President Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Address

The strong, direct words of President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address provided a philosophical turning point to 20th century American democracy. For 13 poignant minutes, the 35th president cautioned his fellow citizens about showing weakness to foreign aggression, drawing strict partisan lines, and of course, asking what one's country could do rather than what one could do for his or her country.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Connect to a unit on presidential inaugurations or elections
  • Show in a speech and forensics class to emphasize the importance of delivery and word choice
Classroom Considerations

  • The video is over 13 minutes long
  • Includes a graphic advertising the channel's coverage of the upcoming 2005 inauguration
  • Note that the comments section is open to the public
Pros

  • Audio is clear and easy to hear
  • Kennedy's inspiring speech is applicable to various disciplines
Cons

  • None