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John F. Kennedy's Speeches 1947-1963

John F. Kennedy's Speeches 1947-1963



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Published by Brian Keith Haskins
This PDF file contains many of John F. Kennedy's speeches covering the years 1947-1963(934 PAGES). Provided to this website and free to download under the Freedom of Information Act(United States).
This PDF file contains many of John F. Kennedy's speeches covering the years 1947-1963(934 PAGES). Provided to this website and free to download under the Freedom of Information Act(United States).

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Brian Keith Haskins on Nov 08, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Independence Day Speech 1946
"'Some Elements of the American Character,' Independence Day Oration y !ohn it#$erald %ennedy, Candidate for Con$ress from the 11th Con$ressional District"&r &ayor( Distin$)ished *)ests, +adies and *entlemene stand today in the shado- of historye $ather here in the .ery Cradle of +iertyIt is an honor and a pleas)re to e the spea/er of the day00an honor eca)se of the lon$ and distin$)ished list of noted orators -ho ha.e preceded me on this platform, a pleas)re eca)se one of that honored list -ho stood here fifty years a$o, and -ho is -ith )s here today, is my $randfatherIt has een the c)stom for the spea/er of the day to lin/ his tho)$hts across the years to certain classic ideals of the early American tradition I shall do the same I propose today to disc)ss certain elements of the American character -hich ha.e made this nation $reat It is -ell for )s to recall them today, for this is a day of recollection
and a day of hopeA nation's character, li/e that of an indi.id)al, is el)si.e It is prod)ced partly y thin$s -e ha.e done and partly y -hat has een done to )s It is the res)lt of physical factors, intellect)al factors, spirit)al factorsIt is -ell for )s to consider o)r American character, for in peace, as in -ar, -e -ill s)r.i.e or fail accordin$ to its meas)reE+I*IO2S E+E&E3O)r deep reli$io)s sense is the first element of the American character -hich I -o)ld disc)ss this mornin$he informin$ spirit of the American character has al-ays een a deep reli$io)s sensehro)$ho)t the years, do-n to the present, a de.otion to f)ndamental reli$io)s principles has characteri#ed American tho)$ht and actionO)r $o.ernment -as fo)nded on the essential reli$io)s idea of inte$rity of the indi.id)al It -as this reli$io)s sense -hich inspired the a)thors of the Declaration of Independence5"e hold these tr)ths to e self0e.ident5 that all men are created e)al( that they are endo-ed y their Creator -ith certain inalienale ri$hts"O)r earliest le$islation -as inspired y this deep reli$io)s sense5 "Con$ress shall ma/e no la- prohiitin$ the free e7ercise of reli$ion"O)r first leader, ashin$ton, -as inspired y this deep reli$io)s sense5 "Of all of the dispositions and haits -hich lead to political prosperity, reli$ion and morality are indispensale s)pports"+incoln -as inspired y this deep reli$io)s sense5 "hat this nation, )nder *od, shall ha.e a ne- irth of freedom, and that $o.ernment of the people, y the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth"O)r late, lamented 8resident -as inspired y this deep reli$io)s sense5 "e shall -in this -ar, and in .ictory -e shall see/ not .en$eance, )t the estalishment of an international order in -hich the spirit of Christ shall r)le the hearts of men and nations"h)s -e see that this nation has e.er een inspired y essential reli$io)s ideas he doctrine of sla.ery -hich challen$ed these ideas -ithin o)r o-n co)ntry -as destroyedecently, the philosophy of racism, -hich threatened to o.er-helm them y attac/s from aroad, -as also met and destroyedoday these asic reli$io)s ideas are challen$ed y atheism and materialism5 at home in the cynical philosophy of many of o)r intellect)als, aroad in the doctrine of collecti.ism, -hich sets )p the t-in pillars of atheism and materialism as the official philosophical estalishment of the State
Inspired y a deeply reli$io)s sense, this co)ntry, -hich has e.er een de.oted to the di$nity of man, -hich has e.er fostered the $ro-th of the h)man spirit, has al-ays met and h)rled ac/ the challen$e of those deathly philosophies of hate and despair e ha.e defeated them in the past( -e -ill al-ays defeat themo- -ell, then, has Deoc)e.ille said5 ":o) may tal/ of the people and their ma;esty, )t -here there is no respect for *od can there e m)ch for man< :o) may tal/ of the s)premacy of the allot, respect for order, deno)nce riot, secession00)nless reli$ion is the first lin/, all is .ain"IDEA+ISIC E+E&E3Another element in the American character that I -o)ld rin$ to yo)r attention this mornin$ is the idealism of o)r nati.e people00stemmin$ from the stron$ reli$io)s eliefs of the first colonists, de.eloped as they -or/ed the landhis idealism, this fi7ed re$ard for principle, has een an element of the American character from the irth of this nation to the present dayIn recent years, the e7istence of this element in the American character has een challen$ed y those -ho see/ to $i.e an economic interpretation to American history hey see/ to destroy o)r faith in o)r past so that they may $)ide o)r f)t)re hese cynics are -ron$, for, -hile there may e some tr)th in their interpretation, it does remain a fact, and a most important one, that the moti.atin$ force of the American people has een their elief that they ha.e al-ays stood at the arricades y the side of *odIn e.ol)tionary times, the cry "3o ta7ation -itho)t representation" -as not an economic complaint ather, it -as directly traceale to the eminently fair and ;)st principle that no so.erei$n po-er has the ri$ht to $o.ern -itho)t the consent of the $o.erned Anythin$ short of that -as tyranny It -as a$ainst this tyranny that the colonists "fired the shot heard 'ro)nd the -orld"his elief in principle -as e7pressed most impressi.ely y *eor$e ashin$ton at the Constit)tional Con.ention in 1=>? "It is proale that no plan -e propose -ill e adopted 8erhaps another dreadf)l conflict is to e s)stained If, to please the people, -e offer -hat -e o)rsel.es disappro.e, ho- can -e after-ards defend o)r -or/< +et )s raise a standard to -hich the -ise and honest can repair, the e.ent is in the hands of *od"his idealism, this con.iction that o)r eyes had seen the $lory of the +ord 0that ri$ht -as ri$ht and -ron$ -as -ron$0finally led to the )ltimate clash at @)ll )n and the lon$ red years of the -ar et-een the StatesA$ain, the cynics may apply the economic interpretation to this conflict5 the ind)strial 3orth a$ainst the a$ric)lt)ral So)th( the str)$$le of the t-o economies Say -hat they -ill, it is an )ndeniale fact that the 3orthern Army of ir$inia and the Army of the 8otomac -ere inspired y de.otion to principle5 on the one hand, the ri$ht of secession( on the other, the elief that the "2nion m)st e preser.ed"In 191=, this element of the American character -as stim)lated y the slo$ans "ar to End ar" and "A ar to Sa.e Democracy," and a$ain the American people had as their leader a man, oodro- ilson, -hose idealism -as the traditional idealism of America o s)ch a de$ree -as this tr)e that he -as ale to say, "Some people call me an idealist ell, that is the -ay I /no- I am an American America is the only idealistic nation in the -orld"It is perhaps tr)e that the American inter.ention in 191= mi$ht ha.e een more effecti.e if the case for American inter.ention had een represented on less moralistic terms As it -as, the American people e.ent)ally came to