Skip to comments.Revealed: How JFK stole his 'ask not what your country can do' speech from his old headmaster
Posted on 11/01/2011 8:25:13 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
It was quickly recorded as one of the greatest sound-bites in political history. As delivered by President John F Kennedy during his January 1961 inauguration address, the immortal phrase 'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country' inspired millions of Americans.
But a new book claims the words of wisdom were not down to Kennedy, or one of his speechwriters, but were instead cribbed from the headmaster of a school the president once attended.
Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, by U.S. talk show host and author Chris Matthews, claims that Kennedy first heard the language in chapel at Choate School in Connecticut, where he studied during the 1930s. Matthews dug up two documents that back up his hypothesis.
One was headmaster George St John's typed chapel speech notes in which he quoted a Harvard College dean: 'As has often been said, the youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask, not "What can she do for me?" but "What can I do for her?"'
A questionnaire completed by Kennedy's school-time contemporaries when he was president further confirms Matthews' claim.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Agree. Here is another slice of that masterful speech:
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. JFK, Inaugural address, 1961
Can you imagine a Democrat saying something like that today. Even the RINOs wouldn't be caught saying it!
That’s true (cannot imagine any Dem saying that today), but Kennedy was a chameleon. He presented one side of himself to the public, and quite a different one in private. So, who knows what he really thought?
Faithful Catholic in public/sorry sinner in private. Athletic, vigorous man in public/wracked with pain, drug addict in private. I could go on, but one should not speak ill of the dead.