John Kerry: Candidate in the Making
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A timeline of events

 1943 
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December 11: John Forbes Kerry is born at the Fitzsimmons Military Hospital in Denver to Rosemary (Forbes) and Richard Kerry. His family moves back to Massachusetts shortly after his birth.

 1950 
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Kerry's family moves to Washington.

 1953 
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Kerry is 10 years old.

 1957 
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While his father is stationed at the US Embassy in Norway, Kerry is sent to Massachusetts for schooling. He attends Fessenden School in West Newton, where he meets friend Richard Pershing.

 1958 
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Kerry enrolls at St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H.

 1959 
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At 16, Kerry founds the John Winant Society at St. Paul's, a group that still exists and which debates major issues of the day.

 1960 
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November 8: On Election Day, Kerry sees candidate John F. Kennedy speak for the first time.

 1962 
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Kerry volunteers in the senatorial campaign of Edward M. Kennedy.

Enters Yale, and meets President Kennedy twice while dating Jacqueline Kennedy's half-sister, Janet Auchincloss.

 1966 
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Graduates from Yale.

February 18: Kerry enlists in the US Navy.

October 19: Kerry is ordered into active duty.

December 16: Kerry receives his Navy commission, a few days after his 23rd birthday.

 1967 
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Kerry spends the year in military training.

December: Kerry begins his first tour of duty, serving on the guided-missile frigate USS Gridley.

 1968 
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February: With Kerry aboard, the Gridley sails into war to patrol the coast of Vietnam. He never came into contact with the enemy during this time.

June 6: Kerry's first tour ends as the Gridley returns home.

December: Begins second tour of duty as the skipper of swift boat No. 44, patrolling the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam.

 1969 
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February 28: Kerry shoots and kills a Viet Cong guerilla who was threatening the lives of Kerry's crew. He received the Silver Star for his action.

April: Kerry ends his second and final tour in Vietnam.

 1970 
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January 3: Discharged from the Navy.

February: Kerry gives up on his first bid for office as a protest candidate in the race for the Third Congressional district.

May 23: Kerry marries Julia Thorne, his best friend's sister.

 1971 
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January: Attends ''Winter Soldier'' hearings in Detroit, but does not speak.

April 22: Kerry testifies before Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

April 23: Kerry and other veterans throw medals and ribbons over a fence at the Capitol to protest the war.

June 20: Debates John O'Neill on ''The Dick Cavett Show.''

 1972 
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September: Kerry wins the Democratic primary in the race for the Fifth Congressional District.

November: Loses his bid for Congress to Republican Paul W. Cronin in the general election.

 1973 
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September: Within a matter of days, Kerry's first daughter, Alexandra, is born and he enrolls in Boston College Law School.

 1974 
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August 9: President Nixon resigns.

 1976 
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May: Kerry earns his law degree from Boston College and later joins the Middlesex County district attorney's office.

 1977 
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January: Kerry is promoted to first assistant district attorney in Middlesex County

 1978 
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Feb. 16: Discharged from the US Navy Reserves.

 1979 
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May: Leaves the Middlesex County district attorney's office and opens a private law practice.

 1981 
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Fall: Kerry begins planning to run for lieutenant governor.

 1982 
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May: Delegates at the Democratic convention place Kerry on the ballot for lieutenant governor.

Summer: Kerry separates from his wife, Julia.

November 7: Kerry is elected lieutenant governor. Michael S. Dukakis is elected governor.

 1983 
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September 28: Kerry endorses Raymond Flynn for mayor of Boston.

December 11: Kerry turns 40.

 1984 
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January 12: Senator Paul Tsongas says he won't seek reelection.

January 26: Kerry announces he is running for Tsongas's seat in the Senate.

June 30: Freeze Voter '84 group backs Kerry and US Rep. James M. Shannon.

September 18: Wins the Democratic nomination for Senate.

November 6: Kerry elected to the US Senate.

 1985 
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February 8: Appointed to a coveted seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

April 18: After taking his first trip as a senator to the Philippines, Kerry makes a controversial trip to Nicaragua.

October 11: Kerry denounces the Palestine Liberation Organization for its alleged role in the Achille Lauro hijacking.

 1986 
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April: A Senate subcommittee chaired by Kerry opens an investigations into suspected US involvement in illegal gun-running and narcotics trafficking in the contra insurgency in Nicaragua.

November: News breaks that the US sold arms to Iran to fund the contras, but Kerry is denied a seat on the congressional Iran-contra investigation panel

 1987 
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April 6: In a victory for Kerry and US Senator Edward Kennedy, the Senate overrides a presidential veto and guarantees federal funding for Boston's Big Dig.

July 7: Former White House military aide Oliver North testifies at the Iran-contra hearings.

 1988 
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May: Commencement speaker at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

July 25: After years of being separated, Kerry divorces Julia Thorne.

November 8: George Bush beats Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in the presidential election.

 1989 
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April 13: Kerry's subcommittee releases it long awaited report on the US government's alleged tolerance of drug smuggling under the guise of national security.

September 25: Real Estate developer James Rappaport says he will challenge Kerry's reelection.

 1990 
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November 6: Kerry wins reelection to the Senate, beating challenger James Rappaport.

 1991 
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July 21: The Senate votes to open a new investigation into Vietnam soldiers still missing in action, and establishes a select committee to be chaired by Kerry. The first hearing is held November 5.

 1995 
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May 26: Kerry marries Teresa Heinz in a civil ceremony on Nantucket.

July 11: With Kerry at his side, President Bill Clinton announces the US will normalize relations with Vietnam.

 1996 
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November 5: Kerry beats William Weld for reelection.

 1997 
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May 7: Kerry confirms publicly that he requested an annulment of his marriage. to Julia Thorne.

 1999 
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February 26: Ending more than a year of speculation, Kerry announces he will not run for president in 2000.

 2000 
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August 7: Presidential candidate Al Gore chooses Senator Joseph Lieberman over Kerry as his running mate.

 2002 
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November 14: Kerry's mother, Rosemary Forbes Kerry, dies.

 2003 
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January 12: Kerry announces he will run for president in 2004.