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The Speech That Got JFK Murdered?


by John F. Kennedy
American University Commencement Address
Delivered June 10, 1963

President John F. Kennedy's speech, "A Strategy of Peace," was the American University commencement address delivered on June 10, 1963, in Washington, DC. The president announced the development of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and his decision to unilaterally suspend all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing so long as all other nations did the same. His peaceful outreach to the Soviet Union was unusual, coming at the height of the Cold War. Kennedy was outlining a new direction for his administration.

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."

This is 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:


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