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Senator John F Kennedy Accepts Democratic Nomination for President

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#1 Christina Gill

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:41 PM

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Governor Stevenson, Senator Johnson, Mr. Butler, Senator Symington, Senator Humphrey, Speaker Rayburn, Fellow Democrats, I want to express my thanks to Governor Stevenson for his generous and heart-warming introduction.

It was my great honor to place his name in nomination at the 1956 Democratic Convention, and I am delighted to have his support and his counsel and his advice in the coming months ahead.

With a deep sense of duty and high resolve, I accept your nomination.

I accept it with a full and grateful heart--without reservation--and with only one obligation--the obligation to devote every effort of body, mind and spirit to lead our Party back to victory and our Nation back to greatness.

I am grateful, too, that you have provided me with such an eloquent statement of our Party's platform. Pledges which are made so eloquently are made to be kept. "The Rights of Man"--the civil and economic rights essential to the human dignity of all men--are indeed our goal and our first principles. This is a Platform on which I can run with enthusiasm and conviction.

And I am grateful, finally, that I can rely in the coming months on so many others--on a distinguished running-mate who brings unity to our ticket and strength to our Platform, Lyndon Johnson--on one of the most articulate statesmen of our time, Adlai Stevenson--on a great spokesman for our needs as a Nation and a people, Stuart Symington--and on that fighting campaigner whose support I welcome, President Harry S. Truman-- on my traveling companion in Wisconsin and West Virginia, Senator Hubert Humphrey. On Paul Butler, our devoted and courageous Chairman.

I feel a lot safer now that they are on my side again. And I am proud of the contrast with our Republican competitors. For their ranks are apparently so thin that not one challenger has come forth with both the competence and the courage to make theirs an open convention.

I am fully aware of the fact that the Democratic Party, by nominating someone of my faith, has taken on what many regard as a new and hazardous risk--new, at least since 1928. But I look at it this way: the Democratic Party has once again placed its confidence in the American people, and in their ability to render a free, fair judgment. And you have, at the same time, placed your confidence in me, and in my ability to render a free, fair judgment--to uphold the Constitution and my oath of office--and to reject any kind of religious pressure or obligation that might directly or indirectly interfere with my conduct of the Presidency in the national interest. My record of fourteen years supporting public education--supporting complete separation of church and state--and resisting pressure from any source on any issue should be clear by now to everyone.

I hope that no American, considering the really critical issues facing this country, will waste his franchise by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant. I want to stress, what some other political or religious leader may have said on this subject. It is not relevant what abuses may have existed in other countries or in other times. It is not relevant what pressures, if any, might conceivably be brought to bear on me. I am telling you now what you are entitled to know: that my decisions on any public policy will be my own--as an American, a Democrat and a free man.

Under any circumstances, however, the victory we seek in November will not be easy. We all know that in our hearts. We recognize the power of the forces that will be aligned against us. We know they will invoke the name of Abraham Lincoln on behalf of their candidate--despite the fact that the political career of their candidate has often seemed to show charity toward none and malice for all.

We know that it will not be easy to campaign against a man who has spoken or voted on every known side of every known issue. Mr. Nixon may feel it is his turn now, after the New Deal and the Fair Deal--but before he deals, someone had better cut the cards.

That "someone" may be the millions of Americans who voted for President Eisenhower but balk at his would be, self-appointed successor. For just as historians tell us that Richard I was not fit to fill the shoes of bold Henry II--and that Richard Cromwell was not fit to wear the mantle of his uncle--they might add in future years that Richard Nixon did not measure to the footsteps of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Perhaps he could carry on the party policies--the policies of Nixon, Benson, Dirksen and Goldwater. But this Nation cannot afford such a luxury. Perhaps we could better afford a Coolidge following Harding. And perhaps we could afford a Pierce following Fillmore. But after Buchanan this nation needed a Lincoln--after Taft we needed a Wilson--after Hoover we needed Franklin Roosevelt. . . . And after eight years of drugged and fitful sleep, this nation needs strong, creative Democratic leadership in the White House.

But we are not merely running against Mr. Nixon. Our task is not merely one of itemizing Republican failures. Nor is that wholly necessary. For the families forced from the farm will know how to vote without our telling them. The unemployed miners and textile workers will know how to vote. The old people without medical care--the families without a decent home--the parents of children without adequate food or schools--they all know that it's time for a change.

But I think the American people expect more from us than cries of indignation and attack. 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. As Winston Churchill said on taking office some twenty years ago: if we open a quarrel between the present and the past, we shall be in danger of losing the future.

Today our concern must be with that future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do.

