President John F. Kennedy and His Inaugural Address

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January 20, 1961 will forever be a day that marks a special moment in time in which President John Fitzgerald Kennedy delivered one of the most memorable speeches in American History. His Inaugural address is one in which many famous quotes come from and one that is emulated in present speeches. In order to understand the importance of this inoculation one must understand the atmosphere of our nation at that time and what President Kennedy was trying to get across to his constituents. In this essay I will give you background information pertaining to the state our union in 1961; discuss the tone of the speech; and finally examine the impact that President Kennedy’s term played on our nation.

The year of 1961 saw many highs for Americans such as launching its first man into space. But when President Kennedy took over office from President Dwight Eisenhower our nation was at the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. The United States and the Soviet Union were two superpowers battling across the globe for geopolitical advantage and the notion of nuclear war was a sobering reality (Updegrove 186). Many Americans began preparing for the worst by building backyard fallout shelters and stocking up on non-perishable foods. And, if this wasn’t big enough, we were also dealing with issues on our own soil regarding equality among American citizens. Brown vs. the Board of Education sparked many concerns regarding segregation and freedom of rights promised to African-Americans by their ancestors. President Kennedy shortly began to find out even more intelligence after being elected that could affect his presidency; such as communism in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. With so much opposition facing his term, President Kennedy understood the need...

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... help you understand the tone of President Kennedy’s inaugural address, and ended with the impact that President Kennedy played on our nation. I hope you found the information advantageous and I challenge you “my fellow American; ask not what your country will do for you-ask what you can do for your country.”(Kennedy 611).

Works Cited

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald. "Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961" Reading Literature and Writing Argument. 4th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011. 609-611. Print.

Matheson, Hughena. The 10 Most Memorable Speeches in American History. New York: Franklin Watts/Scholastic, 2007. 10-13. Print.

Rubel, David. Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their times. New York, NY: Scholastic, 2009. 173-76. Print.

Updegrove, Mark K. Baptism by Fire Eight Presidents Who Took Office in times of Crisis. New York: Thomas Dunne, 2009. 185-214. Print.

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