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John F. Kennedy Quotes - Famous Quotes by John F. Kennedy


Born: 1917-05-29
Died: 1963-11-22

John F. Kennedy Biography

(Happiness is ) the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
- John F. Kennedy
More quotations on: [ Happiness ] [ Excellence ]
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...probably the greatest concentration of talent and genius in this house except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone. - Describing a dinner for Nobel Prize winners
- John F. Kennedy
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All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
- John F. Kennedy
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And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. - Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961
- John F. Kennedy
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But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.
- John F. Kennedy
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Change is the law of life; and those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
- John F. Kennedy
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Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.
- John F. Kennedy
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For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's futures, and we are all mortal.
- John F. Kennedy
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Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
- John F. Kennedy
More quotations on: [ Enemy ]
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History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.
- John F. Kennedy
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I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours.
- John F. Kennedy
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I believe this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. - May 25, 1961
- John F. Kennedy
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I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty, which will protect the beauty of our natural environment, which will preserve the great old American houses and squares and parks of our national past and which will build handsome and balanced cities for our future.
- John F. Kennedy
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If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
- John F. Kennedy
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If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
- John F. Kennedy
More quotations on: [ Art ]
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If I am to die, this is the week for it. -- John F. Kennedy (to aide John McClone in response to a CIA report about rumors of an assassination plot), June 1962.
- John F. Kennedy
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If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
- John F. Kennedy
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It is our task in our time and in our generation to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.
- John F. Kennedy
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Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
- John F. Kennedy
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Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.
- John F. Kennedy
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Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today, at home and around the world! - Inaugural Address, 1961
- John F. Kennedy
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Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
- John F. Kennedy
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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
- John F. Kennedy
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Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.
- John F. Kennedy
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Liberty without learning is always in peril learning without liberty is always in vain.
- John F. Kennedy
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Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.
- John F. Kennedy
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My brother Bob doesn't want to be in government - he promised Dad he'd go straight.
- John F. Kennedy
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My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now. -- (Comment made 10 April 1962 in reaction to news that U.S. Steel was raising prices by $6 per ton, right after the unions negotiated a modest new contract under pressure from JFK to keep inflation down.)
- John F. Kennedy
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Now I understand why Henry VIII started his own church. - Comment after the Vatican scolded him
- John F. Kennedy
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Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.
- John F. Kennedy
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Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.
- John F. Kennedy
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The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.
- John F. Kennedy
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The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
- John F. Kennedy
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The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.
- John F. Kennedy
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The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
- John F. Kennedy
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The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose plant it this afternoon'
- John F. Kennedy
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The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. - speech at Vanderbilt University, May 18, 1963
- John F. Kennedy
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The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nationís greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us. - Amherst College, Oct 26, 1963
- John F. Kennedy
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The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.
- John F. Kennedy
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The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
- John F. Kennedy
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The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.
- John F. Kennedy
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There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
- John F. Kennedy
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There will always be dissident voices heard in the land expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side, and seeking influence without responsibility. - Speech for the Dallas Trade Mart which was never delivered
- John F. Kennedy
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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
- John F. Kennedy
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Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
- John F. Kennedy
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Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.
- John F. Kennedy
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War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
- John F. Kennedy
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Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.
- John F. Kennedy
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We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
- John F. Kennedy
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We believe that an artist, in order to be true to himself and his work, must be a free man. - Introducing Pablo Casals at a White House dinner
- John F. Kennedy
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We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy - but because they are hard! Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win! - Rice University speech on September 12, 1962
- John F. Kennedy
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We donít see the end of the tunnel but I must say I donít think it is darker than it was a year ago, and in some ways lighter.
- John F. Kennedy
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We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda, it is a form of truth.
- John F. Kennedy
More quotations on: [ Art ] [ Truth ]
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We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.
- John F. Kennedy
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We need men who can dream of things that never were. - speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
- John F. Kennedy
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We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves that is our only commitment to others.
- John F. Kennedy
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We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.
- John F. Kennedy
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When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were.
- John F. Kennedy
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When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
- John F. Kennedy
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Who can tell who will be the President a year from now? -- John F. Kennedy, speaking to the president of Harvard about why he did not want to delay signing documents relating to a future JFK Presidential Library, 2 October 1963.
- John F. Kennedy
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You know nothing for sure...except the fact that you know nothing for sure.
- John F. Kennedy
More quotations on: [ Knowledge ]
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