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
- Human Evolution: Walking Upright Evolved at Least 3.6 Million Years Ago—Long Before Modern Humans Appeared
- Why a primary challenge to Trump is likely to fail
- Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo
- After Sylvester Stallone Call, Trump Considers ‘Full Pardon’ of Long-Dead Black Boxer
- Disclosed: Journalist helped defuse a budding conflict between the US and Cuba in 1964
- Dartmouth historian Matthew J. Garcia says conservative partisans in Arizona have taken over a civics school he once ran
- Berkeley’s Carolyn Merchant explains what ecofeminism is
- University of Southern California's David Kang says Korea is the only place on earth where the Cold War continues
- W.R. Smyser, U.S. diplomat turned historian of postwar Germany, dies at 86
- Max Boot: North Korea is conning Donald Trump yet again