Inauguration of JFK

JFK Inauguration

" Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to new generation of Americans" . This is the beginning of President Kennedy's inaugural address, the first speech a President makes when he begins his role as President. This was the second shortest inaugural speech in history. It was considered to be, by most, a stirring speech. The President's enthusiasm along with his elegant and beautiful wife, Jackie, made the people of the U. S. feel that Kennedy would bring great changes the United States.


President elect Kennedy began his inaugural day, January 20th, by going to Holy Trinity Church for morning mass. Washington was covered with 8 inches of fresh snow. Snow that the army had spent the night before trying to shovel clear for the inaugural route.

After mass, Kennedy, together with his wife, went to the White House and met with President Eisenhower and his wife for Coffee. From there the two couples proceeded up Pennsylvania Avenue to the capital, where Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren administered the oath of office to Kennedy.
President Kennedy then gave his inaugural address. It was a short address, but one of the most memorable.
Two of the most remembered lines were:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge-and more.
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.

After the inauguration, Kennedy proceeded down Pennsylvania Avenue to the reviewing stands. The inaugural parade lasted for hours. When Kennedy noticed there were no blacks in the Coast Guard contingent, he had one of his aides call the Commandant of the Coast Guard to tell him that this was never to happen again.
When the parade was over, there were inaugural balls. When the balls ended, Kennedy finished the day at 3 AM with drinks at the house of Washington columnist, Stewart Alsop.

Full Text of Speech