History Main / JohnFKennedy

2nd Feb '14 11:25:31 AM MarkLungo
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[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Resized_on_the_right__7974.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.]]

->''" we stand today on the edge of a [[CatchPhrase New Frontier]]--the frontier of the 1960's--a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils-- a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats."''
-->-- '''John F. Kennedy''', Accepting the Democratic Party Nomination for the Presidency of the United States, July 15, 1960

->''"Jack could be shameless in his sexuality, simply pull girls' dresses up and so forth. He would corner them at White House dinner parties and ask them to step into the next room away from the noise, where they could hold a 'serious discussion.'"''
-->-- '''Lem Billings''', a close friend of JFK.

Often simply referred to by his initials of JFK, '''John Fitzgerald Kennedy''' (1917-1963) was President of the United States [[TheSixties from 196163]], after DwightDEisenhower and before LyndonJohnson, whose assassination in office gave rise to a million GovernmentConspiracy theories. He was known for his particularly inspirational turns-of-phrases in his speeches and overseeing an era of American history rife with social and political turmoil.

Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit in his weekly press-conferences, verbally sparring with reporters who dared to raise their hand to ask him a question. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.

1960 was actually a ''very'' close election indeed, with the popular vote margin (at 0.1 percentage points) being the closest of the 20th century, the Electoral College skewing things somewhat in JFK's favor. More specifically:

* Kennedy won 11 states by three percentage points or less, with Nixon winning five by the same margin.
* UsefulNotes/{{California}} went from Kennedy to Nixon on absentee ballots.[[note]]This shouldn't have been unexpected, as Nixon was from California.[[/note]]
* A Southern Rights candidate, Harry Byrd, picked up fourteen Electoral College votes off unpledged Democrats (all eight electors from Mississippi and six of the eleven from Alabama) and one "faithless" Nixon elector from Oklahoma. Byrd was a segregationist, actually closing some of Virginia's public schools to avoid desegregating them, in one case (Prince Edward County) for ''five years''.
** A very strange Alabama election: Delegates were selected individually, and a candidate's statewide vote total was recorded as the greatest number of votes cast for an elector pledged to that candidate. Nixon could have won the popular vote there, we'll never know. Of the 11 electors appointed from that state, 6 were unpledged Democratic electors who voted for Byrd/Thurmond. It's still debated whether votes for those electors should be considered Kennedy votes.
* Illinois coming down to Cook County (the UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} area) with allegations of widespread fraud -- namely the dead voting for Kennedy, and the Democratic mayor withholding election results until the morning after the election. [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texas]] (home state of Kennedy's running mate LyndonJohnson) also had allegations of fraud ("''Kennedy won Texas with the help of live Catholics and dead Protestants''"). Nixon publicly refused to back a recount, but privately went for one. Legal challenges carried on until summer 1961, with the only impact being {{Hawaii}} switching from Nixon to Kennedy after a Democratic challenge.
** Missouri and New Jersey were also struck with fraud allegations, in particular the extremely high turnout and Kennedy vote in heavily Catholic precincts.
* The contest was filled with controversy over civil rights and over Kennedy's Catholicism.
* Historians have even leveled criticism at John F. Kennedy's father having Mafia connections and using those connections to rig some of the votes in Kennedy's favor in exchange for the promise of favors from the future President. If this is true then there is a great deal of irony in the fact that John and his younger brother Robert[[note]]whom JFK put in charge of the Justice Department; after he died, Congress passed a law prohibiting the President from appointing any immediate family to the Cabinet[[/note]] were very anti-Mafia and made many laws that cracked down on such criminal organizations.

Kennedy was arguably our second handicapped president ([[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] being the first, natch) given that he had Addison's disease, and some have argued that if he weren't wearing his back brace in [[UsefulNotes/DFWMetroplex Dallas]], he might have been able [[WhatIf to duck and avoid the gunfire]].

A youthful, glamorous and invigorating figure, along with his attractive wife Jacqueline Bouvier and his young family Kennedy was seen as introducing a new and liberating era to American political and cultural life after the stifling and stuffy days of TheFifties, and his time in office was dubbed "Camelot" soon after his death. Despite this, his short term was filled with crises and political upheaval, such as the CIA-directed 'Bay of Pigs' invasion of Communist Cuba, which went belly-up when Kennedy -- pissed at being left ignorant of some details of the invasion, which was a hold-over from the [[DwightDEisenhower previous administration]] -- refused to give the invading Cuban exiles air support. Publicly, Kennedy took sole responsibility for the resulting failure, which dented his popularity, but privately he blamed the CIA and took measures to limit their power and influence -- something which, following the events of 1963, many conspiracy theorists would take note of.

This failed invasion soured relations with Cuba (never that strong to begin with) and eventually led in 1962 to the CubanMissileCrisis -- in response to this invasion attempt, the Soviet Union began supplying nuclear arms to Cuba, leading to a U.S.-led blockade of Cuba. Tensions rose drastically, and it seemed very likely that WorldWarThree was going to be declared any minute; fortunately for the human race, cooler heads on both sides prevailed, and the Russians withdrew (following secret negotiations during which Kennedy promised to remove missiles from Turkey).

Kennedy created the Peace Corps, intended to strengthen America's soft power and diplomatic ties around the world through youth activism. It's interesting that he also created the UsefulNotes/NavySeals, a elite BadassCrew still operating today. See the trope for more information.

Despite this international business, the CivilRightsMovement caught him off guard as activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders really starting to challenge racism throughout the South. Unfortunately, the South was such an integral part of the Democratic Party's power base that Kennedy was very nervous about alienating the southern states until they started getting so brutish on TV, frantically trying to preserve White power, that the White House had to respond. Like AbrahamLincoln before him, Kennedy had to be careful when it came to dealing with these kinds of things - if he didn't wait until the right moment, then it was sure to lose the vote in Congress.

One thing Kennedy is still credited for championing is the American space program. When he issued a challenge to the nation, to put a man on the moon and bring him back to earth ''alive'' before the end of the decade, people called him crazy. How crazy? Ask Buzz Aldrin and you'll get an answer. Just remember to [[BerserkButton duck]],[[http://youtu.be/ZOo6aHSY8hU or you might end up like this guy.]]

