Tuesday, September 11, 2012


For no real reason, I picked up a book yesterday that I normally wouldn't choose for "leisurely reading."  I knew ahead of time that it was going to be a quick read because it had less than a hundred pages in it, but I was still interested to see if it was a book I could actually get into.  The book?: John F. Kennedy.  Yes, I randomly picked up a biography on the 35th President of the United States. I'm still not sure why THAT was the book I chose from an entire library full of books.  As much as this screams *nerd status* I am now excited about the things that I learned.  I was NEV-ER good in history classes.  I was always bored out of my mind and could never understand anything.  It didn't matter what part of history it was or what grade I was in, I DREADED getting back history tests and seeing how badly I did on them. So, some of things I just learned yesterday, many of you may or may not already know....depending on whether or not you were paying attention in history class that day ;)

  • I learned all about JFK's heroic times on the PT-109 during WWII.  A Japanese ship ripped the side off of the ship (PT-109) that JFK was on.  Those on the boat jumped off before the ship exploded.  They found a part of the PT-109 still floating in the water so they held on to it.  Later that day (that all happended in the early morning around 2:30), all the passengers from PT-109 who survived the explosion swam over THREE AND A HALF miles, while each holding on to a piece of wood, to an island so hopefully find fresh water and food.  One of the passengers had severe burns on his hands, so JFK pulled him through the water by holding the strap of his life jacket with his teeth!  I don't know about you, but I can't imagine swimming over three and a half miles in water that contains sharks, let alone while also pulling another grown man by my teeth!
  • JFK established the Peace Corps--"an agency that continues to inspired generations of young Americans to reach out to the world." [did I really just use a direct quote? yes. will I give it proper citation? no. just know it's from the book..]
  • JFK and his wife, Jackie, actually had 4 children.  Caroline and John Jr. are the two that most people commonly know about.  Arabella was their first born, and Patrick was their 4th child, but neither of them lived very long after birth. 
  • JFK was a good writer...when he was in his early 20s, he said, "I would rather have a Pulitzer than be President." Well, lucky for him, both happened.  However, he may not have become president if his older brother, Joe, had not died from his plane explosion.  All of the Kennedy's dreams that were once destined for Joe, were then passed on to Jack/John/JFK (it kept confusing me to read "Jack" because I never knew he went by that).  Even though JFK didn't like living in his brother's shadow growing up and feeling like he needed to do better than him, JFK had a book published (one of his many), that contained essays written by family and friends about Joe.  The book is called, As We Remember Joe.  I think I might actually have to look into reading that book sometime, too!
So, those are the interesting things I'm sharing today...if I think of more I'd like to share, I'll let you know!

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