John F. Kennedy

Image of John F. Kennedy
The Greeks understood that mind and body must develop in harmonious proportions to produce a creative intelligence. And so did the most brilliant intelligence of our earliest days - Thomas Jefferson - when he said, not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise. If the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was Secretary of State, and twice President, could give it two hours, our children can give it ten or fifteen minutes.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Children
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Democracy is the superior form of government, because it is based on a respect for man as a reasonable being.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Men
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We in this country, in this generation, areby destiny rather than choicethe watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, good will toward men. That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Country
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Our alliance is born, not of fear, but of hope. It is an alliance that advances what we are for, as well as opposes what we are against.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Presidential
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The education of our people should be a lifelong process by which we continue to feed new vigor into the lifestream of the Nation through intelligent, reasoned decisions. Let us not think of education only in terms of its costs, but rather in terms of the infinite potential of the human mind that can be realized through education. Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our Nation.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Dream
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And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state, our success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions: First, were we truly men of courage... Second, were we truly men of judgment... Third, were we truly men of integrity... Finally, were we truly men of dedication?-
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Success
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I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Art
Image of John F. Kennedy
In whatever area in life one may meet the challenges of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience - the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men - each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient - they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Courage
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A rising tide (in the economy) lifts all boats.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Political
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And lastly, Chairman Khrushchev has compared the United States to a worn-out runner living on its past performance, and stated that the Soviet Union would out-produce the United States by 1970. Without wishing to trade hyperbole with the Chairman, I do suggest that he reminds me of the tiger hunter who has picked a place on the wall to hang the tiger's skin long before he his caught the tiger. This tiger has other ideas.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Wall
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The great free nations of the world must take control of our monetary problems if these problems are not to take control of us.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: World
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Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put up a wall to keep our people in.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Wall
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Bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations. Weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us...No longer is the quest for disarmament a sign of weakness, (nor) the destruction of arms a dream - it is a practical matter of life or death. The risks inherent in disarmament pale in comparison to the risks inherent in an unlimited arms race.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Dream
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The guiding principle of this Nation has been, is now, and ever shall be IN GOD WE TRUST.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Guiding Principles
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We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse every adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Adversity
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Failure has no friends.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Success
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President Roosevelt and President Truman and President Eisenhower had the same experience, they all made the effort to get along with the Russians. But every time, finally it failed. And the reason it failed was because the Communists are determined to destroy us, and regardless of what hand of friendship we may hold out or what arguments we may put up, the only thing that will make that decisive difference is the strength of the United States.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Hands
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The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardner objected that the tree was slow growing and wouldn't reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, "In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Time
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And so it is that I carry with me from this State to that high and lonely office to which I now succeed more than fond memories and fast friendships. The enduring qualities of Massachusetts - the common threads woven by the Pilgrim and the Puritan, the fisherman and the farmer, the Yankee and the immigrant - will not be and could not be forgotten in the Nations Executive Mansion. They are an indelible part of my life, my convictions, my view of the past, my hopes for the future.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Life
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We don't want to be like the leader in the French Revolution who said There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: People
Image of John F. Kennedy
Our economy today depends upon women in the labor force. One out of three workers is a woman. Today, there are almost 25 million women employed, and their number is rising faster than the number of men in the labor force.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Men
Image of John F. Kennedy
If (my grandfather) hadn't left, I'd be working over here at the Albatross Company.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Grandfather
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For without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Courage
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Above all, we are coming to understand that the arts incarnate the creativity of a free people. When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Art
Image of John F. Kennedy
We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will talk sense to the American people. But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: People
Image of John F. Kennedy
I dont 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 advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Viet-Nam, against the Communists.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: War
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To further the appreciation of culture among all the people, to increase respect for the creative individual, to widen participation by all the processes and fulfillments of artthis is one of the fascinating challenges of these days.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Appreciation
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We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Baseball
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Our responsibility is one of decision, for to govern is to choose.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Responsibility
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One of the best ways to expand his horizon is through a regular reading program.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Reading
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Whether they be young in spirit, or young in age, the members of the Democratic Party must never lose that youthful zest for new ideas and for a better world, which has made us great.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Party
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I have asked the secretary of the treasury to report by April 1 on whether present tax laws may be stimulating in undue amounts the flow of American capital to the industrial countries abroad through special preferential treatment.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Country
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No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Government
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It is extremely important that adequate provision be made for reasonable levels of income to them, for the care of the children which they must leave at home or in school, and for protection of the family unit. One of the prime objectives of the Commission on the Status of Women, which I appointed 18 months ago, is to develop a program to accomplish these purposes.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Children
Image of John F. Kennedy
The lower the family income, the higher the probability that the mother must work. Today, 1 out of 5 of these working mothers has children under 3. Two out of 5 have children of school age. Among the remainder, about 50 percent have husbands who earn less than $5,000 a year-many of them much less. I believe they bear the heaviest burden of any group in our Nation. Where the mother is the sole support of the family, she often must face the hard choice of either accepting public assistance or taking a position at a pay rate which averages less than two-thirds of the pay rate for men.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Mother
Image of John F. Kennedy
We also need the provisions in the tax bill that will permit working mothers to increase the deduction from income tax liability for costs incurred in providing care for their children while the mothers are working. In October the Commission on the Status of Women will report to me. This problem should have a high priority, and I think that whatever we leave undone this year we must move on this in January.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Mother
Image of John F. Kennedy
Most of us are conditioned for many years to have a political viewpoint - Republican or Democratic, liberal, conservative, or moderate. The fact of the matter is that most of the problems that we now face are technical problems, are administrative problems. They are very sophisticated judgments, which do not lend themselves to the great sort of passionate movements which have stirred this country so often in the past. - They deal with questions which are now beyond the comprehension of most men.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Country
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I am grateful to those Members of Congress who worked so diligently to guide the Equal Pay Act through. It is a first step. It affirms our determination that when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelopes.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Determination
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We have some of the most influential Members of Congress here today, and I do hope that we can get this appropriation for these day-care centers, which seems to me to be money very wisely spent, and also under consideration of the tax bill, that we can consider the needs of the working mothers, and both of these will be very helpful, and I would like to lobby in their behalf.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Mother
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This is not the land of my birth, but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection, and I certainly will come back in the springtime
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Land
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I must say that though other days may not be so bright, as we look toward the future, that the brightest days will continue to be those we spent with you here in Ireland.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Looks
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I can evade questions without help; what I need is answers
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Needs
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That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe - a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the Nation or imposed by the Nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Religious
Image of John F. Kennedy
The first man-made satellite to orbit the earth was named Sputnik. The first living creature in space was Laika. The first rocket to the Moon carried a red flag. The first photograph of the far side of the Moon was made with a Soviet camera. If a man orbits the earth this year his name will be Ivan.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Future
Image of John F. Kennedy
Blight has descended on our regulatory agencies - and a dry rot, beginning in Washington, is seeping into every corner of America - in the payola mentality, the expense account way of life, the confusion between what is legal and what is right.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Agency
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If a beach-head of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved. All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Beach
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All over the world, particularly in the newer nations, young men are coming to power--men who are not bound by the traditions of the past--men who are not blinded by the old fears and hates and rivalries-- young men who can cast off the old slogans and delusions and suspicions.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Hate
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For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: Doubt
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Should I become President...I will not risk American lives...by permitting any other nation to drag us into the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time through an unwise commitment that is unwise militarily, unnecessary to our security and unsupported by our allies.
- John F. Kennedy
Collection: War