The Letters of John F. Kennedy
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Subject s [[subject. Organizations s [[organization. Photographer s [[contributor. Folder Title: Thank you letters: H-P.
Letter from John F. Kennedy to Nikita Khrushchev (27 October 1962)
Date s of Materials: 20 July-1 November, undated. Collection: Papers of John F. Pre-Presidential Papers. Title: Thank you letters: H-P. Extent: digital pages. Series Number: Series Name: Campaigns by State. Preferred Citation: Papers of John F. Presidential Campaign Files, Campaigns by State.
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Identifier Accession. Rights Access Status. Relation Is Part Of Desc. Subject Geog. Type Category. Format Medium. Format Media Type. Creator Maker. Language ISO Revisionists like to stress that this led to the increase, not the decrease, of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, as indeed was the case; but it is a truism worth reiterating that the world has never come that close to apocalypse again. Certainly he was no Profile in Courage when it came to pressing for the civil rights legislation that would end segregation in schools and discrimination in public places.
But when Kennedy sickened at images of police dogs in Birmingham chewing at the bodies of demonstrators, he decided to make a speech on television that would adopt the cause of civil rights as a national imperative. Since Sorensen only gave him the text of the speech five minutes before he went on air, Kennedy largely improvised. It was one of the greatest things he ever said or did. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.
The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities …One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not freed from social and economic oppression. And the Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all citizens are free.
Mere rhetoric, not action? But rhetoric is often the precondition of action.
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That Johnson enacted Medicare another initiative first broached by Kennedy to Congress in and accomplished in civil rights legislation what his predecessor preached does not for a moment vitiate the necessity of that prior persuasion. For all his many failings, and his reliance on political ruthlessness brought to an art by his brother , Kennedy was full of unmistakable warmth rather than hot air.
Whatever else he got called it was never cold fish. The letters sent to children who wrote to the White House were penned by someone who took delight, sometimes promiscuous pleasure, in all manner of human company. That was why he took press conferences more regularly and frequently than anyone since, visibly enjoying their cut and thrust; why he could communicate so effectively on television; why in the end people all over the world on that bleak and horrifying day in November 50 years ago felt they had lost a friend.
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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
John F Kennedy. Simon Schama November 15, Experimental feature. Listen to this article Play audio for this article Pause What was mispronounced? Optional: help us by adding the time. Reuse this content opens in new window. Promoted Content. Information about Topic Tracker. Close drawer menu Financial Times International Edition. Search the FT Search.
Letter from John F. Kennedy to Nikita Khrushchev (27 October ) - CVCE Website
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