When presidential words led to swift actionBreaking News
tags: NYT, civil rights, American University, John F. Kennedy, Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
WASHINGTON — These days it is hard to imagine a single presidential speech changing history.
But two speeches, given back to back by President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago this week, are now viewed as critical turning points on the transcendent issues of the last century.
The speeches, which came on consecutive days, took political risks. They sought to shift the nation’s thinking on the “inevitability” of war with the Soviet Union and to make urgent the “moral crisis” of civil rights. Beyond their considerable impact on American minds, these two speeches had something in common that oratory now often misses. They both led quickly and directly to important changes.
On Monday, June 10, 1963, Kennedy announced new talks to try to curb nuclear tests, signaling a decrease in tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Speaking at American University’s morning commencement, he urged new approaches to the cold war, saying, “And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”...
comments powered by Disqus
- Colombia's former president linked to Medellín drug cartel
- At Quaker library, a grim find: Native American remains in display case
- The spirit of 1968: global perspectives on the student revolution
- Trump Pardons Jack Johnson, Heavyweight Boxing ChampionTrump Pardons Jack Johnson, Heavyweight Boxing Champion
- Finally Found: Spanish Ship That Sank With $17B in Gold
- Historian William Polk is alarmed at the latest plan to stabilize Afghanistan
- On Becoming An American Jewish Historian
- Law professor has a theory about the 2nd Amendment historians might want to consider
- Number of history majors is up at community colleges
- Archaeologists are rewriting the history of Arabia