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John F. Kennedy


Key Terms and Events

terms Key Terms and Events


Addison's Disease -  · An often fatal condition that involves the impairment of the adrenal glands and the weakening of the immune system. JFK suffered from Addison's Disease throughout his political career, a fact that was kept secret from the general public.
Berlin  -  · The capital of Germany. It was divided into two zones during the Cold War–one affiliated with the West, and one Communist-ruled.
Choate -  · The prestigious Connecticut boarding school where JFK attended high school.
Communism  -  · The ideology of the Soviet Union, Communism predicted the overthrow of capitalism, the abolition of private property, and rule by the working class. U.S. fears about the spread of Communism drove the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
Harvard -  · The prestigious New England university attended by JFK, as well as by his father and Joe Jr.
Peace Corps -  · A service organization founded by JFK in 1960. It sent American volunteers overseas to work in less-developed countries.
Profiles in Courage  -  · A book supposedly written by JFK while he was a senator, depicting various heroic political figures in U.S. history. Despite the fact that the book was largely written by Theodore Sorensen, JFK received a Pulitzer Prize for it in 1957.
U.S.S.R.  -  · The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics–the Russian-dominated state founded in 1918, and governed by the Communist Party. After World War II, the Soviet Union and the U.S. became rivals for global dominance, in a struggle termed the Cold War, since it never erupted in direct, or "hot," battles.
Vietnam -  · A former French colony in Southeast Asia that was threatened by the prospect of a Communist takeover. During JFK's presidency, the U.S. escalated its military involvement in the region.
Why England Slept  -  · The name given to JFK's senior thesis when it was published in the early 1940s. The book provided an analysis of English foreign policy leading up to World War II.


Bay of Pigs - The ill-fated attempt, in April of 1961, to overthrow Fidel Castro by means of an invasion of Cuban exiles. The invasion force was cut to pieces at the bay that gave the fiasco its name.
Cold War - The struggle, commencing with the end of World War II, between the Soviet Union and the United States for world supremacy. It reached its point of highest tension in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Cuban Missile Crisis  - The two-week period of crisis in October 1962, which began with the Soviet Union's decision to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, just off the coast of the United States. During these two weeks, international tensions threatened to catapult the world into nuclear war, but JFK and Nikita Khrushchev were able to resolve the crisis peacefully.
World War II - The conflict (1939-45) that pitted Nazi Germany and Japan against Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. It ended with the Nazis' defeat, and the emergence of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. as the world's two "superpowers." See also the SparkNote on World War II.

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