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The Negro says, 'Now.' Others say, 'Never.' The voice of responsible Americans ... says, 'Together.' There is no other way.
Democracy is a constant tension between truth and half-truth and, in the arsenal of truth, there is no greater weapon than fact.
War is always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their promise. It is trying to kill a man that you do not even know well enough to hate. Therefore, to know war is to know that there is still madness in the world.
If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read President Can't Swim.
Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but to stand there and take it.
The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless the growth of its resources and the growth of its population come into balance. Each man and woman-and each nation --must make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this great problem.
A rioter with a Molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a Klansman with a sheet on his back and mask on his face. They are both more or less what the law declares them lawbreakers, destroyers of constitutional rights and liberties and ultimately destroyers of a free America.
In this age when there can be no losers in peace and no victors in war, we must recognize the obligation to match national strength with national restraint.
We have entered an age in which education is not just a luxury permitting some men an advantage over others. It has become a necessity without which a person is defenseless in this complex, industrialized society. ... We have truly entered the century of the educated man.
A man can take a little bourbon without getting drunk, but if you hold his mouth open and pour in a quart, he's going to get sick on it.
Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.
About Edgar J Hoover "I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in"
A compassionate government keeps faith with the trust of the people and cherishes the future of their children.
Our numbers have increased in Vietnam because the aggression of others has increased in Vietnam. There is not, and there will not be, a mindless escalation.
What we won when all of our people united ... must not be lost in suspicion and distrust and selfishness and politics. ... Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as president.
We Americans know-although others appear to forget-the risk of spreading conflict. We still seek no wider war. (On ordering retaliatory action against North Vietnam)
We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. ... It is time now to write the next chapter-and to write it in the books of law.
America has not always been kind to its artists and scholars. Somehow the scientists always seem to get the penthouse while the arts and humanities get the basement.
Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sakebut for the nations sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country: not military preparednessfor armed might is worthless if we lack the brain power to build a world of peace; not our productive economyfor we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of governmentfor freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.
It is the excitement of becoming - always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again- but always trying and always gaining...
The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.
When things haven't gone well for you, call in a secretary or a staff man and chew him out. You will sleep better and they will appreciate the attention.
The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaciton and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilzation. It is what we seek today.
It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty. They mistake restlessness for a rejection of policy. They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy. (Answering North Vietnamese charge that US could not endure)
These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don't move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there'll be no way of stopping them, we'll lose the filibuster and there'll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It'll be Reconstruction all over again.
If you let a bully come in your front yard, he'll be on your porch the next day and the day after that he'll rape your wife in your own bed. (On appeasement)
I knew from the start if I left a woman I really loved -- the Great Society -- in order to fight that bitch of a war in Vietnam then I would lose everything at home. My hopes my dreams.
I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” Lyndon Baines Johnson about the Great Society plan. Unsourced quote floating around the internet for years.
We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.
The CIA is made up of boys whose families sent them to Princeton but wouldn't let them into the family brokerage business.
When I was a boy ... we didn't wake up with Vietnam and have Cyprus for lunch and the Congo for dinner
As it was 189 years ago, so today the cause of America is a revolutionary cause. And I am proud this morning to salute you as fellow revolutionaries. Neither you nor I are willing to accept the tyranny of poverty, nor the dictatorship of ignorance, nor the despotism of ill health, nor the oppression of bias and prejudice and bigotry. We want change. We want progress. We want it both abroad and at homeand we aim to get it.
Presidents quickly realize that while a single act might destroy the world they live in, no one single decision can make life suddenly better or can turn history around for good.
I believe, with abiding conviction, that this people-nurtured by their deep faith, tutored by their hard lessons, moved by their high aspirations-have the will to meet the trials that these times impose.
I don't believe I'll ever get credit for anything I do in foreign affairs, no matter how successful it is, because I didn't go to Harvard.
I'm tired. I'm tired of feeling rejected by the American people. I'm tired of waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the war.
Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man. Because all Americans just must have the right to vote. And we are going to give them that right. All Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race. And they are going to have those privileges of citizenship regardless of race.
There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this Deny your responsibility.
To conclude that women are unfitted to the task of our historic society seems to me the equivalent of closing male eyes to female facts.
I believe that the essence of government lies with unceasing concern for the welfare and dignity and decency and innate integrity of life for every individual. I dont like to say this and wish I didnt have to add these words to make it clear but I willregardless of color, creed, ancestry, sex or age.
I report to you that our country is challenged at home and abroad that it is our will that is being tried and not our strength our sense of purpose and not our ability to achieve a better America.
I want to make a policy statement. I am unabashedly in favor of women. (On appointing 10 women to top government positions)
I won't have you electioneering on my doorstep. Every time you get in trouble in Parliament you run over here with your shirttail hanging out. (To Prime Minister Harold Wilson)
The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.
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