Remarks at the University of Michigan


John and Jackie Kennedy

"If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that I had tried my best and was fairly judged. But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptised, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser, in the eyes of Catholics and non- Catholics around the world, and in the eyes of our own people.



This is a very short speech in which Senator Kennedy introduces the concept of the Peace Corps.


Student Union Building Steps

Ann Arbor, Michigan

October 14, 1960

I want to express my thanks to you, as a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University.

I come here tonight delighted to have the opportunity to say one or two words about this campaign that is coming into the last three weeks.

I think in many ways it is the most important campaign since 1933, mostly because of the problems which press upon the United States, and the opportunities which will be presented to us in the 1960s. The opportunity must be seized, through the judgement of the President, and the vigor of the President, and the cooperation of the Congress. Through these I think we can make the greatest possible difference.

How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives travelling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.

Therefore, I am delighted to come to Michigan, to this University, because unless we have those resources in this school, unless you comprehend the nature of what is being asked of you this country can't possible move through the next ten years in a period of relative strength.

So I come here tonight to go to bed. But I also come here tonight to ask you to join in the effort...

This University...this is the longest short speech I've ever made...therefore I'll finish it. Let me say in conclusion, this University is not maintained by its alumni, or by the state, merely to help its graduates have an economic advantage in the life struggle. There is certainly a greater purpose, and I'm sure you recognize it. Therefore, I do not apologize for asking for your support in this campaign. I come here tonight asking for your support for this country over the next decade.

Thank you.

Starting Page

The Presidency in 1960

Accepting the Nomination

Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association

Address to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Inaugural Address

Kennedy and the Press

Message to the Congress

The Berlin Crisis

Speech to the United Nations

Anniversary of the Inaugural

Speech at the University of California

Statement on the Steel Crisis

Address at Yale University

JFK Sound Bytes

National Space Effort

Situation at the University of Mississippi

Soviet Missiles in Cuba

Commencement Address at American University


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