Glossary - Biography of John F. Kennedy

ambassador – A government official who represents his or her home country to a foreign country. An ambassador builds a friendship with a foreign country and helps solve conflicts that involve the two countries.

campaign – Planned actions to help a candidate win an election. When someone runs for president, he or she gives speeches, meets people, distributes buttons and posters, and appears on television advertisements. These actions are all part of his or her campaign.

candidate – A person who runs for an elected position such as senator or president.

Cold War – Following World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became the two most powerful nations in the world. They were known as “the superpowers.” The two countries had serious disagreements about many things and did not trust one another. Both the Soviet Union and the United States knew that nuclear weapons were dangerous, but neither country wanted to be caught short of weapons. Both the United States and the Soviet Union wanted to be well-protected and appear very powerful. The Cold War was a time of tension that also carried the threat of nuclear war.

immigrant – A person who leaves the country where he or she was born to live in another country.

inaugural address – The first official speech by a newly-elected official, such as the president. The inauguration refers to the ceremony during which the newly-elected president takes the oath of office and then delivers the inaugural address.

oath of office – The promise the person who has been elected president of the United States must make before he or she can officially take office. He or she must promise to respect and follow the Constitution. The Constitution is a set of rules that describes how the United States government works.

politician – A person who runs for an elected office in the government.

potato famine – Beginning in 1845, a fungus, or disease, destroyed the potato crop in Ireland. A million people died over ten years because they lost their main source of food. The lack of food forced about 2 million people to immigrate to the United States.

segregation – Segregation means separation. Up until 1964 in the United States, the laws in some parts of the country stated that black people and white people should be kept separate. Black people could not use the same public water fountains and bathrooms as white people. Many movie theaters, restaurants, and parks were only open to white people or had separate sections for black people. The facilities for white people were usually of better quality than those set aside for black people.

Soviet Union – Also known as the U.S.S.R., or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Soviet Union formed when Russia joined with several surrounding countries including, for example, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The country was communist. In a communist country, the government owns and controls businesses and services such as newspapers, industry, electrical companies, and farms. Big changes occurred in 1991 when some leaders of the Soviet Union made the decision to dissolve the Soviet Union. They agreed to give independence to Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Later, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and other countries became independent.

volunteer – Someone who works without getting paid. When you volunteer, you donate your time to help with something that is important to you.


Answer Key -  Biography of John F. Kennedy

Page 2, postcard to Rose Kennedy, from her son John (Jack) F. Kennedy:

  • If he was born on May 29, 1917, how old was he when the card was sent? (He was twelve years old. The postmark is April 24, 1930, about a month before his thirteenth birthday. If he was twelve years old in 1930, how old was he when he took the oath of office to become the nation’s 35th president?)

Photo 3, note card on JFK:

  • When is Jack’s birthday? (May 29, 1917)
  • Where was he born? (Brookline, Mass. 83 Beals Street)
  • What illnesses did he have as a young boy? (Whooping cough, measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, German measles, bronchitis)

Photo 4, Kennedy family photograph from September 4, 1931:

  • How old was Jack? (Fourteen years old)

Photo 5, Canterbury School report card:

  • Do you think he could have earned a higher grade? (Yes, he earned high grades in other subjects. His teacher writes a comment that he can do better.)

Photo 7, Heavenly Mist painting:

  • How many years after the crash was the painting made? (It was made 22 years after the crash.)
  • Why might it have been painted then? (John F. Kennedy was president, perhaps it was made to honor him.)

Photo 9, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, JFK, Caroline, and John Jr.:

  • During what time of year do you think the photograph was taken? (summer)
  • How do you know? (They are wearing summer clothes, they do not have jackets, they look suntanned.)

Photo 11, JFK delivering his inaugural address:

  • Can you find Jacqueline Kennedy in the photograph? (She is in the first row. She is the second person to the left of JFK. She is wearing a beige coat, a beige hat, and a muff to keep her hands warm.)
  • Can you find Vice President Johnson? (He is in the first row. He is the first person to the right of JFK.)

Photo 12, Willie Douglas in Pakistan:

  • What work did he do there? (He helped with farming.)
  • What might he have learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in Pakistan? (He might have learned more about farming. He might have learned new languages -- there are many spoken in Pakistan. He might have learned how to make friends with people in a different country. He might have learned what it was like to live in a different culture. He might have learned information about his host village and Pakistan, his host country.)

Photo 13, JFK and his children in the Oval Office:

  • What might have happened if he didn’t have a signal? (Caroline and John Jr. could barge in during an important meeting. They could interrupt a televised speech. They would be able to come in any time, and it would be hard for him to complete his work.)

Photo 14, map of missile range from Cuba:

  • On this map, how much of the United States could be hit by the missiles? (Almost all of it, except the far northwest and Hawaii. However, the target range shown is larger than the reach of the type of missiles sighted in Cuba.)


Answer Key - Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Photo 2, The White House Long Ago painting:

  • How can you tell it was a scene from long ago? (People are wearing clothes from an earlier time and there are horses. Also, there is no longer a road as pictured here and, during President Truman’s administration, a balcony was added on the second floor of the White House.)

Photo 4, Sea Joy:

  • How does the poem show Jackie's love of the sea? (Several lines refer to her love of the sea, such as: “I can think of nothing I would love more/Then to live by the booming blue sea ; and the last line: “Oh-- to live by the sea is my only wish.” She also describes what she loves to do by the sea, and the beauty of sea animals and the water.)

Photo 4, the Auchincloss family: 

  • About how old was Jackie in the photograph? Is she one of the older or younger children in the family? (Since she was born in 1929 and the photograph was taken in 1946, she would have been about 17 years old. She was one of the older siblings.)

Photo 5, Paris 1961:

  • What was the weather like that day? (It was probably raining since people are using umbrellas and some women are wearing rain bonnets. They still came out to see the President!)

Photo 6, illustration from One Special Summer:

  • Can you find Lee trying to cover up? (She is a little to the right of the center of the page, in a yellow dress. She is bending down to cover herself.)

Photo 10, the White House school:

  • How is she helping in this photograph? What are they learning in school? (She is showing the students how to draw. There is a clock so they might be learning how to tell time. There is a bulletin board with drawings of American Indians.)

Photo 11, the Resolute Desk:

  • What material was used to make the desk? (It is made out of wood. In fact, it was made from the HMS Resolute, a British ship. The desk was given to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1878. The desk in the photograph is a replica and is displayed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.)
  • What symbol do you see? (The eagle, which symbolizes the United States, is part of the presidential seal on the front of the desk. The eagle is holding an olive branch, which represents peace; and arrows, which represent war or defense.)

Photo 13, the president and first lady with Isaac Stern: 

  • What instrument did Mr. Stern play? (The violin.)

Photo 14/first lady clothing gallery:

  • Which dress or coat do you think Jacqueline Kennedy wore on a daytime boat ride in India? Which one did she wear to the inaugural gala (a fancy party) the night before her husband officially became president? (She wore the orange dress on the boat ride in India [Dress 1]. She wore the ivory gown with the bow to the inaugural gala [Dress 21].)

Photo 15, Jacqueline Kennedy at the Taj Mahal:

  • Why do you think people in India called her Ameriki Rani, “the Queen of America”? (Since her husband was president, they thought of her as the important woman of America, and the wife of the leader of the United States. Perhaps they thought she had the grace and elegance of a queen.)