On November 22, 1963, Kennedy visited Dallas, Texas as part of campaigning for his upcoming run for re-election. As his motorcade passed the Texas Book Depository at Dealey Plaza, shots were fired; Kennedy was hit in the head and torso, and rushed to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Although a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, was later arrested and identified as the main suspect of the assassination, numerous irregularities in the record -- along with Oswald's ''own'' [[CriticalExistenceFailure assassination]], by a mob-connected nightclub owner named Jack Ruby -- soon gave rise to numerous conspiracy theories about [[WhoShotJFK who had]] ''[[WhoShotJFK really]]'' [[WhoShotJFK killed Kennedy]], involving conspirators as wide-spread as TheMafia, [[DirtyCommunists the Soviet Union]], Cubans both pro- and anti-Castro (anti-Castro types being pissed about Kennedy's failure to support the Bay of Pigs, widely believed to be the reason the invasion failed; pro-Castro types being pissed about the invasion to begin with, not to mention the President and CIA's ongoing "let's try to kill Castro as often as humanly possible" policy), the [[CloakAndDagger CIA]], and Kennedy's [[EvilChancellor Vice President]] LyndonJohnson, who succeeded him as President [[note]]Johnson was known to be extremely ambitious in wanting to be president, and to say the least was disappointed at being called up to be a fairly powerless Vice President[[/note]]. A commission headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren later identified Oswald as a "lone gunman". In 1979, the House Assassinations Committee concluded that Kennedy was probably killed as a result of a conspiracy, contradicting the Warren Commission's results, on the basis of a single piece of evidence (a dictabelt recording); this evidence was re-examined in 1983 and subsequently discarded.

[[WeaselWords For the record]], the "Single Bullet" theory is still the official and most complete version of events, as far as current evidence is concerned. Despite questions raised on this subject, there is not enough solid evidence to conclude otherwise. The History Channel conducted a reconstruction a few years ago, using a man in a bucket truck at the height of the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository, shooting at a convertible at the correct distance from him, moving at the correct speed, with dummies made of ballistic gel and inserts similar to human bone. The result was the bullet almost, but did not quite match the exact trip of the original bullet, but did go through both bodies (Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally) at a close measure, slightly deflecting because the bullet in the recreation was off by a fraction of an inch from the travel of the original bullet and struck a different bone in one of the dummies. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Please don't start an edit war over this.]]

Kennedy's legacy is somewhat controversial; many view him as an idealistic liberal icon who would have averted many of the controversies and social strife that bedevilled Johnson in the mid- to late sixties (including TheVietnamWar and social unrest over Civil Rights), whilst others claim that he was an average president who, had he survived, would have been just as tarnished by these controversies. The idealistic viewpoint also tends to overlook that Kennedy was a serial womanizer whose affairs were the stuff of legend and whose conquests reportedly included at one point MarilynMonroe (Some American feminists still blame JFK for Monroe's suicide). Some people think that makes a bad president, as [[BillClinton if his sex life really makes any difference]] to running the nation -- although given that some of the ladies he was reputedly connected to ''also'' had connections to organized crime figures, unfriendly governments, prostitution and other similarly unsavoury links, it's not ''entirely'' prudishness that governs this viewpoint; Jack Kennedy could be slightly irresponsible when it came to this part of his life, which could have led to trouble down the track. Nevertheless, many fictional portrayals of him [[NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe tend to lean to the idealistic side]]. Still others think that his Addison's disease might well have killed him in office anyway, given the state of medicine at the time (Kennedy had been the first Addisonian to successfully survive major surgery).

And concerning the quote above, [[Website/{{Cracked}} for proof that you will never be as badass and pimpsational as Kennedy, go ahead and try that "Hey baby, let's go have a serious discussion" line on any girl and then come back and tell us how much sex you didn't have.]] Apocryphal stories abound on Kennedy's promiscuity; allegedly he once told ''reporters'' "I'm not done with a woman until I've had her three ways."

Despite his numerous affairs, Kennedy very much was in love with his family and especially his wife, the very elegant and very popular Jacqueline. Jackie Kennedy remains just as much an icon of the time as her husband, famous for her iconic fashion and for her intelligence. While First Lady, she organized funding to arts and social causes and helped renovate the White House, giving a famous live television tour of the presidential mansion in 1962. That same year, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, she never left John's side when many other officials and their families fled. Gave birth to Kennedy's fourth child, Patrick, on August 7, 1963. He died two days later, and the public sympathy for the Kennedy family was enormous. She was sitting next to her husband when he was shot. Jacqueline is ''still'' one of the most admired First Ladies for the grace she displayed during those tumultuous few years of her life. Five years later, she married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate with whom she was having an affair for a while, and remained married until he died in 1975. In the interest of fairness, it is worth mentioning that Jacqueline Kennedy was also unfaithful to her husband, in some cases in [[ATasteOfTheirOwnMedicine retaliation]] for his numerous affairs. It's also fair to bear in mind that since history has largely tended to forgive JFK for not being perfect, Jackie should be given the same courtesy.

John placed his brother RobertFKennedy, with whom he was very close, into the office of Attorney General. After John died, Bobby became a Senator and then ran for the Democratic ticket in the 1968 presidential election. Like his brother, he was assassinated. Also like his brother, his death has resulted in numerous conspiracy theories.

Kennedy was, and to an extent still is, near worshiped in Ireland. Though not the first president of Irish descent (AndrewJackson was the son of Scots-Irish immigrants), he was the first of recent Irish ''Catholic'' descent. His Catholicism and interest in Ireland won great affection in that country, especially after his state visit in 1963. His sister Jean would later serve as ambassador to Ireland. Democrat Kennedy, the youngest man ever elected President, was only one of two fully Irish-American presidents, the other being Republican RonaldReagan, the oldest man elected to the same office.

The Kennedy family has remained in the public eye for decades and is considered by some to be a BigScrewedUpFamily. Members of the family are well-known for their charm, exuberance and continual misfortune, mostly in the form of untimely deaths for them and their associates; this is referred to as "the Kennedy curse." While the aforementioned Jean still draws breath, JFK's final living brother, long-time Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, passed away on 25 August 2009, which may mark the end of the Kennedys' public prominence as there does not seem to be anyone in the family who is poised to step into the national spotlight at least, no one bearing the Kennedy surname; the extended family includes a number of notable figures, including Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger who was connected by marriage. (This has changed as of 2013, when JFK's daughter, Caroline, became US's ambassador to Japan.)

Due to his iconic status, still liable to be invoked by fanboys and wannabes, who thereby tend to make themselves very much liable to the WannabeDiss. His popular success as President and his assassination also largely killed American prejudice against at least lay Roman Catholics as a minority group.

When portrayed in fiction, expect to hear a highly exaggerated version of his quite distinctive [[UsefulNotes/AmericanAccents New England accent]]. He was famous for his harnessing of mass media to rally support, and as a result, he remains somebody who can be recognized simply by the sound of his voice. To this day, many attempts at "UsefulNotes/{{B|oston}}awstin" accents try to simply copy Kennedy's speaking patterns, even though many New Englanders will be among the first to tell you that the Kennedys are the only people who actually speak like that.

