REMARKS OF SENATOR JOHN F. KENNEDY ON YOUNG PEOPLE AND INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

- By John F. Kennedy
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination near the end of his third year in office. Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his work as president concerned relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in both houses of the U.S. Congress prior to becoming president. Kennedy was born into a wealthy, political family in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service. After a brief stint in journalism, Kennedy represented a working-class Boston district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior senator for Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960. While in the Senate, Kennedy published his book, Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize. In the 1960 presidential election, he narrowly defeated Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent vice president. Kennedy's humor, charm, and youth in addition to his father's money and contacts were great assets in the campaign. Kennedy's campaign gained momentum after the first televised presidential debates in American history. Kennedy was the first Catholic elected president.

REMARKS OF SENATOR JOHN F. KENNEDY ON YOUNG PEOPLE AND INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

"John F. Kennedy, Spring Convocation" by Digital Collections at the University of Maryland is licensed under CC by-NC-ND 2.0.

"I want to express my thanks to you, as a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University.

I come here tonight delighted to have the opportunity to say one or two words about this campaign that is coming into the last three weeks.

I think in many ways it is the most important campaign since 1933, mostly because of the problems which press upon the United States, and the opportunities which will be presented to us in the 1960s. The opportunity must be seized, through the judgment of the President, and the vigor of the executive, and the cooperation of the Congress. Through these I think we can make the greatest possible difference.

How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.

Therefore, I am delighted to come to Michigan, to this university, because unless we have those resources in this school, unless you comprehend the nature of what is being asked of you, this country can't possibly move through the next 10 years in a period of relative strength.

So I come here tonight to go to bed! But I also come here tonight to ask you to join in the effort...

This university... this is the longest short speech I've ever made... therefore, I'll finish it! Let me say in conclusion, this University is not maintained by its alumni, or by the state, merely to help its graduates have an economic advantage in the life struggle. There is certainly a greater purpose, and I'm sure you recognize it. Therefore, I do not apologize for asking for your support in this campaign. I come here tonight asking your support for this country over the next decade.

Thank you."

Senator John F. Kennedy October 14, 1960

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Word Lists:

Willingness : the quality or state of being prepared to do something; readiness

Alumnus : a graduate or former student of a particular school, college, or university

Technician : a person employed to look after technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory

Cooperation : the process of working together to the same end

Apologize : express regret for something that one has done wrong

Graduate : a person who has successfully completed a course of study or training, especially a person who has been awarded an undergraduate academic degree.

University : an educational institution designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning, conferring degrees in various faculties, and often embodying colleges and similar institutions

Delighted : feeling or showing great pleasure

Campaign : an organized course of action to achieve a goal

Congress : a national legislative body, especially that of the US. The US Congress, which meets at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., was established by the Constitution of 1787 and is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives

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Additional Information:

Rating: B

Words: 1040

Unique Words : 184

Sentences : 23

Reading Time : 1:44

Noun : 101

Conjunction : 34

Adverb : 22

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 19

Pronoun : 43

Verb : 70

Preposition : 55

Letter Count : 1,692

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Neutral

Difficult Words : 80

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