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You never know what's hit you. A gunshot is the perfect way. (When asked how he would choose to die)
When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind... War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
I hope that no American ... will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, 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.
Like dealing with Dad-all give and no take. (On negotiating with Soviet Premier Nikita S Khrushchev)
Modern cynics and skeptics ... see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.
Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process.
Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause who at best, if he wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistant, persuasive and unrealistic.
To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner
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.
Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer be of concern to great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and waters and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.
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.
We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world - or to make it the last.
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
I hear it said that West Berlin is militarily untenable-and so was Bastogne, and so, in fact, was Stalingrad. Any danger spot is tenable if men-brave men-will make it so.
If I had to live my life over again, I would have a different father, a different wife and a different religion.
My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now. (On steel industry executives who increased prices)
The freedom of the city is not negotiable. We cannot negotiate with those who say, What's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable.
There are three things which are real God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So we must do what we can with the third.
When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.
I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House-with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.
There are many people in the world who really don't understand-or say they don't-what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. ... Let them come to Berlin
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
When at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each one of us-recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state-our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions-were we truly men of courage ... were we truly men of judgment ... were we truly men of integrity ... were we truly men of dedication
And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder. (To Canadian Parliament)
The full use of your powers along lines of excellence. - definition of happiness by John F. Kennedy.
To exclude from positions of trust and command all those below the age of 44 would have kept Jefferson from writing the Declaration of Independence, Washington from commanding the Continental Army, Madison from fathering the Constitution, Hamilton from serving as secretary of the treasury, Clay from being elected speaker of the House and Christopher Columbus from discovering America.
A man does what he must-in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures-and that is the basis of all human morality.
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility-I welcome it.
Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.
Above all, we are coming to understand that the arts incarnate the creativity of a free people. When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art.
All this will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
I don't think the intelligence reports are all that hot. Some days I get more out of the New York Times.
I want to emphasize in the great concentration which we now place upon scientists and engineers how much we still need the men and women educated in the liberal tradition, willing to take the long look, undisturbed by prejudices and slogans of the moment, who attempt to make an honest judgment on difficult events.
If anyone is crazy enough to want to kill a president of the United States, he can do it. All he must be prepared to do is give his life for the president's.
Irrational barriers and ancient prejudices fall quickly when the question of survival itself is at stake.
Khrushchev reminds me of the tiger hunter who has picked a place on the wall to hang the tiger's skin long before he has caught the tiger. This tiger has other ideas.
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.
Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundemental resource.
Perfect valour consists in doing without witnesses that which we would be capable of doing before everyone.
The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment but it is no less than a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.
The new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises-it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them. It appeals to their pride, not their pocketbook-it holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security.
The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are. ... The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. (Announcing blockade of Cuba)
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.
To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
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