019 10:21 PM IST

John F. Kennedy is the 35th president of the United States and served at the height of the Cold War. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard University in 1940 before joining the US Naval Reserve the following year. A really good-looking guy who married a really good-looking woman, became the youngest President of the United States, his life cut short by a bullet on November 22, 1963. He was 46 that day. Had he lived, he would have been 102 this May 29. He is dead for more than five decades but death never took him away - his images live on.

Brookline, Massachusetts. May 29, 1917. A bonny boy was born into the Kennedy home. His name: John Fitzgerald ‘Jack’ Kennedy. A really good-looking guy who married a really good-looking woman, became the youngest President of the United States, his life cut short by a bullet on November 22, 1963. He was 46 that day. Had he lived, he would have been 102 this May 29. He is dead for more than five decades but death never took him away - his images live on. JFK playing football shirtless on Cape Cod, JFK being a war hero, JFK in an oversized crew neck sweater, JFK walking his daughter, JFK kissing his wife Jackie, JFK smiling his smile...Such was his charisma that magazines even wrote How to Dress Like JFK articles. At 102, I am not sure whether he would have worn statement watches, mastered the mismatch suit, turned white Oxford into beach uniform...I cannot imagine JFK cragged, wrinkled, bent over, wobbly at 102. On his birthday, I find his childhood, his assassin, his death, his memorial. <strong>(Photo courtesy: From the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, President's Collection, Courtesy the Parkives of the Omni Parker House)</strong>
Brookline, Massachusetts. May 29, 1917. A bonny boy was born into the Kennedy home. His name: John Fitzgerald ‘Jack’ Kennedy. A really good-looking guy who married a really good-looking woman, became the youngest President of the United States, his life cut short by a bullet on November 22, 1963. He was 46 that day. Had he lived, he would have been 102 this May 29. He is dead for more than five decades but death never took him away - his images live on. JFK playing football shirtless on Cape Cod, JFK being a war hero, JFK in an oversized crew neck sweater, JFK walking his daughter, JFK kissing his wife Jackie, JFK smiling his smile...Such was his charisma that magazines even wrote How to Dress Like JFK articles. At 102, I am not sure whether he would have worn statement watches, mastered the mismatch suit, turned white Oxford into beach uniform...I cannot imagine JFK cragged, wrinkled, bent over, wobbly at 102. On his birthday, I find his childhood, his assassin, his death, his memorial. (Photo courtesy: From the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, President's Collection, Courtesy the Parkives of the Omni Parker House)
Omni Parker House, Boston: In the magnificently old-worldly beautiful, Omni Parker House hotel, stories about JFK are etched on the walls. Numerous stories - of a day in 1923 when the 6-year-old JFK made his first public speech during a party in honour of his grandfather, John ‘Honey Fitz’ Fitzgerald who was the mayor of Boston from 1906 to 1908 and 1910 to 1914. In 1946, it was in this hotel that JFK announced his bid for Congress. In summer of 1953, a 24-year-old radiant Jacqueline Bouvier sat across a handsome, clean-cut John F. Kennedy in Parker’s Restaurant’s Table 40. He pulled out a velvet box that had a glittering emerald and diamond ring, custom-made for the soon-to-be Mrs Kennedy. Not only did JFK propose to Jackie in The Parker House, but he also held his bachelor party in the same hotel. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Omni Parker House)</strong>
Omni Parker House, Boston: In the magnificently old-worldly beautiful, Omni Parker House hotel, stories about JFK are etched on the walls. Numerous stories - of a day in 1923 when the 6-year-old JFK made his first public speech during a party in honour of his grandfather, John ‘Honey Fitz’ Fitzgerald who was the mayor of Boston from 1906 to 1908 and 1910 to 1914. In 1946, it was in this hotel that JFK announced his bid for Congress. In summer of 1953, a 24-year-old radiant Jacqueline Bouvier sat across a handsome, clean-cut John F. Kennedy in Parker’s Restaurant’s Table 40. He pulled out a velvet box that had a glittering emerald and diamond ring, custom-made for the soon-to-be Mrs Kennedy. Not only did JFK propose to Jackie in The Parker House, but he also held his bachelor party in the same hotel. (Photo courtesy: Omni Parker House)
A student at Harvard, Massachusetts: Despite spending most of his teenage years living in New York (and even briefly enrolling at Princeton), following in the footsteps of his father and older brother, JFK joined Harvard University in 1936. In his first years at Harvard, he played football, was a solid swimmer and also joined the sailing team. During his freshman year, he was the chairman of what was in essence a party-planning committee which was officially known as Freshman Smoker Committee. According to boston.com, in the classroom, Kennedy studied government and was mostly a C-student. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)</strong>
A student at Harvard, Massachusetts: Despite spending most of his teenage years living in New York (and even briefly enrolling at Princeton), following in the footsteps of his father and older brother, JFK joined Harvard University in 1936. In his first years at Harvard, he played football, was a solid swimmer and also joined the sailing team. During his freshman year, he was the chairman of what was in essence a party-planning committee which was officially known as Freshman Smoker Committee. According to boston.com, in the classroom, Kennedy studied government and was mostly a C-student. (Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)
