by John F. Kennedy
American University Commencement Address
Delivered June 10, 1963
As author/researchers Peter Janney and James W. Douglass have made clear, Kennedy prepared this speech with only a handful of close, trusted aides ,and were careful to keep its contents secret from the national security establishment. As Janney says: "The powerful speech marked an abrupt departure from Cold War bluster and announced a new era of cooperation and coexistence."
remembered as one of Kennedy’s finest and most important speeches,
and the changes it heralded, many scholars believe, ] was the catalyst
for the conspiracy that ended his life, and changed for the worse
the course of American and world history.
President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests, my old colleague, Senator Bob Byrd, who has earned his degree through many years of attending night law school, while I am earning mine in the next 30 minutes, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: