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JFK, His Coins and the Second Amendment

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Friday, 01 Nov 2013 07:47 AM Current | Bio | Archive

JFK's Continued High Standing With Most Americans

Many people today fondly remember the story of PT109 and the heroism of John F. Kennedy, who received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart in World War II. Following the war, Kennedy continued to serve his country in the House of Representatives, Senate and became the youngest elected U.S. president in history. He created the Navy Seals, The Peace Corps and inspired America to put a man on the moon.

John F. Kennedy stands far and away as the most popular of recent former presidents in the United States. A CNN poll in January 2011 found that 85 percent of Americans approved of JFK, with only 8 percent disapproving and 7 percent with no opinion. President Clinton was second, with a 72 percent approval rate, and President Reagan was third with 68 percent approval.

Understandably, Democrats and Independents were more positive about Kennedy than were Republicans. However, even among the GOP, Kennedy fared well, with 78 percent approving, 13 percent disapproving and 9 percent with no opinion.

Where Were You On Nov. 22, 1963?

Millions of Americans remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on Nov. 22, 1963. Immediately following the tragic news about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Congress, the new president and the U.S. Mint worked with unprecedented (and uncharacteristic) speed and cooperation to replace the 90 percent silver Franklin half dollar with the 90 percent silver Kennedy half dollar in just months.

In early 1964, when the Kennedy half dollar was released to the public, people stood in long lines to buy them, quickly exhausting bank and store inventories. Almost five times as many Kennedy half dollars were dated 1964 as were the number of Ben Franklin half dollars that were dated 1963. As a result, in 1965, President Johnson signed the act that reduced the silver content of the Kennedy half dollar to 40 percent, thus ensuring that the 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar with 90 percent silver content would typically be more desirable.

JFK, the NRA and the Second Amendment

John F. Kennedy supported Second Amendment rights for Americans, saying in an April 1960 statement, "By calling attention to a well-regulated militia, the security of the nation and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our founding forefathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of government tyranny, which gave rise to the Second Amendment, will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains a major declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important."

Kennedy was one of eight U.S. presidents to become a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, guardian of Americans' Second Amendment rights. In this distinction, JFK was the lone Democrat in the company of Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, all of whom became lifetime NRA members (although Nixon disavowed his membership in 1969 and Bush resigned in 1995).

In his March 20, 1961, letter to NRA Executive Vice President Franklin Orth accepting his Life Membership, Kennedy wrote, "I am pleased to accept Life Membership in the National Rifle Association and extend to your organization every good wish for continued success."

He continued, "Through competitive matches and sports in coordination with the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, the Association fills an important role in our national defense effort, and fosters in an active and meaningful fashion the spirit of the Minutemen."

About the Author: Mike Fuljenz
Mike Fuljenz is a member of the Moneynews Financial Brain Trust. Click Here to read more of his articles. He is also the editor of the NLG award winning Michael Fuljenz Metals Market Weekly Report. Discover more by Clicking Here Now.

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John F. Kennedy stands far and away as the most popular of recent former presidents in the United States. A CNN poll in January 2011 found that 85 percent of Americans approved of JFK, with only 8 percent disapproving and 7 percent with no opinion.
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2013-47-01
Friday, 01 Nov 2013 07:47 AM
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