Last speech in Fort Worth, Texas: “I know now why everyone in Texas -- Fort Worth -- is so thin, having gotten up and down about nine times...This is what you do every morning.” On November 22, 1963, this is how JFK began his breakfast address to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, just a few hours before the fatal gunshot. It was in Suite 850 of the historic Hilton Fort Worth (formerly Hotel Texas) that JFK had spent his final night - the hotel is still adorned with historic photos of that fateful day. The statue here marks the spot where JFK gave his last speech. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)</strong>
Last speech in Fort Worth, Texas: “I know now why everyone in Texas -- Fort Worth -- is so thin, having gotten up and down about nine times...This is what you do every morning.” On November 22, 1963, this is how JFK began his breakfast address to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, just a few hours before the fatal gunshot. It was in Suite 850 of the historic Hilton Fort Worth (formerly Hotel Texas) that JFK had spent his final night - the hotel is still adorned with historic photos of that fateful day. The statue here marks the spot where JFK gave his last speech. (Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)
The spot where JFK was killed in Dallas, Texas: The ‘X’ on Dallas’ Dealey Plaza marks the approximate spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at 12.30 pm on November 22, 1963. More than 150,000 people had turned out along the motorcade’s 10-mile route to greet America’s 35th President and his assassin was not too far from him. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)</strong>
The spot where JFK was killed in Dallas, Texas: The ‘X’ on Dallas’ Dealey Plaza marks the approximate spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at 12.30 pm on November 22, 1963. More than 150,000 people had turned out along the motorcade’s 10-mile route to greet America’s 35th President and his assassin was not too far from him. (Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)
The Assassin’s hideout in Dallas, Texas: It was in 1898 that the Southern Rock Island Plow Company built a 5-story building at the northwest corner of Houston and Elm streets in Dallas. Many years later, within minutes of the assassination of JFK, the building (later Texas School Book Depository) became the primary crime scene for the shooting after evidence of a sniper was found on the sixth floor. A Depository employee, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested for the murder of a Dallas police officer within 80 minutes of the assassination and later charged with the assassination of the president. Photographed here is the building which is now The Sixth Floor Museum. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)</strong>
The Assassin’s hideout in Dallas, Texas: It was in 1898 that the Southern Rock Island Plow Company built a 5-story building at the northwest corner of Houston and Elm streets in Dallas. Many years later, within minutes of the assassination of JFK, the building (later Texas School Book Depository) became the primary crime scene for the shooting after evidence of a sniper was found on the sixth floor. A Depository employee, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested for the murder of a Dallas police officer within 80 minutes of the assassination and later charged with the assassination of the president. Photographed here is the building which is now The Sixth Floor Museum. (Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, Dallas, Texas: Set in downtown Dallas and built to honour JFK, the memorial was designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, a friend of the Kennedy’s. Comprising 8 columns supporting an all-white granite cube structure, in the centre lies a stone slab with three words carved and painted in gold: John Fitzgerald Kennedy. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)</strong>
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, Dallas, Texas: Set in downtown Dallas and built to honour JFK, the memorial was designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, a friend of the Kennedy’s. Comprising 8 columns supporting an all-white granite cube structure, in the centre lies a stone slab with three words carved and painted in gold: John Fitzgerald Kennedy. (Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)
JFK Library & Museum, Boston: Located on a ten-acre park, overlooking the sea that he loved and the city that launched him to greatness, the John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum houses roughly 24 million pages of documents in over 400 collections, 517,000 original prints, contact sheets, negatives, transparencies, and albums, 15,200 sound recordings, 9,400 original video recordings and 4,950 original reels of film. The 9-storied building also has two major oral history collections that include over 1,600 interviews of people associated with John F. Kennedy and/or Robert F. Kennedy. <strong>(Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)</strong>
JFK Library & Museum, Boston: Located on a ten-acre park, overlooking the sea that he loved and the city that launched him to greatness, the John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum houses roughly 24 million pages of documents in over 400 collections, 517,000 original prints, contact sheets, negatives, transparencies, and albums, 15,200 sound recordings, 9,400 original video recordings and 4,950 original reels of film. The 9-storied building also has two major oral history collections that include over 1,600 interviews of people associated with John F. Kennedy and/or Robert F. Kennedy. (Photo courtesy: Preeti Verma Lal)
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