This page will contain some audio files of John F. Kennedy, and quite possibly of others who figured prominently in his Presidency. I'm providing some at this point as a bit of a break for those who have been reading to get to this point. Hopefully this page will keep growing as I find more files to use. In the meantime, I hope you find these informative and/or helpful in some way.
JFK: Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. For the first time an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under International control.
JFK: Now the trumpet summons us again, not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need, not as a call to battle, though embattled we are. But a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyrrany, poverty, disease, and war itself.
JFK: We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures, and 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 out fellow Americans as we would want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?
One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons are not fully free. They're not yet free from the bonds of injustice. They're not yet free from social and economic oppression. And this nation, for all it's hopes and all it's boasts, will not be fully free until all of it's citizens are free. 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 negroes? That we have no second class citizens, except negroes? That we have no class or caste system, no ghettos, no master race, except with respect to negroes?
Now the time has come for this nation to fulfill it's promise. The event in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city, or state, or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them. The fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city, North and South. Where legal remedies are not at hand, redress is sought in the streets, in demonstrations, parades, and protests which create tensions, and threaten violence, and threaten lives.
We face therefore a morale crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act, in the Congress, in your state and local legislative bodies, and above all, in all of our daily lives. It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say that this is the problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.
JFK: 2000 years ago, 2000 years ago, the proudest boast was "Qivis Romanus Sum". Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bein ein Berliner." There are some who say, there are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let the come to Berlin!
JFK: Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer concern the great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds, and water, and fear could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.
JFK: The great British explorer, George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said "Because it is there." Well space is there, and we're going to climb it. And the moon and the planets are there. And new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And therefore, as we set sail, we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous, and dangerous, and greatest adventure on which mankind has ever embarked.
JFK: It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say that this is the problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right, as well as reality.
JFK: And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
JFK: I call upon Chairman Kruschev to halt and eliminate this clandestine, wreckless, and provocative threat to world peace and to stable relations between our two nations. I call on him further to abandon this course of world domination and to join in an historic effort to end the perilous arms race, and to transform the history of man. He has an opportunity now to move the world back from the abyss of destruction.
JFK: 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.
JFK: In 1990 your sons, daughters, grandsons, and grandchildren will be applying to the colleges of this state in a number 3 times what they do today. Our airports will serve 5 times as many passenger miles. We will need housing for a hundred million more people, and many times more doctors and engineers and technicians than we are presently producing. That is why we're trying to do more in these areas. As in the thirties, Albert Thomas and Franklin Roosevelt and others did those things which make it possible for not only Texas, but the entire United States to prosper and grow as we do in the 1960's. In 1990, the age of space will be entering it's second phase, and our hope's in it to preserve the peace, to make sure that in this great new sea, as on Earth, the United States is second to none.
JFK: Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.
The Presidency in 1960
Accepting the Nomination
Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
Remarks at the University of Michigan
Address to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
The President and the Press
Message to the Congress
The Berlin Crisis
Speech to the United Nations
Anniversary of the Inaugural
Address at the University of California
Statement on the Steel Crisis
Address at Yale University
National Space Effort
Situation at the University of Mississippi
Soviet Missiles in Cuba
Commencement Address at American University
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