John F Kennedy, maybe more commonly known as JFK would have been 100 years old just yesterday had he not sorrowfully been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald back in 1963.
The American politician was the 35th president of the United States of America from 1961 until his tragic death in 1963.
Only a few months into his powerful new position at the White House, JFK submitted a failed attempt along with the CIA to secede the Cuban government led by Fidel Castro (then current leader of Cuba) in what was known as The Bay of Pigs. The ongoing conflicts between America and Cuba led to the final decision of an embargo on Cuba in February 1962 also known as ‘The Blockade’ and still to this day stands as one of the longest embargoes to remain!
However, there was something extremely important that Kennedy needed to execute before the embargo was officially announced on February 3rd 1962. Something that required his head of office, Pierre Salinger to succeed which would take him all through the night stressing to accomplish such a task of the President.
John F Kennedy ordered that before the doors were closed on Cuba, Pierre was to source him as many cigars as possible before the hand rolled Cubans were made illegal. Specifically, JFK wanted 1000 H. Upmann Petits as these were a personal favorite of his. Salinger, who also smoked cigars, returned the next morning with Cuban smoking experience deep within his pockets and was instantly requested to Kennedy’s office.
Originally doubting himself of such a task in such a short amount of time, Pierre Salinger bombastically confirmed to JFK that he’d actually managed to get him 1,200 Petits!
I’m sure a few of these were calculated for himself as we all know, cigars are a social luxury and better enjoyed with someone else!
The exact H. Upmann Petit from the Vuelta Abajo region was sadly discontinued back in 2002, however you can now get what I have since learnt is a very close smoke to the original cigar for flavors and size which is the H. Upmann Petit Cornonas.
Not only was Kennedy a well known cigar smoker, he was also known for his class and impressive style. Looked upon as an influencing fashionista, John and even his wife ‘Jackie’ often appeared in the media and most commonly materializing within leading magazines!
In terms of ‘media’ JFK was a real trend setter in allowing and gaining valuable coverage on television and radio later leading to a request of a live broadcast. This act led to Kennedy being awarded the highest honor of the ‘Paul White‘ award presented by Radio- Television News Directors Association in 1961 for his open relationship with the media. God only knows how Instagram would have played a part for him nowadays!
Last but defiantly not least, I must mention Kennedy’s watch collection, all of which were gifts to him. Mostly marking a momentous milestone in his life, be it a wedding anniversary, birthday or his most popularly worn Omega watch, gifted for his election to office of President.
JFK most commonly wore his iconic square shaped 18-karat gold Omega Ultra Thin reference OT3980. This was the watch that was gifted to him by his close friend, Grant Stockdale, otherwise known as a former Florida State senator. Grant was so confident that John was to be elected that he presented the watch almost a year before JFK was officially made the President of the United States. On the case back, Stockdale had engraved the following:
‘President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant’.
The day that Kennedy was shot in his limousine ‘SS-100-X‘, he was proudly sporting his Cartier Tank watch which was again 18-karat gold, yet this time gifted by Jackie his wife. This was lovingly handed to him on their 4th year anniversary and this time had his initials, wedding date and their families arms engraved to the rear. Later returned to Jacqueline, She then gifted it to John’s former secretary to continue its history and wonderful energy.
Other important watches gifted and worn by Kennedy included his first to be spotted, a rectangular Bulova in gold, an 18-karat gold Rolex Date Just which was gifted and engraved by non other than Marilyn Monroe on Johns 45th birthday, since there was a rumored affair between the two, a custom Hamilton 505 which had photo engraved images of his children on the dial of the watch itself, and finally a 14-karat gold Nastrix which was apparently used for JFK’s morning swims.
All of which made up to be an astounding and eye catching collection which many can now be viewed in museums all over the world.
Once again, a true style icon, a hero and Happy belated 100th Birthday, John F Kennedy.