64 Most Famous JFK Quotes

64 Most Famous JFK Quotes

by / Comments Off / 24 View / Dec 15, 2014

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly known as JFK, was the 35th President of the United States. He served in office from January 1961, until his assassination on November 22, 1963. Some extremely important events happened while he was in office including the Space Race and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas while on a political trip.

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.”

“American enterprise—time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth. I believe we possess all the
resources and talents necessary.”

“And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worth while, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: “I served in the United States Navy.”

“And only the very courageous will be able to keep alive the spirit of individualism and dissent which gave birth to this nation, nourished it as an infant, and carried it through its
severest tests upon the attainment of its maturity.”

“But colonialism in its harshest forms is not only the exploitation of new nations by old, of dark skins by light, or the subjugation of the poor by the rich. My Nation was once a colony,
and we know what colonialism means; the exploitation and subjugation of the weak by the powerful, of the many by the few, of the governed who have given no consent to be governed, whatever
their continent, their class, their color.”

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”

“Communists are determined to destroy us, and regardless of what hand of friendship we may hold out or what arguments we may put up, the only thing that will make that decisive difference is
the strength of the United States.”

“Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

“Disarmament without checks is but a shadow–and a community without law is but a shell.”

“For in a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, ‘hold office’; everyone of us is in a position of responsibility; and, in the final analysis, the kind of
government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities. We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and

“For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the measure of our nation.”

“I also want to take cognizance of the fact that this flight was made out in the open with all the possibilities of failure, which would have been damaging to our country’s prestige. Because
great risks were taken in that regard, it seems to me that we have some right to claim that this open society of ours which risked much, gained much.”

“I believe in an America that is on the march – an America respected by all nations, friends and foes alike – an America that is moving, doing, working, trying – a strong America in a world
of peace. That peace must be based on world law and world order, on the mutual respect of all nations for the rights and powers of others and on a world economy in which no nation lacks the
ability to provide a decent standard of living for all of its people.”

“I believe that 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. No single space project
in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

“I can assure you that every degree of mind and spirit that I possess will be devoted to the long-range interests of the United States and to the cause of freedom around the world.”

“I have said that control of arms is a mission that we undertake particularly for our children and our grandchildren and that they have no lobby in Washington.”

“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.”

“If there is one path above all others to war, it is the path of weakness and disunity.”

“In a world of danger and trial, peace is our deepest aspiration.”

“In seeking the help of the Congress and our countrymen, I pledged no easy answers. I pledged–and asked–only toil and dedication. These the Congress and the people have given in good

“It’s only when they join together in a forward movement that this country moves ahead…”

“Man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”

“My call is not to those who believe they belong to the past. My call is to those who believe in the future.”

“No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.”

“Our Constitution wisely assigns both joint and separate roles to each branch of the government; and a President and a Congress who hold each other in mutual respect will neither permit nor
attempt any trespass.”

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

“Struggle for freedom. Where people are denied the right of choice, recourse to such struggle is the only means of achieving their liberties.”

“The basis of self-government and freedom requires the development of character and self-restraint and perseverance and the long view. And these are qualities which require many years of
training and education.”

“The credit of success is claimed by all, while a disaster is attributed to one alone.”

“The Federal Budget can and should be made an instrument of prosperity and stability, not a deterrent to recovery.”

“The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.”

“The human mind is our fundamental resource.”

“The knowledge that the physical well-being of the citizen is an important foundation for the vigor and vitality of all the activities of the nation.”

“The mere existence of modern weapons is a source of horror, and discord and distrust.”

“The most effective means of upholding the law is not the State policeman or the marshals or the National Guard. It is you. It lies in your courage to accept those laws with which you
disagree as well as those with which you agree.”

“The only valid test of leadership is the ability to lead, and lead vigorously.”

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask
“why not?”.

“The strength of the alliance on which our security depends is dependent in turn on our willingness to meet our commitments to them.”

“The times are too grave, the challenge too urgent, and the stakes too high–to permit the customary passions of political debate. We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the
candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.”

“The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people – faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but
will also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment – faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward
courage, respect honor, and ultimately recognize right.”

“Their pledge is a pledge to the status quo — and today there can be no status quo.”

“There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts.”

“There is danger that totalitarian governments, not subject to vigorous popular debate, will underestimate the will and unity of democratic societies where vital interests are concerned.”

“There is no sense in agreeing or desiring that the United States take an affirmative position in outer space, unless we are prepared to do the work and bear the burdens to make it

“There’s an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan…. I’m the responsible officer of the Government.”

“Today no war has been declared — and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack.”

“Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us – and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill – constructed and inhabited
by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities.”

“War and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.”

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

“We can have faith in the future only if we have faith in ourselves.”

“We cannot, under the scrutiny of a free press and public, tell different stories to different audiences, foreign and domestic, friendly and hostile.”

“We celebrate the past to awaken the future.”

“We do not intend to abandon our duty to mankind to seek a peaceful solution.”

“We meet in an hour of grief and challenge. Dag Hammarskjold is dead. But the United Nations lives. His tragedy is deep in our hearts, but the task for which he died is at the top of our
agenda. A noble servant of peace is gone. But the quest for peace lies before us.”

“We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the
guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”

“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”

“We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world, but as shown by feat of astronaut Shepard, this very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not
merely a race. Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men
must fully share.”

“when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the

“Where nature makes natural allies of us all, we can demonstrate that beneficial relations are possible even with those with whom we most deeply disagree-and this must someday be the basis
of world peace and world law.”

“While geography has made us neighbors, tradition has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies–in a vast Alianza para el Progreso. Those whom nature
has so joined together, let no man put asunder.”

“While we shall never weary in the defense of freedom, neither shall we ever abandon the pursuit of peace.”

“With your help, and the help of other free men, this crisis can be surmounted. Freedom can prevail and peace can endure.”

“Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive.”