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If we are to open employment opportunities in this country for members of all races and creeds, then the Federal Government must set an example … I am not going to promise a Cabinet post or any other post to any race or ethnic group. That is racism in reverse at its worst. So I do not promise to consider race or religion in my appointments if I am successful. I promise only that I will not consider them.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech, Oct. 17, 1960

Sincerity is always subject to proof.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961

Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech, Aug. 30, 1960

Surely in the United States of America, where brother once fought against brother, we did not judge a man's bravery under fire by examining the banner under which he fought.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Profiles in Courage

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech, May 21, 1963

For in a government of laws and not of men, no man, however prominent or powerful, and no mob however unruly or boisterous, is entitled to defy a court of law. If this country should ever reach the point where any man or group of men by force or threat of force could long defy the commands of our court and our Constitution, then no law would stand free from doubt, no judge would be sure of his writ, and no citizen would be safe from his neighbors.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, radio and television report to the nation on the situation at the University of Mississippi, Sep. 30, 1962

Now we have a problem in trying to make our power credible, and Vietnam looks like the place.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, interview with New York Times reporter James Reston, June 1961

The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, attributed, Whispers from the Farm

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961

There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, State Department press conference following the Bay of Pigs Invasion, April 21, 1961

I don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the government to win popular support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send our men out there as advisors, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam, against the communists.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, interview with Walter Cronkite, September 2, 1963

We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, September 27, 1962

We prefer world law, in the age of self-determination, to world war in the age of mass extermination.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, The Uncommon Wisdom of JFK: A Portrait in His Own Words

We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Address to the National Association of Manufacturers in New York City, December 5, 1961

It is with great satisfaction that I have signed into law the Social Security Amendments of 1961. They represent an additional step toward eliminating many of the hardships resulting from old-age, disability, or the death of the family wage earner.... A Nation's strength lies in the well being of its people. The social security program plays an important part in providing for families, children, and older persons in time of stress, but it cannot remain static. Changes in our population, in our working habits, and in our standard of living require constant revision.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech, June 30, 1961

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it--we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962

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.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said "Because it is there." Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962

The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Remarks on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, March 13, 1962

If there is negotiation, it must be rooted in mutual respect and concern for the rights of others.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, UN speech, September 25, 1961

Of course, both major parties today seek to serve the national interest. They would do so in order to obtain the broadest base of support, if for no nobler reason. But when party and officeholder differ as to how the national interest is to be served, we must place first the responsibility we owe not to our party or even to our constituents but to our individual consciences.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Profiles in Courage

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Inaugural Address, January 20 1961

No one should be under the illusion that negotiations for the sake of negotiations always advance the cause of peace. If for lack of preparation they break up in bitterness, the prospects of peace have been endangered. If they are made a forum for propaganda or a cover for aggression, the processes of peace have been abused. But it is a test of our national maturity to accept the fact that negotiations are not a contest spelling victory or defeat. They may succeed--they may fail. They are likely to be successful only if both sides reach an agreement which both regard as preferable to the status quo--an agreement in which each side can consider its own situation to be improved. And this is most difficult to obtain.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Address at the University of Washington, November 16, 1961

We cannot negotiate with people who say what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Radio and Television Address to the American People, July 25, 1961

Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, at the signing of a charter establishing the German Peace Corps, June 24, 1963

I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, do hereby urge the people of the United States to observe Tuesday, May 30, 1961, Memorial Day, by invoking the blessing of God on those who have died in defense of our country, and by praying for a new world of law where peace and justice shall prevail and a life of opportunity shall be assured for all; and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o'clock in the morning of that day as the time to unite in such prayer.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Proclamation 3409--Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1961

Every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 25, 1961

I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -- whether it is to sail or to watch it -- we are going back from whence we came.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, remarks at a dinner for the America's Cup crews, September 14, 1962

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, Saturday Review, Oct. 29, 1960


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