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Remembering JFK: Watch & Read Kennedy’s 5 Greatest Speeches

jfk best speech videos on youtbue

John F. Kennedy is known as one of the greatest political orators of all time. November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, and accordingly, many people will be discussing his death and the gritty or mysterious details surrounding his slaying. But there are a number of Americans, and people around the world, who would rather remember the life of “Camelot’s” King rather than his death.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the wonder and the confidence Kennedy elicited in his viewers, we invite you to take a look at some of JFK’s best and most famous and impeccably delivered speeches.


1. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address

Delivered on the steps of the Capitol building January 20, 1961, Kennedy’s Inaugural Address launched him straight into the history books by becoming one of the most famous American speeches of all time.

The Iconic Moment:

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Read the whole speech:


2. ‘We Choose to Go to the Moon’

This speech inspired a generation of Americans to dream about space, and launched NASA’s aspirations to visit the moon. The “We Choose to Go to the Moon” Speech, as it’s commonly known, was delivered September 12, 1962, at Rice University in Houston, just after NASA began its Apollo program.

The Iconic Moment:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

Read the whole speech:


3. ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’

Another one of America’s most important speeches has to be Kennedy’s Berlin speech. The 9 minute speech was delivered on June 26, 1963, a little under two years after Soviet-controlled East Berlin erected the infamous Berlin Wall. The speech was incredible important for determining American Cold War policy and for inspiring allies across the globe.

The Iconic Moment:

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

Read the whole speech:


4. Cuban Missile Crisis Address

In America’s darkest hour, John F. Kennedy turned to the nation on October 22, 1962, to tell them about the impending Cuban Missile Crisis. To this day, this moment marks the closest the United States has ever come to total annihilation, and you can see it on Kennedy’s face in the video above.

The Iconic Moment:

The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are; but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. 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.

Read the whole speech:


5. Speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association

Could this be the speech that got JFK assassinated?

That’s what a lot of conspiracy theorists believe about Kennedy’s April 27, 1961, address to the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The speech describes the opposition between a free democracy and secrecy, focusing on government transparency and the importance of a free press. In light of recent NSA revelations and persecution of national security journalists, this speech may become known as JFK’s most prophetic and most important.

The Iconic Moment:

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.

Read the whole speech:

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