A President to Remember – 1960

A President to Remember – 1960

From the Fall, 2013 edition of Macomb Now Magazine

Fifty years after his death, Macomb County sill remembers.

By Denis LeDuc

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” President John F. Kennedy. October 1963.

JFK inspired a generation. In his 1961 inaugural address he called upon us to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” On the steps of the Student Union in Ann Arbor, he outlined his vision of the Peace Corps. Kennedy challenged us to be the first nation to land on the moon, and stared down the Soviets in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He inspired a million people protesting the erection of the Berlin Wall and declared on behalf of the free world, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” He also had great humor as well. He quipped “I’m the man that accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.”

Our first president born in the 20-th century, JFK was young, energetic, articulate, and glamorous. With his young family he was followed by the popular press like a Hollywood star, and was the first president to effectively use the relatively new medium of television.

Only 46 and in the prime of his life and career, he was suddenly taken from us on Nov. 22, 1963 – 50 years ago. If you are a certain age, you know exactly where you were at the moment you heard the tragic news from Dallas. I was in Brother Gabriel’s English class at De La Salle Collegiate High School. It was a very dark time for America. On this 50th anniversary of JFK’s death we honor and remember one of the great men this nation has produced.

Our photo, taken by noted local photographer Murl Dedenbach and shared through the courtesy of his family, shows Sen. Kennedy campaigning for president in downtown Mount Clemens in 1960.

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