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Famous JFK Quotations
Guest Author - Danielle HollisterJOHN F. KENNEDY 1917 – 1963
- "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
- "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
- "Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource."
- "Our task is not to fix the blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future."
- "Perfect valour consists in doing without witnesses that which we would be capable of doing before everyone."
- "The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth."
- "The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor."
- "The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."
- "There is a new world to be won – a world of peace and goodwill, a world of hope and abundance. And I want America to lead the way to that new world."
- "Those who make peaceful revolutions impossible will make violent revolutions inevitable."
- "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
- "There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So we must do what we can with the third."
- "To exclude from positions of trust and command all those below the age of 44 would have kept Jefferson from writing the Declaration of Independence, Washington from commanding the Continental Army, Madison from fathering the Constitution, Hamilton from serving as secretary of the treasury, Clay from being elected speaker of the House and Christopher Columbus from discovering America."
- "The new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises-it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them. It appeals to their pride, not their pocketbook-it holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security."
- "The human mind is our fundamental resource."
- "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
- "To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
- "The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less than a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy."
- "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."
- "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistant, persuasive and unrealistic."
|John F. Kennedy in Repose|
- "The full use of your powers along lines of excellence. - definition of happiness by John F. Kennedy."
- "There are many people in the world who really don't understand-or say they don't-what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. ... Let them come to Berlin!"
- "The freedom of the city is not negotiable. We cannot negotiate with those who say, "What's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable."
- "To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust."
- "The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are. ... The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission." (Announcing blockade of Cuba)
- "Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer be of concern to great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and waters and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
- "Washington [D.C.] is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm."
- "We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
- "We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed."
- "We have come too far, we have sacrificed too much, to disdain the future now."
- "We stand today on the edge of a new frontier-the frontier of the 1960s-a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils-a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats."
- "When at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each one 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 may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions-were we truly men of courage ... were we truly men of judgment ... were we truly men of integrity ... were we truly men of dedication?"
- "You never know what's hit you. A gunshot is the perfect way." (When asked how he would choose to die)
- "We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last."
- "We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."
- "We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch."
- "We need men who can dream of things that never were."
- "When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses."
- "When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were."
- "When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."
|LIFEB. - Kennedy Talking to Kennedy, 1957|
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