Ted Widmer: Ich Bin Ein BerlinerRoundup: Talking About History
tags: Cold War, JFK, Ted Widmer, Brown University, West Berlin
Ted Widmer is assistant to the president for special projects at Brown University. He recently edited “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy.”
The last of John F. Kennedy’s extraordinary troika of speeches in June 1963 occurred on this day, 50 years ago.
With each, he broke new ground. On June 10, at American University in Washington, he sketched a vision of coexistence with the Soviet Union, strikingly at odds with the more bellicose messages of 1961 and 1962. On June 11, in a televised address, he endorsed the civil rights movement and promised a bill, far in advance of what any president had done, and in advance of where he himself was a few months earlier.
On June 26 he came to Berlin, on one of the most frenzied days in the history of the Cold War. A huge crowd — estimated at 1.1 million, or 58 percent of Berlin’s population — came out to see him.
The theater of the event was unforgettable — a young leader speaking outdoors, to a jubilant throng, at a time when most speeches were given by old men indoors. But the words were no less important, and recast the Cold War in a way that reflected each of the two speeches he had given earlier in the month....
comments powered by Disqus
- Why Trump Would Almost Certainly Be Violating the Constitution If He Continues to Own His Businesses
- Remembering Pearl Harbor Brings ‘Date Which Will Live in Infamy’ to Virtual Reality
- Will Trump back women’s museum?
- New scholarship coming to Mormon lessons, but will instructors really teach it?
- Why the history of slavery in the US South is taking centre stage once again
- Novelist says History classes are our best hope for teaching Americans to question fake news and Donald Trump
- National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi is youngest in 30 years in the non-fiction category
- Historian Volker Ullrich’s book on the rise of Hitler is spookily relevant
- People are still talking about historian Mark Lilla’s NYT op ed 2 weeks after it was published
- Rick Perlstein says Trump’s election confirms a paranoid trend in the GOP