Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

John F. Kennedy 1917–63
American Democratic statesman, 35th President 1961–3 

  1. Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.
    telegraphed message from his father, read at a Gridiron dinner in Washington, 15 March 1958, and almost certainly JFK's invention; J. H. Cutler Honey Fitz (1962)
  2. We stand today on the edge of a new frontier.
    speech accepting the Democratic nomination in Los Angeles, 15 July 1960
  3. The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961
  4. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961, in Vital Speeches 1 February 1961
  5. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961
  6. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961
  7. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961
  8. All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961
  9. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
    inaugural address, 20 January 1961; see Gibran, Holmes
  10. Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
    speech to United Nations General Assembly, 25 September 1961, in New York Times 26 September 1961
  11. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
    speech at the White House, 13 March 1962
  12. It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea—whether it is to sail or to watch it—we are going back from whence we came.
    speech, Newport, Rhode Island, 14 September 1962
  13. If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
    address at American University, Washington, DC, 10 June 1963
  14. In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
    address at American University, Washington, DC, 10 June 1963
  15. There are no ‘white’ or ‘coloured’ signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.
    message to Congress on proposed Civil Rights Bill, 19 June 1963
  16. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
    speech at Paulskirche, Frankfurt, 25 June 1963
  17. Ich bin ein Berliner.
    I am a Berliner.
    expressing US commitment to the support and defence of West Berlin
    speech in West Berlin, 26 June 1963; see Cicero
  18. In free society art is not a weapon…Artists are not engineers of the soul.
    speech at Amherst College, Mass., 26 October 1963; see Gorky, Stalin
  19. Forgive but never forget.
    Theodore Sorensen Kennedy (1965)
  20. It was involuntary. They sank my boat.
    on being asked how he became a war hero
    Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. A Thousand Days (1965) ch. 4
  21. Washington is a city of southern efficiency and northern charm.
    Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. A Thousand Days (1965)