May 29, 2017 will mark the 100th Anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Perhaps it is fitting that the date of this commemoration falls on Memorial Day, for few have sacrificed as much for their country as did the 35th President of the United States. His life, and death, have been chronicled extensively. A brief synopsis barely scratches the surface of the legacy he created in 46 short years.
Highlights of a Storied Life
May 29, 1917- born to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in Brookline, MA.
1940 – graduates Harvard and joins the Navy.
1943 – JFK’s PT-109 cruiser is hit by a Japanese destroyer, severely injuring the young sailor.
1947- begins the first of three terms in the U.S. House representing Massachusetts.
1953 – begins his first term as a U.S. Senator and marries Jacqueline Bouvier.
1957- wins a Pulitzer prize for “Profiles in Courage”; daughter Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is born.
July 1960 – wins the democratic nomination for president.
October 1960 – proposes the idea of the Peace Corps during a speech at the Univ. of Michigan.
Nov. 8, 1960 – JFK elected as the youngest, and first – ever Catholic, President of the United States.
Nov. 25, 1960 – son John F. Kennedy, Jr. is born.
January 20, 1961- JFK takes the Oath of Office, including in his inaugural address the oft quoted request- “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
April 17, 1961- the U.S. leads a failed mission to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
May 25, 1961- JFK sets a goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
June 11, 1963 – sends the Alabama National Guard to protect two African-American students from protesters trying to enroll at the Univ. of Alabama.
Oct. 7, 1963 – JFK signs the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Nov. 22, 1963 – just passing 1000 days in office, JFK is assassinated in Dallas, TX. The youngest man elected president becomes the youngest to die in office, at the age of 46. A nation watched Walter Cronkite announce the dreaded news; Vice President Johnson take the oath as the 36th president; a day of national mourning observed; a small boy saluting his father’s coffin; a stoic First Lady following a horse-drawn cassion; and the lighting of an eternal flame that still burns in Arlington National Cemetery.
JFK Centennial Anniversary Commemoration
As we approach the Centennial Anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth, C. Forbes, Inc. is honored to play a small role in this remembrance. A commemorative coin has been designed and produced for the JFK Presidential Library & Museum. Featuring a profile of President Kennedy on the front, and the JFK 100 logo on the back that is being used extensively across multiple organizations, the simplicity of the design focuses on Kennedy himself. Custom packaging includes iconic images of JFK, the presidential seal and descriptive text.
Origins of a Quote
The front of the coin also features a quote from President Kennedy – “we celebrate the past, to awaken the future” – a fitting statement on the Centennial anniversary of his birth. The origins of this quote are equally historic – made at a milestone occasion on August 14, 1960. Then-U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy travelled to Hyde Park, New York on the 25th anniversary of the Social Security Act. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had signed the bill into law in 1935, during the height of the Depression, and Senator Kennedy’s trip was important for two reasons: he went to visit with former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, in an attempt to gain her support for his Presidential campaign; and to deliver a speech to an organization of senior citizens, known as the Golden Ring Club, at the Home of Franklin Roosevelt National Historic Site in Val-Kill.
During the speech, Senator Kennedy said:…”Standing on this quiet lawn – this spacious and soothing scene – it is difficult to recall the furious battles which were fought by the man who lies here in honored glory…Today we commemorate one of those battles – the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935 –the most important single piece of social welfare legislation in the history of this country. It was 25 years ago this very day that Franklin Roosevelt could say, after a long and arduous struggle: “Today, a hope of many years’ standing is in large part fulfilled’”, and with that he signed his name and social security became law.
It is fitting that we celebrate this anniversary. It is essential from time to time that we pay tribute to past greatness and historic achievement…We celebrate the past, to awaken the future…”
A Lasting Legacy
Perhaps his greatest legacy are his children and grandchildren. As his grandson Jack Schlossberg said, “President Kennedy inspired a generation that transformed America- and they in turn passed that inspiration on to their children and grandchildren. Now, as we mark the Centennial of my grandfather’s birth, we renew his call for service, courage, innovation, and inclusion, and help a new generation use his example to embrace the challenges of our time.”
Please contact us for more information on our products and customization process. Our mission is to design, produce and present quality, custom items that tell your story. We welcome the opportunity to combine your goals with our expertise to properly commemorate your unique anniversary, event or organization.