Note: Please only add examples where Kennedy appears as a character. If he is only shown in order to be assassinated, put the entry under WhoShotJFK.
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!!Kennedy in fiction

* Actually, it isn't fiction, but the groundbreaking 1960 documentary ''Film/{{Primary}}'' records the contest between Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in the 1960 Wisconsin Democratic primary.
* Played by Martin Sheen in the TV miniseries ''Kennedy''.
* ''Film/ThirteenDays'' focuses on the CubanMissileCrisis from the point of view of Kennedy and his senior advisors.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' presents an unusual solution to the mystery of his assassination: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself did it. From the Grassy Knoll. Or rather, Kennedy from an AlternateHistory in which he survived his assassination attempt and was later impeached due to his affair with the mistress of a mob boss, which led to the Soviets winning the UsefulNotes/ColdWar.]]
* JFK's clone is the JerkJock and one of the main characters of ''CloneHigh''. [[MemeticMutation Foa suppah,]] [[HollywoodNewEngland he, er, uh, wants a]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQU4bbPbr7w&feature=related pahty plattah.]]
* In ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'', JFK appears in a flashback, meeting Dr. Manhattan on the White House lawn.
** [[spoiler: Another flashback in the opening montage shows the Comedian shooting JFK from the Grassy Knoll.]]
* A 2007 ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' comic book written by SilverAge author Bob Haney and [[{{Retraux}} deliberately emulating]] that era's wacky hijinks has the team rescuing JFK from alien mods who kidnapped him, replaced him with one of their own, and made them their ruler to fight a tribe of savage space hippies. In the end, JFK and the Titans convince the two warring races to work through their differences, our young heroes return to Earth to find that the alien impostor had solved the Cuban Missile Crisis and been assassinated, and swear to keep JFK's true whereabouts a secret while the President leads the mods and hippies in a war against evil robots. Whew!
* In the episode "Profile in Silver" of the 1980s version of ''TheTwilightZone'', a distant descendant of JFK who is a professor of history uses a time machine to travel from the 22nd century to 1963 to "witness" Kennedy's assassination. He prevents it instead, which in turn triggers World War III. At the end of the show [[spoiler:the professor ends up taking Kennedy's place at Dealey Plaza and is assassinated, while Kennedy ends up in the 22nd century and teaches history]].
* ''TheSimpsons'' example. Abe Simpson beats up Kennedy after mistaking him for a Nazi ("Ich Bin Ein Berliner").
** Uh, not to mention the fact that Mayor Quimby's character is based off of Kennedy, from accent to womanizing to mob ties, even "Ich bin ein Springfielder."
* ''ForrestGump'' meets him when he becomes a member of the All-American team. And tells him that he really has to pee.
* ''CSAConfederateStatesOfAmerica'' features JFK as the first Northerner elected since the AmericanCivilWar. He supports the abolition of slavery as well as giving women the vote. Ultimately, he gets shot in this timeline as well for those views, essentially killing any progress he made toward his goals.
* ''Alternate Kennedys'', a 1992 anthology of 25 AlternateHistory stories revolving around the Kennedys; David Gerrold contributed "The Kennedy Enterprise", which has an [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman alternate JFK as an actor who went on to portray]] [[Franchise/StarTrek the captain of the]] ''[[Franchise/StarTrek U.S.S. Enterprise]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', it's implied that [[spoiler:JFK was part of the Assassins]]. And it is all but outright said that Lee Harvey Oswald was [[spoiler: a Templar who shot him]], apparently to recover [[spoiler: a [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Piece of Eden]], then used a used another one to make a hologram of the two guys on The Grassy Knoll.]]
* A ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' skit showed him encouraging BillClinton to continue with his philandering.
* TheLastHurrah has a character named Kevin [=McCluskey=], who runs against the incumbent mayor, Frank Skeffington. [=McCluskey=] is a telegenic but politically inexperienced candidate with a fancy education, a pretty wife, smiling kids, a respectable [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo war record]] from his service in the Navy, and [[BrainlessBeauty more good looks than brains]]. It should be noted that James Michael Curley, the alleged real-life basis for Skeffington, served briefly in the United States Congress, and the person who replaced him in his Congressional seat was a young but ambitious neophyte politician named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It should also be noted that the original novel was published in 1956, four years ''before'' Kennedy became President, making this a strange real-life case of RetroactiveRecognition.
* Comedian Vaughn Meader made his name as a spot-on impersonator of JFK; his album of Kennedy skits ''The First Family'' was very successful, until Kennedy's assassination [[NeverLiveItDown killed it]], along with Meader's career.
** Though JFK himself once said in a press conference, "I've listened to Mr. Meader's record but I think it sounded more like Teddy than it did me."
* Franchise/{{Superman}} met President Kennedy on several occasions in the SilverAge. For instance, there was a story where Kennedy impersonated Clark Kent to help Superman hide his SecretIdentity. However, its publication was coincidentally right after Kennedy's assassination, which lead to the obvious [[UnfortunateImplications unfortunate implication]] that Superman trusted the President knowing that he would soon be dead. This also include the classic tale "Superman's Mission For President Kennedy," which was originally to be published in late 1963 but was pulled after JFK's assassination. The story was finally published several months later, per the request of President Johnson and the Kennedy family. Thanks to [[ComicBookTime comics' sliding-scale timeline]], the above tale was rewritten in TheEighties as "''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'s'' Mission For President Kennedy."
* ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} also met President and Mrs. Kennedy soon after her existence was revealed to the world in February 1962. Jack said "I know you'll use your super-powers not only to fight crime, but to preserve peace in our troubled world!" She said, "Thank you, Mr. President, I will," but what she was thinking was "The President's wife looks gorgeous!"
* Parts of the JFK assassination was featured in the movie TheHouseOfYes. One of the main characters modeled herself after Jackie O.
* ''CallOfDuty: Black Ops'', being set in the 1960s, naturally features JFK. In the regular story mode, Kennedy meets Alex Mason, the player character, and authorizes the assassination of the BigBad. [[spoiler: Later, it's revealed that Mason was brainwashed to kill Kennedy by the BigBad, which he may have actually done.]] In TheStinger of story mode, [[spoiler: Kennedy and Robert [=McNamara=], along with RichardNixon, interrogate Castro on the recent missile crisis. Then, ''zombies'' invade the Pentagon. And you get to kill them as Kennedy.]]
* ''The Kennedys'', a 2011 miniseries looking at the Kennedy family's rise to public prominence and their GloryDays during the 1960s, focuses heavily on JFK. It received a certain amount of controversy because of allegations of historical inaccuracy and [[AccentuateTheNegative highlighting some of the negative aspects of the family]], which was helped by the fact that several of the producers (including [[Series/TwentyFour Joel Surnow]]) are outspoken conservatives).
** That being said, the series actually ended up portraying the family--and in particular Robert F. Kennedy, played by Barry Pepper in an Emmy-winning performance--rather sympathetically. Though JFK's philandering is obviously there and alluded to, the series doesn't actually include any sex scenes, and it makes it clear that he does love Jackie. (Which is ironic, as one of its early critics' main concerns was that it would be an overly sexed-up version of history.) It's also fairly accurate, compared to many other works of historical fiction.
* Kennedy appears in ''The Two Georges'' (which also features his old enemy RichardNixon in a [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman prominent role]]) as a newspaper publisher sympathetic to an extremist 'liberation' movement operating within a North America which, after a peaceful resolution to what would have become the American War of Independence, remains subject to a British hegemony. He tries his legendary charms on the main female character -- who, notably (and apparently rarely) is actually discomforted and repelled by his advances, considering them borderline sexual harassment.
* Creator/StephenKing's novel ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'' deals with a man traveling back in time to 1958 to stop the Kennedy assassination.[[spoiler: It ends rather badly. TheVietnamWar ends with Saigon being nuked, India and Pakistan have a limited nuclear exchange. Russia collapses, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Maine ends up becoming part of Canada]]. Also, due to terrorism, and the aforementioned nuclear exchange, most of the planet has to deal with terrible radiation poisoning. Even worse, due to the amount of times history has been changed by the protagonist, and others, going back in time, the entire universe is in danger of destroying itself. Luckily, he hits the ResetButton.]]
* In the AlternateUniverse in ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Kennedy is still alive (having served a full two terms as President) and is just preparing to resign as US Ambassador to the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations.
* In ''Film/AnAmericanCarol'' a political comedy that uses the structure of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', he shows up as a Jacob Marley {{Expy}}.
* Is played by James Marsden in ''[[Film/TheButler Lee Daniels' The Butler]]''
* ''RedDwarf'' episode ''Tikka To Ride'' has the crew go back to 1963 and inadvertently stop his assassination, screwing up the future. In the end, they put a gunman behind the Grassy Knoll: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself.]]
* Kennedy appears in the backstory of the alternate history novel ''Resurrection Day'' and is at the center of yet another conspiracy. Most of the world reviles Kennedy as the insane monster who started the [[WorldWarIII Cuban War]], who obliterated the Soviet Union, and who reduced the United States to a third world pariah reliant on British foreign aid. Most people believe Kennedy died when Washington was bombed, while a few more assume he's incarcerated by the ruling military government as a war criminal along with his surviving administration. A small minority of conspiracy theorist thinks Kennedy is innocent and that [[HesJustHiding he's just hiding]], waiting to come out and lead America back to greatness. [[spoiler: Turns out the conspiracy theorists are only partially right. Kennedy ''did'' die during the bombing of Washington, but only because he refused to leave, working to the very last second to try to broker a cease fire with the Soviets and Cubans after one of his more [[GeneralRipper hawkish generals]] went over his head and invaded Cuba.]]
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to:

