How privileged we are to have JFK’s library in our backyard. He meant so much to so many people, especially the Irish, Catholic and Black folks of our country. He was a dynamic man and his list of achievements are long. Like many, I always considered the Cuban missile crisis his finest hour. Khrushchev considered JFK a weak and naive president primarily because of his age up to that point. JFK basically gave him the finger and said if he didn’t get his missiles out of Cuba he would turn the Soviet Union into a parking lot on national TV. We found out years later it was a backroom deal that RFK negotiated to get our missiles out of Turkey that sealed the deal and kept peace.
JFK had common sense though. He knew we could not move forward with the Soviets after this breakdown unless he took a more progressive stance with them. He already proved we would not be pushed around….but he had to extend an olive branch so we could work together. As it turned out….it was something the Soviets needed. They just wanted a high five for the things they accomplished as a country. Khrushchev was an oppressive hard nosed leader…he was hardened in the trenches of Stalingrad. But he was actually touched after JFK made this speech at American University in June of 63. This is just pure diplomatic genius….he didn’t show weakness but still gave them props.
Personally, I enjoy Kennedy’s humor….he was sharp and quick….you would swear he honed his skills at a pub on Dot Ave.
Get over there if you haven’t been to the library in a while….it’s a great day out with the family and the crown jewel of Dorchester. November would be the month to remember him.