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John F. Kennedy at Prep School: Portrait of a Troublemaker

When young Jack Kennedy entered Choate, the prestigious boarding school in Connecticut, he was following in the footsteps of his older brother Joe. Joe was an excellent student and a standout athlete. Jack was not, and didn't even pass the entrance exams. But he was admitted anyway, and made mediocre grades. His energies went into pulling pranks.  

Aided by the sons of America’s most influential families, young Jack—then a student at Choate—had successfully snuck firecrackers onto his elite boarding school’s Wallingford, Connecticut campus, and headed straight for the bathroom. That morning, during the obligatory daily assembly, long-suffering headmaster George St. John held up the defenseless victim—a badly injured toilet seat—for all to see.

St. John railed against “the muckers,” as he labeled the culprits, which Jack took to heart, though not in the way the headmaster likely intended. Inspired, the future president named his band of first-class troublemakers “The Choate Muckers Club.”

The school administration didn't think much of John F. Kennedy, but his classmates saw leadership. Read about Kennedy's boarding school days at Town & Country. -via Digg

(Image credit: Choate Rosemary Hall archives)  


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