Abroad, the balance of power is shifting. There are new and more terrible weapons--new and uncertain nations--new pressures of population and deprivation. One-third of the world, it has been said, may be free--but one-third is the victim of cruel repression--and the other one- third is rocked by the pangs of poverty, hunger and envy. More energy is released by the awakening of these new nations than by the fission of the atom itself.

Meanwhile, Communist influence has penetrated further into Asia, stood astride the Middle East and now festers some ninety miles off the coast of Florida. Friends have slipped into neutrality--and neutrals into hostility. As our keynoter reminded us, the President who began his career by going to Korea ends it by staying away from Japan.

The world has been close to war before--but now man, who has survived all previous threats to his existence, has taken into his mortal hands the power to exterminate the entire species some seven times over.

Here at home, the changing face of the future is equally revolutionary. The New Deal and the Fair Deal were bold measures for their generations--but this is a new generation.

A technological revolution on the farm has led to an output explosion--but we have not yet learned to harness that explosion usefully, while protecting our farmers' right to full parity income.

An urban population explosion has overcrowded our schools, cluttered up our suburbs, and increased the squalor of our slums.

A peaceful revolution for human rights--demanding an end to racial discrimination in all parts of our community life--has strained at the leashes imposed by timid executive leadership.

A medical revolution has extended the life of our elder citizens without providing the dignity and security those later years deserve. And a revolution of automation finds machines replacing men in the mines and mills of America, without replacing their incomes or their training or their needs to pay the family doctor, grocer and landlord.

There has also been a change--a slippage--in our intellectual and moral strength. Seven lean years of drouth and famine have withered a field of ideas. Blight has descended on our regulatory agencies--and a dry rot, beginning in Washington, is seeping into every corner of America--in the payola mentality, the expense account way of life, the confusion between what is legal and what is right. Too many Americans have lost their way, their will and their sense of historic purpose.

It is a time, in short, for a new generation of leadership--new men to cope with new problems and new opportunities.

All over the world, particularly in the newer nations, young men are coming to power--men who are not bound by the traditions of the past--men who are not blinded by the old fears and hates and rivalries--young men who can cast off the old slogans and delusions and suspicions.

The Republican nominee-to-be, of course, is also a young man. But his approach is as old as McKinley. His party is the party of the past. His speeches are generalities from Poor Richard's Almanac. Their platform, made up of left-over Democratic planks, has the courage of our old convictions. Their pledge is a pledge to the status quo--and today there can be no status quo.

For I stand tonight facing west on what was once the last frontier. From the lands that stretch three thousand miles behind me, the pioneers of old gave up their safety, their comfort and sometimes their lives to build a new world here in the West. They were not the captives of their own doubts, the prisoners of their own price tags. Their motto was not "every man for himself" --but "all for the common cause." They were determined to make that new world strong and free, to overcome its hazards and its hardships, to conquer the enemies that threatened from without and within.

Today some would say that those struggles are all over--that all the horizons have been explored--that all the battles have been won-- that there is no longer an American frontier.

But I trust that no one in this vast assemblage will agree with those sentiments. For the problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won--and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier--the frontier of the 1960's--a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils-- a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.

Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom promised our nation a new political and economic framework. Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal promised security and succor to those in need. But 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 to their pocketbook--it holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security.

But I tell you the New Frontier is here, whether we seek it or not. Beyond that frontier are the uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus. It would be easier to shrink back from that frontier, to look to the safe mediocrity of the past, to be lulled by good intentions and high rhetoric--and those who prefer that course should not cast their votes for me, regardless of party.

But I believe the times demand new invention, innovation, imagination, decision. I am asking each of you to be pioneers on that New Frontier. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age--to all who respond to the Scriptural call: "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed."

For courage--not complacency--is our need today--leadership--not salesmanship. And the only valid test of leadership is the ability to lead, and lead vigorously. A tired nation, said David Lloyd George, is a Tory nation--and the United States today cannot afford to be either tired or Tory.

There may be those who wish to hear more--more promises to this group or that--more harsh rhetoric about the men in the Kremlin--more assurances of a golden future, where taxes are always low and subsidies ever high. But my promises are in the platform you have adopted--our ends will not be won by rhetoric and we can have faith in the future only if we have faith in ourselves.

For the harsh facts of the matter are that we stand on this frontier at a turning-point in history. We must prove all over again whether this nation--or any nation so conceived--can long endure--whether our society--with its freedom of choice, its breadth of opportunity, its range of alternatives--can compete with the single-minded advance of the Communist system.

