Monday, February 20, 2017
USPS Dedicates JFK Stamp in Boston
The stamp features a 1960 photograph by Ted Spiegel of Kennedy campaigning for president in Seattle. The artwork accompanying the stamp, showing Kennedy in a reflective pose, is a 1970 oil painting by Aaron Shikler (courtesy of the White House / White House Historical Association). The Forever stamp, available only at the event on Presidents Day, will be available nationwide in Post Offices on Tuesday, February 21.
Born May 29, 1917, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He remains for many a captivating and charismatic personality — one who appealed to the nation's higher ideals and inspired young Americans to engage in public service.
On January 20, 1961, Kennedy, at age 43, became the nation’s first Catholic president and the youngest person elected to the presidency. In his Inaugural Address, he famously called upon Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
In the early months of his administration, Kennedy announced his signature initiative, the Peace Corps, to aid people in developing nations. In May 1961, Kennedy announced the bold goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, setting the nation on the path toward achieving the historic Moon landing in 1969.
During the height of the Cold War, Kennedy confronted the Soviet Union in a series of conflicts that could have escalated into a major war. During the summer of 1961, for example, he defended the status of West Berlin, a small pocket of freedom within Soviet-supported East Germany, when it came under threat from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
Kennedy opposed Khrushchev again in the fall of 1962 after Soviet forces installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Against the urging of his military advisers to bomb the missile sites, Kennedy decided on a naval quarantine to prevent further shipments of military equipment to Cuba. After suspenseful days in which war appeared imminent, Soviet ships heading to Cuba turned back, and Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles.
On June 11, 1963, Kennedy made an impassioned speech on civil rights that characterized the unequal status and treatment of blacks in America as a moral crisis. He then submitted a bill to end racial segregation, which in substance was passed after his death as the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.