[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Resized_on_the_right__7974.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.]]

->''" we stand today on the edge of a [[CatchPhrase New Frontier]]--the frontier of the 1960's--a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils-- a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats."''
-->-- '''John F. Kennedy''', Accepting the Democratic Party Nomination for the Presidency of the United States, July 15, 1960

->''"Jack could be shameless in his sexuality, simply pull girls' dresses up and so forth. He would corner them at White House dinner parties and ask them to step into the next room away from the noise, where they could hold a 'serious discussion.'"''
-->-- '''Lem Billings''', a close friend of JFK.

Often simply referred to by his initials of JFK, '''John Fitzgerald Kennedy''' (1917-1963) was President of the United States [[TheSixties from 196163]], after DwightDEisenhower and before LyndonJohnson, whose assassination in office gave rise to a million GovernmentConspiracy theories. He was known for his particularly inspirational turns-of-phrases in his speeches and overseeing an era of American history rife with social and political turmoil.

Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit in his weekly press-conferences, verbally sparring with reporters who dared to raise their hand to ask him a question. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.

1960 was actually a ''very'' close election indeed, with the popular vote margin (at 0.1 percentage points) being the closest of the 20th century, the Electoral College skewing things somewhat in JFK's favor. More specifically:

* Kennedy won 11 states by three percentage points or less, with Nixon winning five by the same margin.
* UsefulNotes/{{California}} went from Kennedy to Nixon on absentee ballots.[[note]]This shouldn't have been unexpected, as Nixon was from California.[[/note]]
* A Southern Rights candidate, Harry Byrd, picked up fourteen Electoral College votes off unpledged Democrats (all eight electors from Mississippi and six of the eleven from Alabama) and one "faithless" Nixon elector from Oklahoma. Byrd was a segregationist, actually closing some of Virginia's public schools to avoid desegregating them, in one case (Prince Edward County) for ''five years''.
** A very strange Alabama election: Delegates were selected individually, and a candidate's statewide vote total was recorded as the greatest number of votes cast for an elector pledged to that candidate. Nixon could have won the popular vote there, we'll never know. Of the 11 electors appointed from that state, 6 were unpledged Democratic electors who voted for Byrd/Thurmond. It's still debated whether votes for those electors should be considered Kennedy votes.
* Illinois coming down to Cook County (the UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} area) with allegations of widespread fraud -- namely the dead voting for Kennedy, and the Democratic mayor withholding election results until the morning after the election. [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texas]] (home state of Kennedy's running mate LyndonJohnson) also had allegations of fraud ("''Kennedy won Texas with the help of live Catholics and dead Protestants''"). Nixon publicly refused to back a recount, but privately went for one. Legal challenges carried on until summer 1961, with the only impact being {{Hawaii}} switching from Nixon to Kennedy after a Democratic challenge.
** Missouri and New Jersey were also struck with fraud allegations, in particular the extremely high turnout and Kennedy vote in heavily Catholic precincts.
* The contest was filled with controversy over civil rights and over Kennedy's Catholicism.
* Historians have even leveled criticism at John F. Kennedy's father having Mafia connections and using those connections to rig some of the votes in Kennedy's favor in exchange for the promise of favors from the future President. If this is true then there is a great deal of irony in the fact that John and his younger brother Robert[[note]]whom JFK put in charge of the Justice Department; after he died, Congress passed a law prohibiting the President from appointing any immediate family to the Cabinet[[/note]] were very anti-Mafia and made many laws that cracked down on such criminal organizations.

Kennedy was arguably our second handicapped president ([[FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] being the first, natch) given that he had Addison's disease, and some have argued that if he weren't wearing his back brace in [[UsefulNotes/DFWMetroplex Dallas]], he might have been able [[WhatIf to duck and avoid the gunfire]].

A youthful, glamorous and invigorating figure, along with his attractive wife Jacqueline Bouvier and his young family Kennedy was seen as introducing a new and liberating era to American political and cultural life after the stifling and stuffy days of TheFifties, and his time in office was dubbed "Camelot" soon after his death. Despite this, his short term was filled with crises and political upheaval, such as the CIA-directed 'Bay of Pigs' invasion of Communist Cuba, which went belly-up when Kennedy -- pissed at being left ignorant of some details of the invasion, which was a hold-over from the [[DwightDEisenhower previous administration]] -- refused to give the invading Cuban exiles air support. Publicly, Kennedy took sole responsibility for the resulting failure, which dented his popularity, but privately he blamed the CIA and took measures to limit their power and influence -- something which, following the events of 1963, many conspiracy theorists would take note of.

