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Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th century
University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A & M University ^ | December 15, 1999 | