Joseph Patrick Kennedy is born in Boston to former stevedore, saloon owner, and local politician Patrick Joseph Kennedy and his wife Mary Augusta Hickey, daughter of an affluent family from suburban Brockton, Massachusetts.
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald is born in Boston to local politician John F. Fitzgerald and Mary Josephine Hannon.
P. J. Kennedy helps to organize the Columbia Trust Company, Boston's only Irish-owned bank.
Joe Kennedy graduates from Boston Latin School and enters Harvard College as a member of the class of 1912.
Rose Fitzgerald graduates from Manhattanville Sacred Heart School in New York.
Joe begins his banking career as a clerk for Columbia Trust Company; two years later he will organize resistance to a takeover bid, and become president of the bank at age 25.
Joe Kennedy marries Rose Fitzgerald. They settle in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Nine months later they start their family when Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. is born on July 25, 1915. He will be known as Joe Jr.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, known as Jack, is born.
Joe Sr. opposes World War I. He becomes assistant general manager of Bethlehem Shipbuilding's Fore River Plant in Quincy, Massachusetts, and is able to avoid active military service.
Daughter Rosemary Kennedy is born. Within her first year, it is apparent that she has serious learning disabilities.
Joe Sr. joins the Hayden, Stone and Co. brokerage firm in the heyday of the unregulated stock market. He will open his own stock trading business four years later.
Kathleen Kennedy, known as Kick, is born. Jack, not yet three years old, nearly dies of scarlet fever.
Joe and Rose Kennedy's third daughter, Eunice Kennedy, is born.
A fourth daughter, Patricia Kennedy, is born.
A third son, Robert Kennedy, is born.
Joe Sr. enters the movie business as a producer.
The Kennedy family moves to Riverdale, New York. They will continue to live in the New York area, summering at Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and maintaining a residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
Joe and Rose's fifth and youngest daughter, Jean Ann Kennedy, is born.
The New York stock market crashes. Anticipating problems, Joe Sr. has already liquidated his substantial long-term investments. Joe will later deny, then admit, that he continued to make money in the stock market by selling short while the market fell.
Joe Sr. energetically backs Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful bid for the presidency.
Edward Moore Kennedy is born. He will be the last of Joe and Rose Kennedy’s nine children; oldest brother Joe is nearly seventeen years old.
Anticipating the repeal of Prohibition, Joe Sr. capitalizes on his relationship with President Roosevelt by securing lucrative liquor distribution licenses in Great Britain.
FDR appoints Joe Sr. chairman of the new Securities and Exchange Commission, charged with regulating the manipulation of stock prices that Kennedy had mastered decades earlier. “The appointment is appalling,” says one editor. “Kennedy is that worst of economic parasites, a Wall Street operator.” Yet after 14 months of service, even critics will concede that he has served well.
After a year spent studying in London, Joe Jr. enrolls as a freshman at Harvard.
Jack enrolls at Princeton, having withdrawn from the London School of Economics and Political Science with an attack of jaundice. He will leave after one semester due to ill health.
Joe Sr. joins Roosevelt's presidential re-election campaign. With help from New York Times journalist Arthur Krock, Kennedy publishes I'm for Roosevelt, a book that explains how Roosevelt helps capitalists.
Jack enters Harvard College as a freshman.
Joe Sr. is appointed head of the newly-established U.S. Maritime Commission. He publicizes his achievements successfully enough to be featured on the cover of Fortune magazine.
After intense lobbying, FDR nominates Joe Sr. ambassador to Great Britain. Two months later, Joe Sr. will arrive in London, followed soon after by Rose, Kick and the four youngest Kennedys.
Joe Jr. graduates from Harvard College. Joe Sr.'s pique at not being offered an honorary degree from the university prevents him from attending his son's graduation.
Ambassador Kennedy argues for co-existence with dictatorships in a speech at the Trafalgar Day dinner of the Navy League.
The Kennedy family attends the coronation of Pope Pius XII. Jack travels through Germany, Poland and Russia on the eve of World War II, reporting to his father on the imminence of war.
Germany and the Soviet Union sign a ten-year non-aggression pact.
Jack graduates from Harvard College. With Arthur Krock, he reworks his senior thesis, "Appeasement at Munich," into a book published as Why England Slept. It receives positive reviews and becomes a bestseller.
Paris falls to the German army.
Germany begins the Blitz: nightly bombings on the city of London.
Joe Sr. returns to the United States, asking to be relieved of his ambassadorial post.
Rossevelt is elected to a third term.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Joe Sr. reiterates his views on staying out of the war for an American audience.
Joe Sr. officially resigns as ambassador to England.
Joe Jr. and Jack both enlist in the Navy. Joe Jr. is sent to flight school; Jack is commissioned as an ensign, joining the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Kathleen joins the Washington Times-Herald.
Without consulting Rose, Joe Sr. arranges for Rosemary to have a frontal lobotomy. The operation leaves their daughter in worse condition, and she will be institutionalized for the rest of her life.
Jack begins an affair with Inga Arvad, a married Dane falsely suspected of being a Nazi spy. The FBI monitors the relationship.
Jack is transferred from Naval Intelligence to the Navy shipyard at Charleston, South Carolina. Within the year he graduates from Officer Training at Northwestern University and Torpedo Boat School as a PT boat skipper.
Joe Jr. receives his naval wings -- with his father in attendance.
Kathleen begins working for the Red Cross.
A Japanese destroyer rams PT 109 off the Solomon Islands; skipper Jack Kennedy loses two men immediately. Despite being stranded in the middle of the Pacific, he manages to save the rest of his crew. His valor will earn him Navy and Marine Corps medals.
Just shy of his eighteenth birthday, Robert Kennedy enlists in the Naval Reserve.
Kathleen marries a British lord, William Cavendish.
Joe Jr. dies on a secret mission flying over the English Channel. The Naval Cross will be awarded posthumously. Joe Sr. begins to transfer his political ambitions to his second son.
William Cavendish is killed in battle against the Germans. Kathleen Kennedy is widowed after only four months of marriage.
Robert Kennedy enrolls in Harvard College.
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