“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

John F. Kennedy

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

John F. Kennedy

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

John F. Kennedy

“Of course, it would be much easier if we could all continue to think in traditional political patterns—of liberalism and conservatism, as Republicans and Democrats, from the viewpoint of North and South, management and labor, business and consumer or some equally narrow framework. It would be more comfortable to continue to move and vote in platoons, joining whomever of our colleagues are equally enslaved by some current fashion, raging prejudice or popular movement. But today this nation cannot tolerate the luxury of such lazy political habits. Only the strength and progress and peaceful change that come from independent judgment and individual ideas—and even from the unorthodox and the eccentric—can enable us to surpass that foreign ideology that fears free thought more than it fears hydrogen bombs. We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not of principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves.”

John F. Kennedy

“Perhaps the twentieth-century Senator is not called upon to risk his entire future on one basic issue in the manner of Edmund Ross or Thomas Hart Benton. Perhaps our modern acts of political courage do not arouse the public in the manner that crushed the career of Sam Houston and John Quincy Adams. Still, when we realize that a newspaper that chooses to denounce a Senator today can reach many thousand times as many voters as could be reached by all of Daniel Webster’s famous and articulate detractors put together, these stories of twentieth-century political courage have a drama, an excitement—and an inspiration—all their own.”

John F. Kennedy

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.”

John F. Kennedy

“To be courageous, these stories make clear, requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place and circumstance. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all. Politics merely furnishes one arena which imposes special tests of courage. In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follow his conscience - the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men - each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient - they can teach, they can offer hope, they provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.”

John F. Kennedy

“We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

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

“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's futures, and we are all mortal.”

John F. Kennedy

“We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty”

John F. Kennedy

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

John F. Kennedy

“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”

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

“The 1930s, Kennedy said, 'taught us a clear lesson; aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”

John F. Kennedy


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