The Navy torpedo boat PT-109 was rammed this day, Aug. 2, 1943, by a Japanese destroyer and sunk. The commander, who sustained permanent back injury, helped the survivors swim miles to shore, only to find that they were far behind enemy lines in the Solomon Islands. After a daring rescue, he was awarded the Medal of Heroism. Though his brother was killed in the war, this commander went on to become a congressman, senator, and America's 35th president. His name was John F. Kennedy, who stated in his Inaugural Address: "Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."