Who was JFK?

flickr

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






We hear his name occasionally on the news; we’ve seen documentaries and movies of his life and of course heard the infamous scandals and theories of his death, but honestly who was John F. Kennedy? With his charismatic presence and calm composure leading the country, it seemed he could do no wrong. As America reflects back on the 50th anniversary of his tragic death, we asked students at NYIT their thoughts and perspectives on JFK.

“John F. Kennedy as a person is very admirable and ambitious,” says Will Udoh, an Electrical and computer engineering major. “He’s admirable for a number of changes that he made while in his term at the White House. He’s ambitious due to the list of changes he wanted to make, but couldn’t get to because of the assassination.”

“I love JFK for his concern on health care issues,” says Jeffery Silva, also an Electrical and computer engineering major “It illustrates what made him so great, the fact that he genuinely wanted what was best for the American people unlike most politicians today.”

“Personally I think he was a very influential president and he is just what America needed at the time,” says Elieser Duran, a Graphic Design major. Also without him pushing and supporting the space program we would have never landed a man on the moon. The way he handled things both foreign and domestically, he seemed to have it all together, in my opinion at least.”

Clearly most of us weren’t even born, yet we still have opinions about JFK. His name is forever etched in popular culture. To the public, JFK was the fresh-faced President giving Americans the hopes and dreams of a better country. How is his image portrayed now? If someone brought up his name in a random conversation, what’s the first thing you think of? (Be honest!)
“In my views, JFK’s name is shrouded by all the nonsense about his death. I feel like it clouds the view of people who are learning about him,” Duran replies.

“Most present day college students do not care about JFK and the impact he had on society,” says Khalil Shinn, a Computer science major. “Because as college students we live in the moment and tend not to dwell on the past.”
“Our generation probably don’t know half of the huge changes Kennedy made while in office. I don’t want to blame it all on the assassination, but that conspiracy is the first thing most people look into when looking at Kennedy,” Udoh responds.
The funniest thing is that one student declined to take part in the story because they didn’t want to discuss further details on the conspiracies of JFK’s assassination (as if he had some top secret information). Fortunately, there are two people that know the significance of Kennedy’s legacy, why because they lived through it.

Mrs. Marion Fleming, an eighty-two year old English Professor at Nassau Community College, remembers the turbulent era that shook the nation. “I was teaching at the North Junior High School in Brentwood, NY,” Mrs. Fleming responds. “Sitting in the faculty room, resting because I was pregnant with my third child and the announcement came over the loud speaker and we were all horrified. It was unbelievable the President shot, the President shot! This man who everyone looked up to. The nation was somber, people were crying on the street anyplace where they were.” Professor Fleming looks back on JFK’s message in life as well as death. “He was a forward- thinking gentleman,” she says. “I remember that line in his inauguration speech, “Ask people to do for the country,” that was something new coming from a President.”

Dr. Leslie Schuster, an Associate Professor and Head of the Political Science Program at NYIT, recalls the shocking moment. “I was going to Queens College at the time. I was in the dining hall shooting the breeze with some of the folks there, someone came in and it was said that the President had been shot. Right across from the dining hall was the student center and there were televisions; we all went in and it was there we heard it pretty quickly that he had died. Their reaction was mournful. A lot of people reacted as if there was a death in the family.” He continues, “From his youth, his vigor, his looks, his children, his wife, Kennedy coming in was the youngest President ever elected at the time. He was idealistic, erudite, deep and philosophical from every standpoint I admire him and still to this day.”

It’s 2013 and John F. Kennedy is more popular now than he was when he was alive. The ongoing question is why is he still relevant in today’s world. Dr. Schuster‘s quote sums it up, “Partially because of the way he died. He was just coming into his own as what might have been a great President that was taken from the American people. He’s almost like a myth.” A myth we’ll continue to figure out.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Who was JFK?

    Features

    Study Shows College Students Lack Financial Literacy, Postponing Financial Independence After Graduation

  • Who was JFK?

    News

    Henry C. “Hank” Foley takes over as Fourth President of NYIT

  • Who was JFK?

    News

    2017 NYIT Honorary Degree Recipients

  • Who was JFK?

    Showcase

    Clyde Doughty and Jack Kaley inducted in ECC Hall of Fame

  • Who was JFK?

    Features

    Professor Kevin Horton releases his first children’s book: Cee Jay and Bugsy

  • Who was JFK?

    Features

    13 Reasons Why: The Show That Strikes the Core

  • Who was JFK?

    Showcase

    The March Madness Comes to a Conclusion

  • Who was JFK?

    News

    April: Autism Awareness Month

  • Who was JFK?

    Features

    Back to the Rulebooks

  • Who was JFK?

    News

    From Right Field to West Wing: Tom Joannou’s Journey to Washington D. C.

Who was JFK?