Centennial of John F. Kennedy’s Birth

This year marks the 100th year of John F. Kennedy’s birth.  Kennedy’s presidency has been the subject of great historical review and analysis, some of it critical, some of it noting the potential of what was to come. 

I am most struck, sitting in 2017, of his call for national sacrifice summarised in this famous words: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  Little noted was his acceptance speech in Los Angeles where he called on those who did it not see the need to move forward or the need for national sacrifice to vote for someone else regardless of party. 

It was a time when our possibilities seemed limitless: “man holds in his mortal hands the power to end all forms of human life and all forms of human poverty.”  Even then, Kennedy knew that commitment was required to bring these things about.   

 

Watch President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address curtesy of CBS: