The Character of President Kennedy

In the third of of ten “Character Above All” lectures examining the character and leadership of presidents of the past 50… read more

In the third of of ten “Character Above All” lectures examining the character and leadership of presidents of the past 50 years, historian Richard Reeves discussed the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy. Dr. Reeves observed that Kennedy’s private struggle with Addison’s disease and his belief that he would die young prompted him to take risks and act with immoderate speed, such as seeking the presidency when he was “too young.” “John Kennedy did not think the rules applied to him. He did whatever he could get away with,” and he valued courage above all else. During his brief term of office, there were tremendous changes in the world, including 31 new members accepted into the United Nations. Also, a coup changed the government of Vietnam, with the secret support of Kennedy. During this time the civil rights movement in the U.S. began. Dr. Reeves pointed out that Kennedy was a secret “co-contractor” in the building of the Berlin Wall. close

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*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

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The Character of President Kennedy

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Program ID:
63060-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Speech
Location:
Austin, Texas, United States
First Aired:
Mar 4, 1995
Last Aired:
Mar 5, 1995

Airing Details

  • Mar 04, 1995 | 8:01pm EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Mar 04, 1995 | 11:02pm EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Mar 05, 1995 | 8:12am EST | C-SPAN 2