U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was assassinated on November 22, 1963 – exactly fifty-six years ago today. Although his death was years before my own birth, he was the very first president of this country to publicly pose shirtless and without embarrassment or any shame. Even though he served barely three years as chief executive, his service is well known. He brought to the Oval Office the ideal of progress and exceptional service.
To a bare practitioner (naturist or nudist) as myself, the fact that President Kennedy was comfortable appearing publicly with a bare chest is both inspirational and rewarding. The times were indeed changing for the better as it was no longer expected for this country’s leader to be modest as well as formally attired at all times and in every situation! A progressive era was surely on the horizon!
When absolutely necessary, President John F. Kennedy could and did dress appropriately for the office to which he was duly elected to fulfill. It isn’t known if he was a naturist or nudist in his private life, although his wife, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, was known as having appreciated being clothes free while visiting certain private beaches, a behavior that most certainly had the support of her husband. Back in the 1960’s, especially in this country, very few women engaged in any activity that was negatively viewed by their husband.
Mrs. Kennedy enjoyed sunbathing bare either by herself or in the company of other women. It is unknown if she were a practicing social nudist on other occasions or with others of a different gender.
One consoling thought of JFK’s presidency is that he was a man elected to national office who truly represented all of his country – both the ones who preferred to be bare and the ones who preferred to be clothed. A nice consideration for everyone!
Last week while I was sick, there were a number of documentaries about President Kennedy broadcast on the television. These are generally shown close to the date of his murder. He was portrayed as a family man who was dedicated to not only to those that he loved but also to those he was voted upon to represent. A man who thoroughly understood exactly what his political office entailed. In the above photograph he is in the pool with his then young son, John F. Kennedy, Jr.
The above picture is of President and Mrs. Kennedy touring Dallas, Texas, USA, just moments before his assassination on November 22, 1963. The trip to Texas was part of Kennedy’s 1964 re-election political campaign. It was around noon on this date when he became the fourth sitting U.S. president to be killed while a sitting president.
This past Monday, while I was home sick, I watched a repeat broadcast of his death as witnessed by millions worldwide. The historical documentary was a collection of newscasts from the three major television networks in this country at that time.
Some of the highlights of JFK’s presidential legacy include:
- the encouragement of the citizens to patriotic service both inside the USA and abroad
- the establishment of the Peace Corps
- the urging of NASA to attain the goal of sending a manned expedition to the moon
- successfully engaged a peaceful conclusion of the Cuban missile crisis
- successfully managed and negotiated a united Democratic political party in the early days of the racial desegregation dilemma.
Please note that the above listing are highlights only and not a complete documentation of all of his accomplishments.
That concludes today’s brief history lesson. Class dismissed!