Posted: Saturday, November 23rd 2013 at 12:00pm
John F. Kennedy in his own words
By The Associated Press
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh in a series of reports marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.)
Some notable quotations of John F. Kennedy:
"We stand today on the edge of a new frontier... The new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises - it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them."
- Democratic nomination acceptance, July 15, 1960.
"I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters - and the church does not speak for me."
- Speech to Greater Houston Ministerial Association, Sept. 12, 1960.
"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty....
"And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved....
"All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin....
"I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it - and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
"And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
"My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
- Inaugural address, Jan. 20 1961.
"I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth."
- Speech to joint session of Congress, May 25, 1961.
"I do not think it altogether inappropriate to introduce myself to this audience. I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it."
- Comment in Paris, June 2, 1961.
"I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
- At a dinner honoring Noble Prize winners, April 1962.
- Address at American University, June 10, 1963.
"We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated....
"We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is the land of the free except for the Negroes...?
"Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law."
- Speech on civil rights, June 11, 1963.
"Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe....
"All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words `Ich bin ein Berliner.'"
- Address in West Berlin. June 26, 1963.
"I speak to you tonight in a spirit of hope. Eighteen years ago the advent of nuclear weapons changed the course of the world as well as the war. Since that time, all mankind has been struggling to escape from the darkening prospect of mass destruction on earth....
"Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. Negotiations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. For the first time, an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under international control."
- Speech on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, July 26, 1963.
"A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."
- Speech at Amherst College honoring poet Robert Frost, Oct. 26, 1963.
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