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JFK speech to the Congress May 25th 1961
First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations-explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon-if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.
In one unnerving exchange, on Nov 19 1963, President Kennedy is heard in a diary meeting with an aide discussing whether he is free to see an Indonesian general the following week.
"I will see him – when is he here, Monday? Well that's a tough day," he says.
"It's a hell of a day, Mr President," the staffer replies. Kennedy was buried six days later on Monday Nov 25 1963 at Virginia's Arlington Cemetery.
Profesor Robert Dallek said Kennedy had previously been told by the historian David Herbert Donald that Abraham Lincoln's reputation may not have been as great had he lived long enough to become embroiled in domestic politics.
"At that lecture, Kennedy asked Professor Donald if Lincoln had lived, would his reputation be as great as it currently is in the United States? And predictably, Donald said probably not because he would have had to have wrestled with the problems of reconstruction, the post Civil War era," he said.
"And Kennedy, remembering that, said to Mrs Kennedy after his success in the Cuban Missile Crisis, he said if anyone's going to kill me, it should happen now."
In early 1963, Kennedy told Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, who opposed increased U.S. involvement in Vietnam, that he would begin withdrawing advisors from South Vietnam at the beginning of his second term in 1965. Kennedy disclosed the same plan to Roswell Gilpatric, his deputy secretary of Defense. But the tragedy in Dallas in November 1963 changed everything.
Quoted by Kenneth O'donnell And David Powers,
I had in my hand a copy of the Dallas News, with its black-bordered anti-Kennedy tirade, but I hesitated to show it to the President because I was reluctant to dampen his cheerful mood. I waited while he made a telephone call to Uvalde, Texas, to talk with Jon Nance Garner; Lyndon Johnson reminded him that today was Garner’s ninety-fifth birthday. Then I handed him the newspaper. He said he had seen it, and he showed the black-bordered advertisement to Jackie. That night on the way back to Washington, she and I talked about what he said to her while she was reading the ad. “We’re heading into nut country today,” he said. “But Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it?”
"Thank God nobody wanted to kill me today," he said to a friend half a century ago tonight while flying from Florida to Washington. How would it happen? By someone firing at his motorcade from a high window, he thought.
Kennedy also confided in the friend, Dave Powers, that he really didn't want to go to Texas later that week. "God, I hate to go to Texas," JFK said, adding that he had "a terrible feeling about going." And on the morning of his murder, Friday, November 22, that terrible feeling was still with him. "Last night would have been a hell of a night to assassinate a president," he told his wife Jacqueline and Ken O'Donnell, a top aide.
William Manchester, in the definitive account of the assassination — Death of a President — picks up the story:
"I mean it," Kennedy said. "There was the rain, and the night, and we were all getting jostled. Suppose a man had a pistol in a briefcase." Then Kennedy "gestured vividly, pointing his rigid index finger at the wall and jerking his thumb twice to show the action of the hammer. "Then he could have dropped the gun and the briefcase" — in pantomime he dropped them and whirled in a tense crouch — "and melted away in the crowd." [Death of a President]
JFK January 20th 1961
And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
JFK March 13th 1961
we invite our friends in Latin America to contribute to the enrichment of life and culture in the United States. We need teachers of your literature and history and tradition, opportunities for our young people to study in your universities, access to your music, your art, and the thought of your great philosophers. For we know we have much to learn.
In this way you can help bring a fuller spiritual and intellectual life to the people of the United States -- and contribute to understanding and mutual respect among the nations of the hemisphere.
JFK Berlin, June 26th 1963
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.
JFK March 13th 1961
we must support all economic integration which is a genuine step toward larger markets and greater competitive opportunity. The fragmentation of Latin American economies is a serious barrier to industrial growth. Projects such as the Central American common market and free trade areas in South America can help to remove these obstacles.
....., the United States is ready to cooperate in serious, case-by-case examinations of commodity market problems. Frequent violent change in commodity prices seriously injure the economies of many Latin American countries, draining their resources and stultifying their growth. Together we must find practical methods of bringing an end to this pattern.
JFK March 13th 1961
We meet together as firm and ancient friends, united by history and experience and by our determination to advance the values of American civilization. For this New World of ours is not a mere accident of geography. Our continents are bound together by a common history, the endless exploration of new frontiers. Our nations are the product of a common struggle, the revolt from colonial rule. And our people share a common heritage, the quest for the dignity and the freedom of man.
PT 109 was one of the boats left behind. Lieutenant Kennedy rendezvoused his boat with two others, PT 162 and PT 169. The three boats spread out to make a picket line across the strait. At about 2:30 in the morning, a shape loomed out of the darkness three hundred yards off PT 109's starboard bow. The young lieutenant and his crew first believed it to be another PT boat. When it became apparent that it was one of the Japanese destroyers, Kennedy attempted to turn to starboard to bring his torpedoes to bear. But there was not enough time.
The destroyer, later identified as the Amagiri, struck PT 109 just forward of the forward starboard torpedo tube, ripping away the starboard aft side of the boat. The impact tossed Kennedy around the cockpit. Most of the crew were knocked into the water. The one man below decks, engineer Patrick McMahon, miraculously escaped, although he was badly burned by exploding fuel.
Fear that PT 109 would go up in flames drove Kennedy to order the men who still remained on the wreck to abandon ship. But the destroyer's wake dispersed the burning fuel, and when the fire began to subside, Kennedy sent his men back to what was left of the boat. From the wreckage, Kennedy ordered the men with him, Edgar Mauer and John E. Maguire, to identify the locations of their crew mates still in the water. Leonard Thom, Gerard Zinser, George Ross, and Raymond Albert were able to swim back on their own.
Kennedy swam out to McMahon and Charles Harris. Kennedy towed the injured McMahon by a life-vest strap, and alternately cajoled and berated the exhausted Harris to get him through the difficult swim. Meanwhile, Thom pulled in William Johnston, who was debilitated by the gasoline he had accidentally swallowed and the heavy fumes that lay on the water. Finally Raymond Starkey swam in from where he had been flung by the shock. Floating on and around the hulk, the crew took stock.
By Malcolm Owen
Monday, May 29, 2017, 11:06 am PT (02:06 pm ET)
Apple is celebrating the centenary of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy with the release of educational materials and activities for students to learn about Kennedy's legacy, with the collection created in collaboration with the JFK library covering subjects including the establishment of the Peace Corps, political courage, the drive for innovation, and inclusion.
Centennial Exhibition JFK Presidential LIbrary:
Milestones & Mementos is the title of a new exhibition commemorating President Kennedy’s centenary. Featuring a compelling selection of items drawn mostly from the Kennedy Library’s collections, the exhibition will chronicle historic milestones in the President’s career and administration, as well as the events of his personal and family life. Highlights of the exhibition include family items from his childhood and adolescence;
On Sept. 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would land men on the moon at Rice U, Houston, Tx.
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. 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, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.