If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world
would be a better place in which to live
This page is intended to provide a history of John F. Kennedy, his presidency, his
policies, his political acts. It will not deal with his personal life or family problems, or
assassination theories. Those of you who come here looking for sensationalism would be well
advised to look elsewhere.
Kennedy was President during a fascinating time in American and world history. The world
was in the midst of the Cold War, nuclear devastation was a frightening possibility. The civil
rights movement in the United States was gaining momemtum. In Southeast Asia, the conflict
between North and South Viet Nam was heating up. The early 1960's were a time of tremendous
hope and tremendous terror of nuclear disaster. Against this background, John F. Kennedy was
sworn in as the 35th president of the United States.
The candidacy and Presidency of John F. Kennedy was unusual in many respects. Kennedy was
a Catholic, and no there Catholic had ever been elected President. Only one other Catholic, Al
Smith, had ever run for the Presidency, and Smith had been roundly defeated. He was also the
youngest man ever to run for President. The Presidency had been won by JFK, but with the
narrowest margin of victory of history.
This page is dedicated to Kennedy's years in office. History has been a passion of mine
for as long as I can remember, and this era I found particulary fascinating. Often I've thought
of starting a project, a page, on these years and every time the sheer immensity of the task led
me to walk away from it. This page finally came into existence in large part due to a wonderful
woman, a woman who has become everything to me, my soulmate, my best friend, and my mentor. She
refuses to allow me to believe there is anything I cannot do, if the desire is there. This page
is dedicated to her as well, thank you Suz!
This history will be ongoing, and posted one page at a time, as I complete each section.
All pages will follow the same format, each containing the subject, an audio file, a quote,
an introduction, and finally a speech by JFK dealing with what was in the introduction. I feel
that by presenting the speeches in chronological order, there is less chance of my missing some
important event in Kennedy's presidency, and it will create less confusion on the part of the
reader. To those of you studying history in general, or this era in particular, I hope you will
find this page a helpful resource. Without further delay then, I begin this daunting task.
I am announcing today my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.
The Presidency is the most powerful office in the Free World. Through its leadership can come
a more vital life for our people. In it are centered the hopes of the globe around us for freedom
and a more secure life. For it is in the Executive Branch that the most crucial decisions of this
century must be made in the next four years--how to end or alter the burdensome arms race, where
Soviet gains already threaten our very existence--how to maintain freedom and order in the newly
emerging nations--how to rebuild the stature of American science and education--how to prevent
the collapse of our farm economy and the decay of our cities--how to achieve, without further
inflation or unemployment, expanded economic growth benefitting all Americans--and how to give
direction to our traditional moral purpose, awakening every American to the dangers and
opportunities that confront us.
These are among the real issues of 1960. And it is on the basis of these issues that the
American people must make their fateful choice for the future.
In the past 40 months, I have toured every state in the Union and I have talked to Democrats
in all walks of life. My candidacy is therefore based on the conviction that I can win both the
nomination and the election.
I believe that any Democratic aspirant to this important nomination should be willing to
submit to the voters his views, record and competence in a series of primary contests. I am
therefore now announcing my intention of filing in the New Hampshire primary and I shall announce
my plans with respect to the other primaries as their filing dates approach.
I believe that the Democratic Party has a historic function to perform in the winning of the
1960 election, comparable to its role in 1932. I intend to do my utmost to see that that victory
For 18 years, I have been in the service of the United States, first as a naval officer in the
Pacific during World War II, and for the past 14 years as a member of the Congress. In the last
20 years, I have travelled in nearly every continent and country--from Leningrad to Saigon, from
Bucharest to Lima. From all of this, I have developed an image of America as fulfilling a noble
and historic role as the defender of freedom in a time of maximum peril--and in the American
people as confident, courageous and persevering.
It is with this image that I begin this campaign.
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