January 20, 2011 by USA Post 

JFK INAUGURAL ADDRESS, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Fifty years ago today, a frosty morning in Washington, DC, newly sworn in President John F. Kennedy offered these words are emblematic of the nation in his inaugural speech.

“With these words, John F. Kennedy helped launch the modern American presidency, “the Daily Politics Carl Cannon wrote.

The address is widely recognized as one of the most iconic speeches in American history, and today the country celebrates the words of Kennedy inaugural, which will probably continue to be dissected and debated by historians for years to come.

Google, unsurprisingly, took the opportunity to commemorate Kennedy’s address with a Google doodle.

Surge Desk offers a selection of famous passages from Kennedy’s inaugural address.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any difficulty, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty. ”

“Let’s begin again – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

“We dare not tempt them with weakness. Only when the arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be used. ”

“All this will not be completed within 100 days will also not be finished in early 1000 days. Neither in the life of this administration, Or even perhaps in our life on this planet, we are starting.”

It’s been 50 years since the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy and Brattleboro lawyer Timothy O’Connor still remember attending the ceremony with his famous speech.

O’Connor and his friend Tony Giacobbe, now a judge in New York, stood among the crowd that amassed outside the White House to show Kennedy being sworn in as 35th President of the United States January 20, 1961.

He said he still gets chills when he remembers the president deliver the now famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country ”

“He set the tone for his administration,” said O’Connor.

He said that Kennedy had the ability to capture

The imagination of his generation.
“He mentioned something about the new frontier, and the new border was to have a man on the moon one day,” said O’Connor.

He was surprised to hear the president speak of an astronaut on the moon, he had never really thought about the possibility of such an event before that date, he said.

“These are things people may not have ever thought,” O’Connor said, adding that shortly after (one year and one month to the day), John Glenn was the first astronaut in orbit around the world.

As a law student 24-years at Georgetown University, O’Connor could not get tickets and almost missed the inaugural event. He was admitted to the last minute due to bad weather.

“The night before we had seven inches of snow, and the city was essentially under siege,” said O’Connor. “They brought 3,000 Marines cons Quantico, Va., to clean the streets.

“So many people could not enter the city because of the snowstorm, he said.” I was lucky as my friend, and me we saw an usher we knew that we were headed in an area where not many people were present. ”

He remembers the frigid weather.

“We were cold where we sat, it was a day usually snowy Washington.”

And he said that if the outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower wore a top hat at the ceremony, Kennedy was not wearing a hat and took off his coat to give his speech in just a suit and tie.

He cherishes the experience to date, “he said.

“It’s something that I have good memories, although I do not remember all the details as I did,” said O’Connor. “It was a nice, big parade and all states were represented.”

The parade presented Vermont Governor Frank Ray Keyser Jr., a band of cadet’s march and Rutland Vermont’s Norwich University.

Two years before his death, 87 years, the poet Robert Frost recited his poem “The Gift Outright” at what was to be one of his last public appearances.

O’Connor said the family of his wife, Martha O’Connor, knew Vermont Senator George Aiken, who has helped and Giacobbe to attend a reception and dinner at the offices of Congress.

“Going to law school, a free meal was always a pleasure,” he said with a laugh.

Other local residents remember seeing Kennedy in Brattleboro last year, when he was a senator campaigning for the Democratic Party.


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