This failed invasion soured relations with Cuba (never that strong to begin with) and eventually led in 1962 to the CubanMissileCrisis -- in response to this invasion attempt, the Soviet Union began supplying nuclear arms to Cuba, leading to a U.S.-led blockade of Cuba. Tensions rose drastically, and it seemed very likely that WorldWarThree was going to be declared any minute; fortunately for the human race, cooler heads on both sides prevailed, and the Russians withdrew (following secret negotiations during which Kennedy promised to remove missiles from Turkey).

Kennedy created the Peace Corps, intended to strengthen America's soft power and diplomatic ties around the world through youth activism. It's interesting that he also created the UsefulNotes/NavySeals, a elite BadassCrew still operating today. See the trope for more information.

Despite this international business, the CivilRightsMovement caught him off guard as activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Riders really starting to challenge racism throughout the South. Unfortunately, the South was such an integral part of the Democratic Party's power base that Kennedy was very nervous about alienating the southern states until they started getting so brutish on TV, frantically trying to preserve White power, that the White House had to respond. Like AbrahamLincoln before him, Kennedy had to be careful when it came to dealing with these kinds of things - if he didn't wait until the right moment, then it was sure to lose the vote in Congress.

One thing Kennedy is still credited for championing is the American space program. When he issued a challenge to the nation, to put a man on the moon and bring him back to earth ''alive'' before the end of the decade, people called him crazy. How crazy? Ask Buzz Aldrin and you'll get an answer. Just remember to [[BerserkButton duck]],[[http://youtu.be/ZOo6aHSY8hU or you might end up like this guy.]]

On November 22, 1963, Kennedy visited Dallas, Texas as part of campaigning for his upcoming run for re-election. As his motorcade passed the Texas Book Depository at Dealey Plaza, shots were fired; Kennedy was hit in the head and torso, and rushed to hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Although a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, was later arrested and identified as the main suspect of the assassination, numerous irregularities in the record -- along with Oswald's ''own'' [[CriticalExistenceFailure assassination]], by a mob-connected nightclub owner named Jack Ruby -- soon gave rise to numerous conspiracy theories about [[WhoShotJFK who had]] ''[[WhoShotJFK really]]'' [[WhoShotJFK killed Kennedy]], involving conspirators as wide-spread as TheMafia, [[DirtyCommunists the Soviet Union]], Cubans both pro- and anti-Castro (anti-Castro types being pissed about Kennedy's failure to support the Bay of Pigs, widely believed to be the reason the invasion failed; pro-Castro types being pissed about the invasion to begin with, not to mention the President and CIA's ongoing "let's try to kill Castro as often as humanly possible" policy), the [[CloakAndDagger CIA]], and Kennedy's [[EvilChancellor Vice President]] LyndonJohnson, who succeeded him as President [[note]]Johnson was known to be extremely ambitious in wanting to be president, and to say the least was disappointed at being called up to be a fairly powerless Vice President[[/note]]. A commission headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren later identified Oswald as a "lone gunman". In 1979, the House Assassinations Committee concluded that Kennedy was probably killed as a result of a conspiracy, contradicting the Warren Commission's results, on the basis of a single piece of evidence (a dictabelt recording); this evidence was re-examined in 1983 and subsequently discarded.

[[WeaselWords For the record]], the "Single Bullet" theory is still the official and most complete version of events, as far as current evidence is concerned. Despite questions raised on this subject, there is not enough solid evidence to conclude otherwise. The History Channel conducted a reconstruction a few years ago, using a man in a bucket truck at the height of the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository, shooting at a convertible at the correct distance from him, moving at the correct speed, with dummies made of ballistic gel and inserts similar to human bone. The result was the bullet almost, but did not quite match the exact trip of the original bullet, but did go through both bodies (Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally) at a close measure, slightly deflecting because the bullet in the recreation was off by a fraction of an inch from the travel of the original bullet and struck a different bone in one of the dummies. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Please don't start an edit war over this.]]

Kennedy's legacy is somewhat controversial; many view him as an idealistic liberal icon who would have averted many of the controversies and social strife that bedevilled Johnson in the mid- to late sixties (including TheVietnamWar and social unrest over Civil Rights), whilst others claim that he was an average president who, had he survived, would have been just as tarnished by these controversies. The idealistic viewpoint also tends to overlook that Kennedy was a serial womanizer whose affairs were the stuff of legend and whose conquests reportedly included at one point MarilynMonroe (Some American feminists still blame JFK for Monroe's suicide). Some people think that makes a bad president, as [[BillClinton if his sex life really makes any difference]] to running the nation -- although given that some of the ladies he was reputedly connected to ''also'' had connections to organized crime figures, unfriendly governments, prostitution and other similarly unsavoury links, it's not ''entirely'' prudishness that governs this viewpoint; Jack Kennedy could be slightly irresponsible when it came to this part of his life, which could have led to trouble down the track. Nevertheless, many fictional portrayals of him [[NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe tend to lean to the idealistic side]]. Still others think that his Addison's disease might well have killed him in office anyway, given the state of medicine at the time (Kennedy had been the first Addisonian to successfully survive major surgery).

And concerning the quote above, [[Website/{{Cracked}} for proof that you will never be as badass and pimpsational as Kennedy, go ahead and try that "Hey baby, let's go have a serious discussion" line on any girl and then come back and tell us how much sex you didn't have.]] Apocryphal stories abound on Kennedy's promiscuity; allegedly he once told ''reporters'' "I'm not done with a woman until I've had her three ways."

Despite his numerous affairs, Kennedy very much was in love with his family and especially his wife, the very elegant and very popular Jacqueline. Jackie Kennedy remains just as much an icon of the time as her husband, famous for her iconic fashion and for her intelligence. While First Lady, she organized funding to arts and social causes and helped renovate the White House, giving a famous live television tour of the presidential mansion in 1962. That same year, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, she never left John's side when many other officials and their families fled. Gave birth to Kennedy's fourth child, Patrick, on August 7, 1963. He died two days later, and the public sympathy for the Kennedy family was enormous. She was sitting next to her husband when he was shot. Jacqueline is ''still'' one of the most admired First Ladies for the grace she displayed during those tumultuous few years of her life. Five years later, she married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate with whom she was having an affair for a while, and remained married until he died in 1975. In the interest of fairness, it is worth mentioning that Jacqueline Kennedy was also unfaithful to her husband, in some cases in [[ATasteOfTheirOwnMedicine retaliation]] for his numerous affairs. It's also fair to bear in mind that since history has largely tended to forgive JFK for not being perfect, Jackie should be given the same courtesy.

John placed his brother RobertFKennedy, with whom he was very close, into the office of Attorney General. After John died, Bobby became a Senator and then ran for the Democratic ticket in the 1968 presidential election. Like his brother, he was assassinated. Also like his brother, his death has resulted in numerous conspiracy theories.

