President John F. Kennedy: Little-known Facts and Trivia

Some little-known facts and trivia about the President of the United States John F. Kennedy.


--Kennedy was never particularly religious, but he made an effort to attend confession regularly. As President, he was always worried that a priest might recognize the famous voice and then someday reveal the contents of the confession. In order to avoid recognition, Kennedy would drive to church with a group of Catholic Secret Service men, and then find an inconspicuous place in the middle of their line as they lined up for confession. On one occasion, this subterfuge proved such a miserable failure that the moment he stepped into the booth, the priest said: "Good evening, Mr. President." Kennedy replied, "Good evening, Father," and then walked out immediately.

--Kennedy was notoriously careless about money. He never carried cash with him, and was always "borrowing" from fiends--for restaurant checks, cab fares, or even the collection plate at church. Occasionally, even his closest friends became irritated with the fact that the wealthy Kennedy made no effort to pay them back.

--Sen. Barry Goldwater is a 1st-rate photographer, and he once took a picture of President Kennedy and sent it to him for an autograph. The picture came back with this inscription:

For Barry Goldwater, whom I urge to follow the career for which he has shown so much talent--photography. From his friend, John Kennedy.

--In his home State, Kennedy's name had acquired such magic by the late 1950s, that another John F. Kennedy--a stockroom worker at a razor factory--got himself elected as treasurer of Massachusetts simply by putting his name on the ballot. In 1958, his total campaign expenses were $150--most of it for an election night victory party. Treasurer Kennedy drove around the State in a chauffeur-driven limousine and appointed many of his relatives to State positions.

--Kennedy usually swam twice a day during his Presidency, in a White House pool which he ordered heated to 90 deg. On the wall facing the pool, Kennedy had an artist paint a floor to ceiling mural of a typical Massachusetts waterfront, complete with launches at anchor, Cape Cod houses, and trees.

--According to the polls, Kennedy's highest rating as President came right after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, as the American people rallied to support their President in difficult times, and 82% expressed approval of his handling of the job. No one was more amazed at this development than Kennedy. "My God," he said, "it's as bad as Eisenhower. The worse I do the more popular I get."

--In the fall of '63, Kennedy appeared at a Boston dinner honoring his brother Teddy--the newly elected junior senator from Massachusetts. In the course of his speech, the President joked about his own upcoming reelection bid in 1964. "My last campaign may be coming up very shortly," he said, "but Teddy is around, and therefore these dinners can go on indefinitely."

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