John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address

Posted by puguh on Thursday, January 20, 2011

John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address. Related searches in google are john f. kennedy, napier student portal, uwi mona, gamezer billiards online games, the telegraph kolkata. VIDEO: 50 years later, Kennedy inaugural address still soars.

Inauguration Day 1961 was bitterly cold in Washington, D.C., with 8 inches of snow – hardly a comfortable climate for John F. Kennedy to be sworn in.

But when the moment came, the nation’s youngest and first Roman Catholic president-elect took the oath of office and delivered a speech that made most Americans forget the razor-thin margin of his win over Republican Richard Nixon.

Fifty years later, the address known as Kennedy’s “ask not” speech endures as perhaps the most memorable presidential address of all time – a call to sacrifice and service that continues to inspire younger generations of Americans.

A survey of scholars by the group American Rhetoric ranks Kennedy’s speech at No. 2 for the 20th century, behind the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream.” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch wrote in his volume “Parting The Waters” that Kennedy’s inaugural address “struck the country with a bolt of energy.”

That’s how Boston College political science professor Dennis Hale remembers it. He was a high school senior in Illinois then, and even though his parents were Republicans, he said hearing Kennedy’s address “seemed like an invitation for people to pitch in and do something for the country, to get involved.”

Hale thinks that spirit gives the speech its lasting force – even in the Tea Party era, and despite other passages that expressed a conservatism the Democratic Party has long since discarded.

“Since then we’ve seen (former president) George Bush and (President) Barack Obama and (former president) Bill Clinton make similar appeals,” Hale said.

As good as it was, Hale doesn’t think Kennedy’s address rivals Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and other speeches.

“After Lincoln, there’s a big cliff,” he said. “Lincoln’s speeches were so good, it’s almost not fair to compare anyone to him. But if you think about an inaugural address as a way of setting the stage for a new administration, Kennedy’s was certainly highly successful in that sense.”

Similarly, Hale said Obama’s 2009 inaugural address probably shouldn’t be measured against Kennedy’s, because Obama had to speak to the immediate problems of a harsh recession and financial crisis. Kennedy’s tests came later.

As for Kennedy’s Cold War call to “pay any price, bear any burden,” Hale said that stance sounds very different today, amid the high cost and uncertain fate of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“No Democrat would give such an address now,” he said.

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