John F. Kennedy Quotes

John F. Kennedy

US Democratic politician (1917 - 1963)

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Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.

Categorized under Change

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Conformity is the enemy of thought and the jailer of freedom.

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A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insis tupon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today--and in fact we have forgotten.

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The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.

Categorized under Education

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If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

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

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Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

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We need men who can dream of things that never were.

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We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.

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We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.

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Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

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Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.

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...probably the greatest concentration of talent and genius in this house except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone.

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If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

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And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

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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.

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The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

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I believe this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

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Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.

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Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

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Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

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The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--delierate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth persistent, peruasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

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The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

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Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.

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There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

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The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

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Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

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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 challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win!

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Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

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The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation

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We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

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We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.

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There will always be dissident voices heard in the land expresing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side, and seeking influence without responsibility.

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The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.

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If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

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Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

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Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

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We don

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Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

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A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

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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 success of liberty.

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The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

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The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.

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Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of our racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.

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Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.

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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.

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Change is the law of life; and those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.

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It is our task in our time and in our generation to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.

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Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

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My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now. -- (Comment made 10 April 1962 in reaction to news that U.S. Steel was raising prices by $6 per ton, right after the unions negotiated a modest new contract under pressure from JFK to keep inflation down.)

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Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.

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If someone is going to kill me, they are going to kill me. -- John F. Kennedy (to Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.), 1962.

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If I am to die, this is the week for it. -- John F. Kennedy (to aide John McClone in response to a CIA report about rumours of an assassination plot), June 1962.

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Who can tell who will be the President a year from now? -- John F. Kennedy, speaking to the president of Harvard about why he did not want to delay signing documents relating to a future JFK Presidential Library, 2 October 1963.

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Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.

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This is the night to go to the theatre, like Abraham Lincoln.

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Now I understand why Henry VIII started his own church.

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We believe that an artist, in order to be true to himself and his work, must be a free man.

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

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Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

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Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.

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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, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today, at home and around the world!

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Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.

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Above all, we are coming to understand that the arts incarnate the creativity of a free people. When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art.

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If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

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Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

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Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.

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But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.

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The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.

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