JFK: A timeline of his life
JUNE 1940: Graduates cum laude with a bachelor of science degree from Harvard University.
JULY 1940: Kennedy's college thesis "Appeasement in Munich," about Britain's failure to prepare itself against Nazi Germany, is published as a book titled Why England Slept.
SEPTEMBER 1941: At age 24, he is sworn in as an ensign in the U.S. Navy.
MARCH 1943: Given command of PT-109 as a lieutenant.
AUG. 3, 1943: While on active duty in Blackett Strait, North Solomon Islands in the Pacific, PT-109 is sunk by the Japanese. Kennedy performed heroically in rescuing his crew.
JUNE 11, 1944: Awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart for his actions while in command of PT-109.
AUG. 12, 1944: Kennedy's older brother, Joe Kennedy Jr., is killed when his Air Force plane explodes shortly after take-off.
MARCH 1, 1945: Honorably discharged from the Navy with the full rank of lieutenant.
NOV. 5, 1946: Elected as a U.S. representative for the 11th Congressional District in Boston at age 29. He is re-elected in 1948 and 1950.
NOV. 4, 1952: Elected as senator from Massachusetts and re-elected in 1958.
JAN. 3, 1953: Evelyn Lincoln starts work as Kennedy's personal secretary.
SEPT. 12, 1953: Marries Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Newport, R.I. She is the daughter of John Vernon Bouvier III and Janet Lee Bouvier.
OCT. 21, 1954: Undergoes surgery for a back injury he received during the PT-109 incident.
FEBRUARY 1955: Undergoes a second back operation during which he almost dies. During his recovery, he writes Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1957.
AUG. 17, 1956: Loses his bid for the Democratic nomination for vice president.
AUG. 23, 1956: The Kennedys' daughter, Arabella, is stillborn in Newport, R.I.
NOV. 27, 1957: Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is born at Cornell Medical Center, New York.
JAN. 2, 1960: Announces his candidacy for president of the United States.
JULY 13, 1960: Receives the Democratic nomination for president.
NOV. 8,1960: Defeats Richard M. Nixon to become the 35th president of the United States. Kennedy wins by a margin of 2/10 of 1 percent with 49.75 percent of the votes. Nixon receives 49.55 percent.
NOV. 25, 1960: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. is born at Georgetown University Hospital.
JAN. 20, 1961: At age 43, takes the oath of office to become the 35th president of the United States. He is the youngest elected president and the first president to be Roman Catholic. In his inaugural speech, Kennedy speaks these words: "And so, my fellow Americans ... ask not what your country can do for you ... ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world ... ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
MARCH 1, 1961: Signs a bill creating the Peace Corps.
APRIL 17, 1961: The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Kennedy supports the invasion to oust that country's Communist leader, Fidel Castro, but the invasion fails. Kennedy is heavily criticized.
JUNE 3-4, 1961: Meets with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna on international issues. The focus of the meeting is disarmament, Germany, Laos and nuclear testing. They fail to agree on certain problems but issue a joint statement that they agrees to "maintain contact on all questions of interest to the two countries and for the whole world." After this meeting, the Soviets build a wall between East and West Berlin during the summer.
SEPT. 12, 1962: Delivers a speech at Rice University, pledging that the United States will put a man on the moon "before the end of this decade." Seven years later, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
OCT. 16-28, 1962: U.S. intelligence discovers that the Russians are building missile sites in Cuba, thus beginning the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy orders a naval and air quarantine on all shipments of weapons to Cuba. Armed conflict seems imminent; however, the Soviets retreat and promise not to set up the missiles. The United States agrees not to attack Cuba.
JUNE 11, 1963: Sends the Alabama National Guard to the University of Alabama to protect two African-American students who won a court order to attend the college. Kennedy speaks on television later in the day and expresses his support for the civil rights movement.
JUNE 23-26, 1963: During a visit to Germany, Kennedy speaks to an enormous crowd at Schoneberger Rathaus in the Rudolph Wilde Platz on June 26. Kennedy's stirring words on freedom excite the crowd: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner.' "
JUNE 26-29, 1963: Visits Ireland and delivers a speech to the Irish Parliament in Dublin.
AUG. 7, 1963: The Kennedys' second son, Patrick, is born five weeks premature and dies Aug. 9.
OCT. 7, 1963: Signs the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Washington, D.C.: "with our courage and understanding enlarged by this achievement, let us press onward in quest of man's essential desire for peace."
NOV. 15, 1963 (FRIDAY): Visits the family home in Palm Beach.
NOV. 16, 1963 (SATURDAY): Visits Cape Canaveral. Ten days after his visit, the cape was renamed Cape Kennedy. Today it is known as the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
NOV. 17, 1963 (SUNDAY): Returns to Palm Beach. He is scheduled to visit Tampa, Miami and several cities in Texas in the coming week.
NOV. 18, 1963 (MONDAY): Arrives at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa. His first stop is Al Lopez Field, where he delivers a speech. He then travels to the State Chamber of Commerce meeting and delivers another speech at a meeting at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory. Then he flies to Miami to speak at a Democratic rally at the airport and at the Inter-American Press Association in Miami Beach. He returns to Washington late in the evening.
NOV. 19, 1963 (TUESDAY): Sends a presidential statement to be read at the Centennial Ceremony in Gettysburg National Military Park, where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
NOV. 20, 1963 (WEDNESDAY): Kennedy discusses the prospect of a single global commercial space communications system. He transmits to Congress an annual report on the United Nations. He signs a bill authorizing medals commemorating the founding of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (his last bill). That evening Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy host a cocktail party at the White House.
NOV. 21, 1963 (THURSDAY): Kennedy begins his tour of Texas. His destinations are San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin.
NOV. 22, 1963 (FRIDAY): John Fitzgerald Kennedy is shot at 12:30 p.m. while riding in an open-top limousine in a motorcade through downtown Dallas. He is pronounced dead at 1 p.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Eighty minutes after the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested. Later Oswald is charged with murder.
NOV. 24, 1963 (SUNDAY): Jack Ruby fatally shoots Lee Harvey Oswald.
NOV. 25, 1963 (MONDAY): John Fitzgerald Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with his son Patrick and his daughter Arabella.
NOV. 29, 1963: President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination.
SEPT. 29, 1964: The Warren Commission publishes a report with its findings. It finds that the lone gunman was Lee Harvey Oswald. They find no evidence "of any conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy."
MAY 19, 1994: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis dies of cancer. She is buried next to John F. Kennedy and their children in Arlington.
JULY 16, 1999: John F. Kennedy Jr. dies when his small plane crashes while flying from the Essex County Airport in Fairfield, N.J., to Martha's Vineyard. With him are his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette. All three are later buried at sea.