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May 7, 2012

“JOHNNY WE HARDLY KNEW YE”: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Getting Into Politics V.

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we conclude our report on Chapter 2 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy.  It is published by Little, Brown & Company.

The title of Chapter 2 is “Getting Into Politics”.

This chapter continues the discussion of JFK’s entry into the political profession in 1946.

Ken & Dave write that while the Kennedy campaign distributed copies of the account of JFK’s wartime heroism (PT109), the candidate ‘seldom mentioned it & squirmed uncomfortably when he was introduced…as a war hero.”

This chapter includes the following quote from a Kennedy campaign speech:

“We, in this country, must be willing to do battle for old ideas….with the same enthusiasm that people do for new ideas & creeds.  We must work together.  We must recognize that we face great dangers (and)…how interdependent we are.  We must have the same unity that we had during the war.”

The chapter concludes with the “grand climax of the Kennedy campaign,” a Bunker Hill parade in Charlestown.   The event was held on the anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle at Bunker Hill on June 17.

JFK led 128 supporters in the parade including Dave Powers.  People ran out into the street to shake his hand.

In the next day’s primary, KENNEDY won with 42% of the votes. A victory celebration was held in the Kennedy HQ in Boston.  In November, JFK went on to defeat his Republican opponent by 43,000 votes


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