Kennedy was, and to an extent still is, near worshiped in Ireland. Though not the first president of Irish descent (AndrewJackson was the son of Scots-Irish immigrants), he was the first of recent Irish ''Catholic'' descent. His Catholicism and interest in Ireland won great affection in that country, especially after his state visit in 1963. His sister Jean would later serve as ambassador to Ireland. Democrat Kennedy, the youngest man ever elected President, was only one of two fully Irish-American presidents, the other being Republican RonaldReagan, the oldest man elected to the same office.

The Kennedy family has remained in the public eye for decades and is considered by some to be a BigScrewedUpFamily. Members of the family are well-known for their charm, exuberance and continual misfortune, mostly in the form of untimely deaths for them and their associates; this is referred to as "the Kennedy curse." While the aforementioned Jean still draws breath, JFK's final living brother, long-time Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, passed away on 25 August 2009, which may mark the end of the Kennedys' public prominence as there does not seem to be anyone in the family who is poised to step into the national spotlight at least, no one bearing the Kennedy surname; the extended family includes a number of notable figures, including Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger who was connected by marriage. (This has changed as of 2013, when JFK's daughter, Caroline, became US's ambassador to Japan.)

Due to his iconic status, still liable to be invoked by fanboys and wannabes, who thereby tend to make themselves very much liable to the WannabeDiss. His popular success as President and his assassination also largely killed American prejudice against at least lay Roman Catholics as a minority group.

When portrayed in fiction, expect to hear a highly exaggerated version of his quite distinctive [[UsefulNotes/AmericanAccents New England accent]]. He was famous for his harnessing of mass media to rally support, and as a result, he remains somebody who can be recognized simply by the sound of his voice. To this day, many attempts at "UsefulNotes/{{B|oston}}awstin" accents try to simply copy Kennedy's speaking patterns, even though many New Englanders will be among the first to tell you that the Kennedys are the only people who actually speak like that.

Note: Please only add examples where Kennedy appears as a character. If he is only shown in order to be assassinated, put the entry under WhoShotJFK.
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!!Kennedy in fiction

* Actually, it isn't fiction, but the groundbreaking 1960 documentary ''Film/{{Primary}}'' records the contest between Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in the 1960 Wisconsin Democratic primary.
* Played by Martin Sheen in the TV miniseries ''Kennedy''.
* ''Film/ThirteenDays'' focuses on the CubanMissileCrisis from the point of view of Kennedy and his senior advisors.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' presents an unusual solution to the mystery of his assassination: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself did it. From the Grassy Knoll. Or rather, Kennedy from an AlternateHistory in which he survived his assassination attempt and was later impeached due to his affair with the mistress of a mob boss, which led to the Soviets winning the UsefulNotes/ColdWar.]]
* JFK's clone is the JerkJock and one of the main characters of ''CloneHigh''. [[MemeticMutation Foa suppah,]] [[HollywoodNewEngland he, er, uh, wants a]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQU4bbPbr7w&feature=related pahty plattah.]]
* In ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'', JFK appears in a flashback, meeting Dr. Manhattan on the White House lawn.
** [[spoiler: Another flashback in the opening montage shows the Comedian shooting JFK from the Grassy Knoll.]]
* A 2007 ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' comic book written by SilverAge author Bob Haney and [[{{Retraux}} deliberately emulating]] that era's wacky hijinks has the team rescuing JFK from alien mods who kidnapped him, replaced him with one of their own, and made them their ruler to fight a tribe of savage space hippies. In the end, JFK and the Titans convince the two warring races to work through their differences, our young heroes return to Earth to find that the alien impostor had solved the Cuban Missile Crisis and been assassinated, and swear to keep JFK's true whereabouts a secret while the President leads the mods and hippies in a war against evil robots. Whew!
* In the episode "Profile in Silver" of the 1980s version of ''TheTwilightZone'', a distant descendant of JFK who is a professor of history uses a time machine to travel from the 22nd century to 1963 to "witness" Kennedy's assassination. He prevents it instead, which in turn triggers World War III. At the end of the show [[spoiler:the professor ends up taking Kennedy's place at Dealey Plaza and is assassinated, while Kennedy ends up in the 22nd century and teaches history]].
* ''TheSimpsons'' example. Abe Simpson beats up Kennedy after mistaking him for a Nazi ("Ich Bin Ein Berliner").
** Uh, not to mention the fact that Mayor Quimby's character is based off of Kennedy, from accent to womanizing to mob ties, even "Ich bin ein Springfielder."
* ''ForrestGump'' meets him when he becomes a member of the All-American team. And tells him that he really has to pee.
* ''CSAConfederateStatesOfAmerica'' features JFK as the first Northerner elected since the AmericanCivilWar. He supports the abolition of slavery as well as giving women the vote. Ultimately, he gets shot in this timeline as well for those views, essentially killing any progress he made toward his goals.
* ''Alternate Kennedys'', a 1992 anthology of 25 AlternateHistory stories revolving around the Kennedys; David Gerrold contributed "The Kennedy Enterprise", which has an [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman alternate JFK as an actor who went on to portray]] [[Franchise/StarTrek the captain of the]] ''[[Franchise/StarTrek U.S.S. Enterprise]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', it's implied that [[spoiler:JFK was part of the Assassins]]. And it is all but outright said that Lee Harvey Oswald was [[spoiler: a Templar who shot him]], apparently to recover [[spoiler: a [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Piece of Eden]], then used a used another one to make a hologram of the two guys on The Grassy Knoll.]]
* A ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' skit showed him encouraging BillClinton to continue with his philandering.
* TheLastHurrah has a character named Kevin [=McCluskey=], who runs against the incumbent mayor, Frank Skeffington. [=McCluskey=] is a telegenic but politically inexperienced candidate with a fancy education, a pretty wife, smiling kids, a respectable [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo war record]] from his service in the Navy, and [[BrainlessBeauty more good looks than brains]]. It should be noted that James Michael Curley, the alleged real-life basis for Skeffington, served briefly in the United States Congress, and the person who replaced him in his Congressional seat was a young but ambitious neophyte politician named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It should also be noted that the original novel was published in 1956, four years ''before'' Kennedy became President, making this a strange real-life case of RetroactiveRecognition.
* Comedian Vaughn Meader made his name as a spot-on impersonator of JFK; his album of Kennedy skits ''The First Family'' was very successful, until Kennedy's assassination [[NeverLiveItDown killed it]], along with Meader's career.
** Though JFK himself once said in a press conference, "I've listened to Mr. Meader's record but I think it sounded more like Teddy than it did me."
* Franchise/{{Superman}} met President Kennedy on several occasions in the SilverAge. For instance, there was a story where Kennedy impersonated Clark Kent to help Superman hide his SecretIdentity. However, its publication was coincidentally right after Kennedy's assassination, which lead to the obvious [[UnfortunateImplications unfortunate implication]] that Superman trusted the President knowing that he would soon be dead. This also include the classic tale "Superman's Mission For President Kennedy," which was originally to be published in late 1963 but was pulled after JFK's assassination. The story was finally published several months later, per the request of President Johnson and the Kennedy family. Thanks to [[ComicBookTime comics' sliding-scale timeline]], the above tale was rewritten in TheEighties as "''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'s'' Mission For President Kennedy."
* ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} also met President and Mrs. Kennedy soon after her existence was revealed to the world in February 1962. Jack said "I know you'll use your super-powers not only to fight crime, but to preserve peace in our troubled world!" She said, "Thank you, Mr. President, I will," but what she was thinking was "The President's wife looks gorgeous!"
* Parts of the JFK assassination was featured in the movie TheHouseOfYes. One of the main characters modeled herself after Jackie O.
* ''CallOfDuty: Black Ops'', being set in the 1960s, naturally features JFK. In the regular story mode, Kennedy meets Alex Mason, the player character, and authorizes the assassination of the BigBad. [[spoiler: Later, it's revealed that Mason was brainwashed to kill Kennedy by the BigBad, which he may have actually done.]] In TheStinger of story mode, [[spoiler: Kennedy and Robert [=McNamara=], along with RichardNixon, interrogate Castro on the recent missile crisis. Then, ''zombies'' invade the Pentagon. And you get to kill them as Kennedy.]]
* ''The Kennedys'', a 2011 miniseries looking at the Kennedy family's rise to public prominence and their GloryDays during the 1960s, focuses heavily on JFK. It received a certain amount of controversy because of allegations of historical inaccuracy and [[AccentuateTheNegative highlighting some of the negative aspects of the family]], which was helped by the fact that several of the producers (including [[Series/TwentyFour Joel Surnow]]) are outspoken conservatives).
** That being said, the series actually ended up portraying the family--and in particular Robert F. Kennedy, played by Barry Pepper in an Emmy-winning performance--rather sympathetically. Though JFK's philandering is obviously there and alluded to, the series doesn't actually include any sex scenes, and it makes it clear that he does love Jackie. (Which is ironic, as one of its early critics' main concerns was that it would be an overly sexed-up version of history.) It's also fairly accurate, compared to many other works of historical fiction.
* Kennedy appears in ''The Two Georges'' (which also features his old enemy RichardNixon in a [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman prominent role]]) as a newspaper publisher sympathetic to an extremist 'liberation' movement operating within a North America which, after a peaceful resolution to what would have become the American War of Independence, remains subject to a British hegemony. He tries his legendary charms on the main female character -- who, notably (and apparently rarely) is actually discomforted and repelled by his advances, considering them borderline sexual harassment.
* Creator/StephenKing's novel ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'' deals with a man traveling back in time to 1958 to stop the Kennedy assassination.[[spoiler: It ends rather badly. TheVietnamWar ends with Saigon being nuked, India and Pakistan have a limited nuclear exchange. Russia collapses, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Maine ends up becoming part of Canada]]. Also, due to terrorism, and the aforementioned nuclear exchange, most of the planet has to deal with terrible radiation poisoning. Even worse, due to the amount of times history has been changed by the protagonist, and others, going back in time, the entire universe is in danger of destroying itself. Luckily, he hits the ResetButton.]]
* In the AlternateUniverse in ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Kennedy is still alive (having served a full two terms as President) and is just preparing to resign as US Ambassador to the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations.
* In ''Film/AnAmericanCarol'' a political comedy that uses the structure of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', he shows up as a Jacob Marley {{Expy}}.
* Is played by James Marsden in ''[[Film/TheButler Lee Daniels' The Butler]]''
* ''RedDwarf'' episode ''Tikka To Ride'' has the crew go back to 1963 and inadvertently stop his assassination, screwing up the future. In the end, they put a gunman behind the Grassy Knoll: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself.]]
* Kennedy appears in the backstory of the alternate history novel ''Resurrection Day'' and is at the center of yet another conspiracy. Most of the world reviles Kennedy as the insane monster who started the [[WorldWarIII Cuban War]], who obliterated the Soviet Union, and who reduced the United States to a third world pariah reliant on British foreign aid. Most people believe Kennedy died when Washington was bombed, while a few more assume he's incarcerated by the ruling military government as a war criminal along with his surviving administration. A small minority of conspiracy theorist thinks Kennedy is innocent and that [[HesJustHiding he's just hiding]], waiting to come out and lead America back to greatness. [[spoiler: Turns out the conspiracy theorists are only partially right. Kennedy ''did'' die during the bombing of Washington, but only because he refused to leave, working to the very last second to try to broker a cease fire with the Soviets and Cubans after one of his more [[GeneralRipper hawkish generals]] went over his head and invaded Cuba.]]
----
[[redirect:UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy]]
24th Jan '14 5:05:16 AM LongLiveHumour
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* Illinois coming down to Cook County (the [[TheWindyCity Chicago]] area) with allegations of widespread fraud -- namely the dead voting for Kennedy, and the Democratic mayor withholding election results until the morning after the election. [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texas]] (home state of Kennedy's running mate LyndonJohnson) also had allegations of fraud ("''Kennedy won Texas with the help of live Catholics and dead Protestants''"). Nixon publicly refused to back a recount, but privately went for one. Legal challenges carried on until summer 1961, with the only impact being {{Hawaii}} switching from Nixon to Kennedy after a Democratic challenge.