Can a nation organized and governed such as ours endure? That is the real question. Have we the nerve and the will? Can we carry through in an age where we will witness not only new breakthroughs in weapons of destruction--but also a race for mastery of the sky and the rain, the ocean and the tides, the far side of space and the inside of men's minds?

Are we up to the task--are we equal to the challenge? Are we willing to match the Russian sacrifice of the present for the future--or must we sacrifice our future in order to enjoy the present?

That is the question of the New Frontier. That is the choice our nation must make--a choice that lies not merely between two men or two parties, but between the public interest and private comfort--between national greatness and national decline--between the fresh air of progress and the stale, dank atmosphere of "normalcy"--between determined dedication and creeping mediocrity.

All mankind waits upon our decision. A whole world looks to see what we will do. We cannot fail their trust, we cannot fail to try.

It has been a long road from that first snowy day in New Hampshire to this crowded convention city. Now begins another long journey, taking me into your cities and homes all over America. Give me your help, your hand, your voice, your vote. Recall with me the words of Isaiah: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary."

As we face the coming challenge, we too, shall wait upon the Lord, and ask that he renew our strength. Then shall we be equal to the test. Then we shall not be weary. And then we shall prevail.

Thank you.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Address of Senator John F. Kennedy Accepting the Democratic Party Nomination for the Presidency of the United States - Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles," July 15, 1960. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. .

"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." -President John F.Kennedy


"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." -President John F. Kennedy


"Forgive your enemies but never forget their names." -President John F. Kennedy







#2 Bernice Moore

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:21 PM

Mob Played No Role in JFK Election

Chicago, IL 60638 May 9 2006

By Patrick Butler
Gazette Magazine, Chicago

Despite all the legends and tabloid TV shows, organized crime played no role in getting John F. Kennedy elected President in 1960, according to University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) finance professor and crime historian John Binder.

The race "the Mob" really cared about was the one for State's Attorney, which could be why Democratic challenger Dan Ward got more votes than JFK in the so-called "Syndicate" wards, Binder said.

While writing his book, "The Chicago Outfit," Binder analyzed voting patterns in what were then the reputed "Outfit" wards-the Near West Side/West Side 1st, 24th, 25th, 28th, and 29th, as well as the Northwest Side 45th and the suburbs of Cicero and Chicago Heights?and found the percentage of Democratic votes in Mob-controlled wards went up an average of only four percentage points-from 56 to 60-while Democratic percentages for the rest of the city skyrocketed from 60% to 75%.

"Obviously Jack Kennedy was a very popular candidate, so his percentages were higher than [Democratic Presidential candidate] Adlai Stevenson got in 1956," Binder explained. "But no more so in the Mob wards than in any other wards."

If the Mob had any vested interest in the 1960 election, it was in ousting Republican State's Attorney Benjamin Adamowski who, Binder said, had become "a thorn in the side of the Outfit, raiding gambling joints in Cicero and strip clubs in Calumet City."

The Democratic machine likewise worried that, if Adamowski were re-elected, he would expose deep-seated corruption in City Hall and possibly pose a serious threat to the first Richard Daley in the 1963 Mayoral election, Binder said.

Ward defeated Adamowski by only 25,000 votes, prompting Adamowski to get a recount of ten wards, four of them Outfit-controlled, where Ward walked away with more votes than JFK, Binder said.

While there is no question the Democratic Organization pulled out all the stops to get JFK elected and Republican Adamowski defeated, there is nothing particularly sinister about that, Binder said.

"After all, that's what political organizations do," he noted. "They get out the vote on election day." He added that while there is "some evidence the Democratic Machine worked overtime, the chicanery was probably no different than in 1956 or any other year."

Whether the ward-heelers did more than usual because it was Jack Kennedy and not Adlai Stevenson as the candidate is the subject of Binder's current research into the role of the first Mayor Daley and Chicago's formidable Democratic Machine of that era.

It is important to remember that the Democratic Organization and the Outfit never were the same thing, said Binder, who is a former president of the Merry Gangsters Literary Society, a now defunct fellowship of writers, former detectives, and crime buffs.

"The fact that dead people voted in Chicago was due to the Machine, not the Mob," said Binder, for whom Outfit history has been an "obsessive hobby" for the past 14 years.

"Academics can be very passionate about their hobbies," said Binder, who considers it perfectly reasonable for a fellow who teaches about investments, corporate structures, financial market regulation, and economics to have a passion for organized crime.

After all, he said, the Outfit was about making money and even Mob hits were, as they say, nothing personal?just business.

"Much of what has been written about the Outfit, the 1960 Presidential election, and other events involving the Kennedy family appear to be historical myth and are not to be taken seriously," he said. Binder added that while it is true JFK and Chicago Mob bigwig Sam Giancana for a time shared the same mistress, Judith Exner Campbell, there never was any evidence they made any political or business deals.

