John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address Remembered

Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (R) is sworn in as the 35th US president by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren (L) in front of the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 1961. (STF/AFP/Getty)

Fifty years ago today, the 35th president of the United States John F. Kennedy uttered the following words at his inaugural address: 

"The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Why did JFK’s words strike a cord with so many? And how did his inauguration foreshadow what was ahead for the young president’s time in office?

Thurston Clark is the author of the book “Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America.” He talks about the power of JFK's famous speech.


Thurston Clark

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]

Timothy D. Naegele from Malibu, CA

Kennedy was a fraud, pure and simple, as I have discussed in an article entitled, "John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History."


The problem is that the Kennedy family members and sycophants have been burying the truth since his assassination, and it needs to be told. When he died, his “image” was frozen in time, but the truth is grotesque. To lionize him like his sycophants have done is a crime, and unconscionable.

The latest travesty is Caroline Kennedy's successful distortion of the truth by forcing the History Channel to drop its already-completed min-series about Kennedy and his wife, starring Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear.

Jan. 21 2011 01:41 AM

A speech by a Democrat asking people to think about something other than themselves and their Gimme Gimme Gimme lives? Never again. The Democratic mantra is 'what can the government give to you, for free, forever.' You can't buy votes by asking selfish irresponsible people to serve their government. The inspirational Kennedy days are over

Jan. 20 2011 09:10 AM

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