The Kennedy Legacy

Not just politics as usual

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Clinton and the JFK’s


On July 24, 1963, a 16-year old Bill Clinton met President John F. Kennedy while attending Boys Nation. This meeting inspired the future president to pursue a life in public service.



In 1998 president Bill Clinton met John F. Kennedy, Jr. Over the years the Clintons became good friends with the Kennedys. Often they would go sailing together and Jackie even gave Hillary tips about how to raise her child in the White House. Some people expected that JFK Jr would run for president after Clinton’s final term ended. Because of his tragic death, we will never know if that would have happened.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



JFK IN IRELAND - JUNE 27, 1963

'The best four days of my life'

                                            President Kennedy about his trip to Ireland

US President John F Kennedy has received a rapturous welcome on an emotional visit to his ancestral homeland in County Wexford, Ireland.

On the second day of his four-day trip to Ireland, the president travelled by helicopter this morning to County Wexford.

Hundreds of wellwishers cheered and waved flags on his arrival at Wexford town and a choir of 300 boys greeted him singing “The Boys of Wexford”, a ballad about an insurrection in 1798.

The president left his bodyguards to join them in the second chorus, prompting one American photographer to burst into tears.

Once the singing was over, Mr Kennedy shook hands with as many schoolchildren as he could reach.

He was then driven to the nearby port of New Ross from where Patrick Kennedy, his great-grandfather, had set sail for a better life in America back in 1848 during the potato famine.

In a speech at the quayside he said: "When my great-grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston he carried nothing with him except two things - a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty.

"I am glad to say that all of his grandchildren have valued that inheritance."

'Welcome home, Mr President'

At Dunganstown, five miles (8kms) south of New Ross, President Kennedy visited his ancestral homestead, a small croft building and farm.

The president and two of his sisters who accompanied him on this trip met 15 of their cousins, including the current owner of the homestead, Mary Ryan who welcomed him with a kiss on the cheek.

Tea had been laid out on trestle tables in the yard and a banner declared “Welcome home, Mr President”.

America’s first Catholic president spent about an hour chatting with his Irish family, cut a large cake and with teacup in hand said: "I want to drink a cup of tea to all those Kennedys who went and all those Kennedys who stayed."

He was then driven to Wexford town where he made much of Ireland’s subjugation and religious persecution by the British.

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

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Day of Affirmation Speech - Robert F. Kennedy



Speech given bij Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, June 6, 1966 at the University of Cape Town (South Africa).


"There is discrimination in this world and slavery and slaughter and starvation. Governments repress their people; millions are trapped in poverty while the nation grows rich and wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere. These are differing evils, but they are the common works of man. They reflect the imperfection of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, our lack of sensibility towards the suffering of our fellows. But we can perhaps remember — even if only for a time — that those who live with us are our brothers; that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek — as we do — nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men. And surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again. The answer is to rely on youth — not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to the obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. They cannot be moved by those who cling to a present that is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger that come with even the most peaceful progress.

It is a revolutionary world we live in, and this generation at home and around the world has had thrust upon it a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived. Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills. Yet many of the world’s great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk begon the Protestant reformation; a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth; a young woman reclaimed the territory of France; and it was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the 32 year-old Thomas Jefferson who [pro]claimed that ”all men are equal”. 

These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. *It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.* Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. And I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.

For the fortunate among us, there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us. Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty. But they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. All of us will ultimately be judged, and as the years pass we will surely judge ourselves on the effort we have contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that event.

The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American Society. Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live.”

Filed under Robert F. Kennedy RFK Bobby Kennedy Day of Affirmation South Africa

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The bond between Robert (1925-1968) and Edward Kennedy (1932-2009) became especially close when JFK died in 1963. Sadly the last surviving Kennedy brothers had only five years together, because as we all know Bobby was assassinated on June 5, 1968. The grief-strucken Edward gave a very impressing eulogy for his last brother. 'My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it'                                                             Edward M. Kennedy - June 8, 1968     

The bond between Robert (1925-1968) and Edward Kennedy (1932-2009) became especially close when JFK died in 1963. Sadly the last surviving Kennedy brothers had only five years together, because as we all know Bobby was assassinated on June 5, 1968. The grief-strucken Edward gave a very impressing eulogy for his last brother.

'My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it'
                                                             Edward M. Kennedy - June 8, 1968


     

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Colonel John Glenn, Jr. shakes hands with President John F. Kennedy as Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson looks on, Cape Canaveral, Florida, February 23, 1962. President Kennedy presented Col. Glenn with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal during this visit. 

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