Introduction: A Presidential Sweet Tooth
John F. Kennedy is remembered for many things, but few people know about his sweet tooth. The 35th President of the United States had a fondness for candy that lasted throughout his life. Whether he was dealing with the challenges of the presidency or enjoying a quiet moment with his family, JFK always had a stash of his favorite treats nearby.
JFK’s Childhood Candy Preferences
As a child, JFK was a fan of hard candies, particularly peppermints. He would often keep a few in his pocket to suck on throughout the day. His mother, Rose Kennedy, was known to keep a bowl of sweets in the family’s home, and JFK would sneak a few whenever he could. JFK’s love of sweets continued into adulthood, and he would often indulge in candy to relieve stress.
Hard Candies and the White House
When JFK became President, he continued to enjoy hard candies. One of his favorites was the Clark’s Teaberry Gum, which he would often chew during meetings. He also kept a bowl of candies on his desk in the Oval Office, which he would offer to guests. JFK’s love of hard candies was so well-known that the candy company even created a special edition of Teaberry Gum with his picture on the wrapper.
The Cuban Missile Crisis and Jelly Beans
During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, JFK’s staff noticed that he was consuming a large amount of jelly beans. The candy had been a favorite of his since childhood, and JFK found that eating them helped him to calm his nerves during the tense negotiations. After the crisis was resolved, the Jelly Belly company sent JFK a shipment of 10,000 jelly beans in a variety of flavors.
Life Savers: A Lifesaver for JFK
Another candy that JFK enjoyed was Life Savers. He reportedly kept a roll of them in his pocket at all times. In fact, during a trip to Germany in 1963, JFK’s staff requested that Life Savers be available at all times during the President’s visit. JFK would often give Life Savers to children during public appearances, and he even gave a roll to his doctor during a medical exam.
Kennedy and Chocolate: A Love Affair
JFK was also a fan of chocolate, particularly Hershey’s bars. He would often keep a few in his desk drawer or offer them to guests. JFK’s love of chocolate was so well-known that he once received a box of 2,000 Hershey’s bars as a gift from the company. The President was also known to enjoy chocolate-covered cherries and chocolate-covered almonds.
The Sweet Influence of Jackie Kennedy
JFK’s wife, Jackie Kennedy, also had an influence on his candy preferences. She was a fan of Kit Kats, and JFK reportedly began to enjoy them as well after they were introduced to him by his wife. Jackie was also known to give boxes of candy as gifts to friends and family, and JFK would often join her in sampling the treats.
JFK’s Favorite Candy Brands
In addition to the candies mentioned above, JFK enjoyed a variety of other brands. These included Necco Wafers, M&Ms, and Toblerone. JFK also reportedly enjoyed licorice and would occasionally indulge in a piece of taffy.
The Presidential Candy Dish
JFK’s love of candy was so well-known that a crystal candy dish was placed in the Oval Office for him to keep his favorite treats in. The dish was reportedly filled with a variety of candies, including hard candies, chocolate, and jelly beans. The dish was so popular that it became a tradition for future Presidents to keep a candy dish in the Oval Office.
JFK’s Gift of Candy to Queen Elizabeth II
During a visit to the United Kingdom in 1961, JFK gave Queen Elizabeth II a box of American candy as a gift. The box included a variety of treats, including Life Savers, Hershey’s bars, and Clark’s Teaberry Gum. The gift was well-received, and the Queen later sent JFK a collection of British sweets in return.
The Legacy of Kennedy’s Candy Preferences
JFK’s love of candy has become part of his legacy. His favorite treats are still enjoyed by people around the world, and some candy companies have even created special editions in his honor. JFK’s love of candy also humanizes the President, showing that even the most powerful people in the world have a sweet tooth.
Conclusion: Remembering JFK’s Sweet Tooth
John F. Kennedy will always be remembered as one of the most influential Presidents in American history. However, his love of candy is a reminder that he was also a person who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. Whether he was chewing on a piece of gum or savoring a chocolate bar, JFK’s sweet tooth was a part of who he was. Today, we can honor his memory by enjoying some of his favorite treats and remembering the man behind the Presidency.