While it also is true Joe Kennedy, the clan's paterfamilias, smuggled Canadian whiskey into the U.S. during Prohibition mostly for his own consumption, "he may have been privately selling some to friends on a first-come, first-served basis," Binder said. "But he certainly wasn't running a bootleg operation, with gunmen, in Boston.

"In fact, the Mob hated the Kennedys," Binder said.

But not enough to have JFK killed for failing to get the government off the Outfit's back in return for supposed help in getting JFK elected, Binder said.

"That's way off," Binder asserted. "There's no proof of that, even though there's this guy in Statesville who claims he was the real shooter in Dallas." Binder speculates the man is trying to cut some kind of deal with the government for what he knows, wants to improve his standing among his prison peers, or has simply gone stir crazy.

"Guys in prison are always talking about knowing where Jimmy Hoffa is buried," Binder laughed.
Anyone who knows anything about the Mob understands "they don't touch legit guys," Binder explained. "It's more trouble than it's worth. What FBI agents have been killed by the Outfit? None."

If mobsters do not want the grief "that comes from killing a clean cop or honest reporter, can you imagine how much more grief you'd get for killing the President of the United States?" Binder asked, noting organized crime is first and foremost a business enterprise.

The Outfit, Binder continued, "clearly isn't what it used to be," adding that the old Italian-run crime families have been elbowed aside in recent decades by African-American, Russian, and even Chinese gangs.

Today's Chicago Outfit, he said, deliberately keeps a low profile, avoiding publicity and "keeping their heads down, which is a very savvy decision as opposed to the New York mobsters who think the thing to do is hit someone in the head with a frozen mackerel in broad daylight in the Fulton Fish Market," Binder said.

Today's crime bosses have not only funneled their wealth into legitimate businesses as a form of money laundering but are not necessarily expecting their sons or nephews to follow in their footsteps if they are not quite cut out for the "family business," Binder added.

William S. Bike (billbike@anbcommunications.com)
ANB Communications
6160 W. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60638
Phone : 773-229-0024

ANB Communications

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#3 Bernice Moore

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:16 PM

March 21, 2006

UIC Professor Debunks Chicago JFK Theory

Sam GiancanaA favorite theory of many JFK assassination buffs is that the mob, led by Chicago boss Sam Giancana (pictured right), ordered a hit on the president as payback for double-crossing them after they helped him win the 1960 presidential election. When Kennedy won Illinois, many Richard Nixon supporters claimed that then-Mayor Richard J. Daley's political machine in Chicago had fixed the city election, thus helping Kennedy carry the state. But others, most notably investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in his 1997 book, The Dark Side of Camelot, have claimed that instead of mere dirty politics, JFK, or more likely his father Joseph, a former bootlegger, made a deal with Giancana to swing crucial wards in the city. Giancana's son and grandson make a similar claim in their book, Double Cross, and of course, Oliver Stone could never make enough connections between the mob and the assassination in his film, JFK. After he was elected, JFK's brother and attorney general Bobby started a campaign against organized crime, enraging mob leaders like Giancana who thus wanted to see him dead.

Why the history lesson? Well, Chicagoist loves a good JFK assassination theory, so we perked up when we saw the Sun-Times reporting that UIC finance professor John Binder recently analyzed vote totals from in the 1960 general election in city wards where Giancana supposedly had clout to see if the mob really did swing the election. And he found that the mob-controlled areas in the city, as well as Cicero and Chicago Heights, voted no differently than others. In fact, Democratic vote totals remained about the same in those wards for Kennedy in 1960 as they were for Adlai Stevenson in 1956. Binder also disputes the notion that Giancana helped Kennedy win the state of West Virginia, and that the mob influenced citywide votes via union support.

So if JFK didn't owe Giancana any favors for helping him win Illinois, would Bobby's crusade against the mob still have angered them enough to order a hit on the President? Maybe. But if not, conspiracy nuts always have a host of other favorite suspects, including anti-Castro Cubans, some guy named Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviets, Texas oilmen, and Lyndon Johnson himself. The parlor game never ends no matter how bizarre the idea. But if Professor Binder is right, you can take some of the major Chicago ties out of the equation.

Posted by Matt Wood in http://www.chicagois...m/news_chicago/ , Politics | Link | Comments (2) | Recommend this

#4 Christina Gill

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Posted 13 April 2015 - 12:26 PM

"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." -President John F.Kennedy


"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." -President John F. Kennedy


"Forgive your enemies but never forget their names." -President John F. Kennedy







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