History,  Stateside

From the Vaults: JFK, July 14, 1960

Thursday was the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. To mark this anniversary, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library has digitized thousands of items and made them available.

The item below was a telegram sent from Harpo Marx to JFK on July 14, 1960, a day after the Democratic convention had nominated JFK to be its presidential candidate.

The archive also contains a handwritten draft of JFK’s inaugural address. This was the speech where the new President included the lines committed to memory by many students of the period:

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, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more.

A further gem from that speech, a line I would guess that is known by many more people, even if they do not know who said it and when, was the one where the President urged his fellow Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

Hat Tip: Ian Leslie.

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