John F. Kennedy, better known as JFK, is one of the most iconic political figures in the history of the United States. However, there are some mysterious elements in his past that have yet to be totally cleared up. Here, we present 15 things you probably didn’t know about JFK. Below is part one, but stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: His Presidential and Congressional Wages Were Given to Charity. Throughout his 16 years working in public office, Kennedy never accepted a single dollar of his salary. He was paid $100,000 per year, but he gave it all away to different charitable causes.
Number Fourteen: He Was Given His Last Rites Four Times. JFK was the first Catholic to be elected president, but that’s not the most interesting thing about this tidbit. Before he became the United States, three instances warranted him being given his last rites: first, in 1947 due to a disease; second, in 1951 after he had a very high fever; and lastly, after he fell into a coma after surgery. He was served his final last rites after his assassination.
Number Thirteen: He Wasn’t Supposed to Serve in the Military. Technically, JFK was disqualified from enlisting in the military because of his medical conditions. However, he used his father’s connections to enlist and serve in the navy.
Number Twelve: He Was Really Obsessed With James Bond. JFK loved James Bond so much that he wrote his own spy novel. One of his favorite novels was the Bond classic, From Russia With Love; in his novel, he made Vice President at the time Lyndon B. Johnson the architect of an attempted coup d’etat.
Number Eleven: He Used a Coconut as a Paperweight. While JFK was serving in the navy, he was on a boat that was stranded in the South Pacific’s Solomon Islands during World War II. JFK called for help by carving a message into a coconut shell; he gave the message to some natives to deliver to the U.S. base. He later found the shell and preserved it to remind himself of what he’s been through.
Number Ten: He Attended Harvard and Princeton. JFK went to Princeton in 1935; however, after just two months, he came down with a gastrointestinal illness and had to stop. He was able to return to school in 1936, but instead of Princeton, he returned to Harvard.
Number Nine: He Was Way Ahead of Nixon. Years before Nixon installed a secret taping setup in the Whitehouse, Kennedy did it. In 1962, JFK installed a taping system in the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office.