President John F. Kennedy’s life and death captivated and continue to captivate the American public. Although he has been studied widely, here are a couple lesser known and odd facts about this famous president that you might not have known.
1. Kennedy gave all of his presidential salary, $100,000 a year, to charity.
2. He was the first president to dance with African American women at an inaugural ball.
3. Kennedy survived four assassination attempts during his life. A retired postal worker attempted to kill him barely a month after his election by following him from Hyannis Port to Georgetown to Palm Beach in a car loaded with dynamite. Other plots in Chicago, Illinois and Tampa, Florida were discovered in the weeks before November 22, 1963.
4. He received the Last Rites four times in his life. He first received them in 1947 after becoming gravely ill in England and next received them in 1951 when he got a high fever in Japan. Kennedy got them again in 1954 after back surgery and lastly on November 22, 1963.
5. Kennedy was obsessed with his weight and traveled with a bathroom scale.
6. He was an avid fan of James Bond and he wrote his own spy novel about a coup d’etat organized by Vice President Lyndon Johnson.
7. He bought up to 1,200 high-grade Cuban cigars the day before he ordered a ban on Cuban imports.
8. During WWII his ship PT-109 was sunk and he scratched a rescue message on a coconut husk as part of his efforts to get his crew rescued. He later used the coconut husk as a paperweight in the Oval Office.
9. First Lady Jackie Kennedy was fluent in French and Kennedy attempted to learn French and even asked his daughter Caroline’s teacher for help.
10. Kennedy was the only president whose grandmother lived longer than he did.