“If we fail to meet the challenge of either Soviet or Western imperialism, then no amount of foreign aid, no aggrandizement of armaments, no new pacts or doctrines or high-level conferences can prevent further setbacks to our course and to our security.”

John F. Kennedy

“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: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

John F. Kennedy

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”

John F. Kennedy

“The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough—more than enough—of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success.”

John F. Kennedy

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

John F. Kennedy

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.

John F. Kennedy

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardner objected that the tree was slow growing and wouldn't reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, "In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!” 

John F. Kennedy

“It is when the politician loves neither the public good nor himself, or when his love for himself is limited and is satisfied by the trappings of office, that the public interest is badly served.”

John F. Kennedy

“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

John F. Kennedy

“The full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”

John F. Kennedy

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F. Kennedy

“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?”

John F. Kennedy

“Life's not fair but not always to your disadvantage.”

John F. Kennedy

“We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do. The problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier - a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. It has been a long road to this crowded convention city. Now begins another long journey, taking me into your cities and towns and homes all over America. Give me your help. Give me your hand, your voice and your vote.”

John F. Kennedy

“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.”

John F. Kennedy


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