Chris Matthews On John F. Kennedy: New Book Pulls Back Curtain On 'Ask Not' Speech, Nixon Debates And More
WASHINGTON -- A presidential call to service that inspired generations of Main Street Americans originated, ironically, in the privileged world of a New England prep school.
"Ask not what your country can do for you," President John F. Kennedy famously declared in his inaugural address of 1961. "Ask what you can do for your country."
In his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero," talk show host and author Chris Matthews presents new evidence that Kennedy had heard that language in chapel exhortations delivered by the headmaster of the Choate School in Connecticut when he was a student there in the 1930s.
Its elitist origins notwithstanding, Matthews writes, Kennedy's call moved millions of Americans to a sense of civic duty and an optimistic view of national mission, both of which seem missing in our own time. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- The Memorial Where Slavery Is Real
- Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece
- Greek ‘No’ May Have Its Roots in Heroic Myths and Real Resistance
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Historian: "I don’t want my students to simply choose sides in a polemic between heritage and hate"
- Harvard’s Nancy Cott says the Chief Justice in the gay marriage case has a stilted idea of the history of marriage
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- How Does It Feel To Have One’s Work as a Historian Cited by the Supreme Court? Cool. Very Cool. Thank You Very Much.