to:

* Illinois coming down to Cook County (the [[TheWindyCity Chicago]] UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} area) with allegations of widespread fraud -- namely the dead voting for Kennedy, and the Democratic mayor withholding election results until the morning after the election. [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texas]] (home state of Kennedy's running mate LyndonJohnson) also had allegations of fraud ("''Kennedy won Texas with the help of live Catholics and dead Protestants''"). Nixon publicly refused to back a recount, but privately went for one. Legal challenges carried on until summer 1961, with the only impact being {{Hawaii}} switching from Nixon to Kennedy after a Democratic challenge.
22nd Jan '14 8:42:07 AM LadyMomus
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* {{Superman}} met President Kennedy on several occasions in the SilverAge. For instance, there was a story where Kennedy impersonated Clark Kent to help Superman hide his SecretIdentity. However, its publication was coincidentally right after Kennedy's assassination, which lead to the obvious [[UnfortunateImplications unfortunate implication]] that Superman trusted the President knowing that he would soon be dead. This also include the classic tale "Superman's Mission For President Kennedy," which was origianlly to be published in late 1963 but was pulled after JFK's assassination. The story was finally published several months later, per the request of President Johnson and the Kennedy family. Thanks to [[ComicBookTime comics' sliding-scale timeline]], the above tale was rewritten in TheEighties as "''{{Superboy}}'s'' Mission For President Kennedy."
* {{Supergirl}} also met President and Mrs. Kennedy soon after her existence was revealed to the world in February 1962. Jack said "I know you'll use your super-powers not only to fight crime, but to preserve peace in our troubled world!" She said, "Thank you, Mr. President, I will," but what she was thinking was "The President's wife looks gorgeous!"
* Parts of the JFK assassination was featured in the movie TheHouseOfYes. One of the main characters modelled herself after Jackie O.

to:

* {{Superman}} Franchise/{{Superman}} met President Kennedy on several occasions in the SilverAge. For instance, there was a story where Kennedy impersonated Clark Kent to help Superman hide his SecretIdentity. However, its publication was coincidentally right after Kennedy's assassination, which lead to the obvious [[UnfortunateImplications unfortunate implication]] that Superman trusted the President knowing that he would soon be dead. This also include the classic tale "Superman's Mission For President Kennedy," which was origianlly originally to be published in late 1963 but was pulled after JFK's assassination. The story was finally published several months later, per the request of President Johnson and the Kennedy family. Thanks to [[ComicBookTime comics' sliding-scale timeline]], the above tale was rewritten in TheEighties as "''{{Superboy}}'s'' "''ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'s'' Mission For President Kennedy."
* {{Supergirl}} ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} also met President and Mrs. Kennedy soon after her existence was revealed to the world in February 1962. Jack said "I know you'll use your super-powers not only to fight crime, but to preserve peace in our troubled world!" She said, "Thank you, Mr. President, I will," but what she was thinking was "The President's wife looks gorgeous!"
* Parts of the JFK assassination was featured in the movie TheHouseOfYes. One of the main characters modelled modeled herself after Jackie O.
21st Jan '14 7:15:31 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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Added DiffLines:

When portrayed in fiction, expect to hear a highly exaggerated version of his quite distinctive [[UsefulNotes/AmericanAccents New England accent]]. He was famous for his harnessing of mass media to rally support, and as a result, he remains somebody who can be recognized simply by the sound of his voice. To this day, many attempts at "UsefulNotes/{{B|oston}}awstin" accents try to simply copy Kennedy's speaking patterns, even though many New Englanders will be among the first to tell you that the Kennedys are the only people who actually speak like that.
11th Jan '14 2:22:25 PM LongLiveHumour
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Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit in his weekly press-conferences, verbally sparring with reporters who dared to raise their hand to ask him a question. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.

to:

Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the SecondWorldWar UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit in his weekly press-conferences, verbally sparring with reporters who dared to raise their hand to ask him a question. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.



* ''Series/RedDwarf'' presents an unusual solution to the mystery of his assassination: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself did it. From the Grassy Knoll. Or rather, Kennedy from an AlternateHistory in which he survived his assassination attempt and was later impeached due to his affair with the mistress of a mob boss, which led to the Soviets winning the ColdWar.]]

to:

* ''Series/RedDwarf'' presents an unusual solution to the mystery of his assassination: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself did it. From the Grassy Knoll. Or rather, Kennedy from an AlternateHistory in which he survived his assassination attempt and was later impeached due to his affair with the mistress of a mob boss, which led to the Soviets winning the ColdWar.UsefulNotes/ColdWar.]]



* TheLastHurrah has a character named Kevin [=McCluskey=], who runs against the incumbent mayor, Frank Skeffington. [=McCluskey=] is a telegenic but politically inexperienced candidate with a fancy education, a pretty wife, smiling kids, a respectable [[WorldWarTwo war record]] from his service in the Navy, and [[BrainlessBeauty more good looks than brains]]. It should be noted that James Michael Curley, the alleged real-life basis for Skeffington, served briefly in the United States Congress, and the person who replaced him in his Congressional seat was a young but ambitious neophyte politician named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It should also be noted that the original novel was published in 1956, four years ''before'' Kennedy became President, making this a strange real-life case of RetroactiveRecognition.

to:

* TheLastHurrah has a character named Kevin [=McCluskey=], who runs against the incumbent mayor, Frank Skeffington. [=McCluskey=] is a telegenic but politically inexperienced candidate with a fancy education, a pretty wife, smiling kids, a respectable [[WorldWarTwo [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo war record]] from his service in the Navy, and [[BrainlessBeauty more good looks than brains]]. It should be noted that James Michael Curley, the alleged real-life basis for Skeffington, served briefly in the United States Congress, and the person who replaced him in his Congressional seat was a young but ambitious neophyte politician named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It should also be noted that the original novel was published in 1956, four years ''before'' Kennedy became President, making this a strange real-life case of RetroactiveRecognition.
2nd Jan '14 6:09:17 AM Beowerewulf
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Added DiffLines:

* Kennedy appears in the backstory of the alternate history novel ''Resurrection Day'' and is at the center of yet another conspiracy. Most of the world reviles Kennedy as the insane monster who started the [[WorldWarIII Cuban War]], who obliterated the Soviet Union, and who reduced the United States to a third world pariah reliant on British foreign aid. Most people believe Kennedy died when Washington was bombed, while a few more assume he's incarcerated by the ruling military government as a war criminal along with his surviving administration. A small minority of conspiracy theorist thinks Kennedy is innocent and that [[HesJustHiding he's just hiding]], waiting to come out and lead America back to greatness. [[spoiler: Turns out the conspiracy theorists are only partially right. Kennedy ''did'' die during the bombing of Washington, but only because he refused to leave, working to the very last second to try to broker a cease fire with the Soviets and Cubans after one of his more [[GeneralRipper hawkish generals]] went over his head and invaded Cuba.]]
1st Dec '13 9:40:47 AM CynicalBastardo
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Added DiffLines:

* ''RedDwarf'' episode ''Tikka To Ride'' has the crew go back to 1963 and inadvertently stop his assassination, screwing up the future. In the end, they put a gunman behind the Grassy Knoll: [[spoiler: Kennedy himself.]]
25th Nov '13 9:37:30 AM jamespolk
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Added DiffLines:

* Actually, it isn't fiction, but the groundbreaking 1960 documentary ''Film/{{Primary}}'' records the contest between Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in the 1960 Wisconsin Democratic primary.
22nd Nov '13 2:06:20 PM StevieC
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Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.

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Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit.wit in his weekly press-conferences, verbally sparring with reporters who dared to raise their hand to ask him a question. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.
22nd Nov '13 2:05:35 PM StevieC
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Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.

to:

Kennedy, the second son of bootlegger-turned-political patriarch Joseph Kennedy, rose to prominence during the SecondWorldWar when, as commander of the torpedo boat USS PT-109, he heroically rescued several members of his crew when the boat was sunk by the Japanese, which after the war led into a career in the House and Senate, before his successful run for the presidency in 1960. Before his political career, however, he gained a reputation for being a master of written word, famously winning the Pulitzer Prize with his memoir ''Profiles in Courage'', penned as a record for posterity of his service aboard PT-109. Throughout his political career, his mastery of language both written and spoken was repeatedly showcased with great aplomb. Reporters came to '''dread''' his skill at being a DeadpanSnarker. He would often demonstrate his lightning-quick wit. Many credit (at least partially) his defeat of RichardNixon in the 1960 election to the first televised presidential debate; the new medium favoured the young, handsome and media-savvy Kennedy over the nervous and less camera-friendly Nixon (in fact, polls showed that most people who listened to the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the victor). Kennedy was also the first Irish Roman Catholic president, in an era where people still openly wondered if a Catholic could ever put his country over Rome.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.JohnFKennedy