As good as Kennedy’s inaugural was, the speeches that define him historically were given within just over 50 hours in June 1963, one of them prepared secretly over months, the other practically ad-libbed.
JFK’s Eloquence, 50 Years Later
E.J. Dionne, Jr. | Truthdig | Posted on Jan 19, 2011
It’s remembered as a day chilled by “a Siberian wind knifing down Pennsylvania Avenue” and illuminated by “the dazzling combination of bright sunshine and deep snow.”
On Jan. 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy began his presidency with a speech at once soaring and solemn. Fifty years on, we have not heard an inaugural address like it. Tethered to its time and place, it still challenges with its ambition to harness realism to idealism, patriotism to service, national interest to universal aspiration.
What It Was Like to Be John F. Kennedy
Richard Reeves | Truthdig | Posted on Jan 18, 2011
Fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States. He gave a stirring inaugural address and then took over a job for which he was unprepared. No one is ever prepared. The presidency is essentially a reactive job, with a man standing alone facing crises unforeseen.