Thursday, January 20, 2011

50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy's Inauguration

John F Kennedy’s inaugural address, delivered 50 years ago today, is widely considered to be one of the best speeches in American history. Throughout the speech JFK touched on themes both timeless, such as the importance of freedom and public service, and timely, like manned space exploration and cooperation in Latin America. JFK’s iconic exclamation of “ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country” became the calling card for a generation committed to service.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary Harvard’s Kennedy School released a video in which present-day luminaries like Congressman John Lewis, journalist Christiane Amanpour, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Gen. Colin Powell, former FL governor Jeb Bush, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-moon, recite passages from Kennedy’s speech.

The video brings the historic speech to a new generation that didn’t witness JFK’s words live. Watch it here:

Also in honor of the 50th Anniversary, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is sharing for the first time previously unreleased footage from the Pre-Inaugural Gala. The gala, produced by Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford (with Sinatra as the MC), includes short speeches by VP-elect Lyndon Johnson and President-elect John F. Kennedy, as well as performances by the leading stars of the time, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Milton Berle, Nat King Cole, Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman and more.

Finally, in case you haven’t visited the Google homepage yet today, the logo also pays homage to the inaugural address with a special JFK-themed ‘Doodle’.


Anonymous said...

One of my favourite speeches.

Anonymous said...

Also check out the JFK Library's site exploring his legacy

Post a Comment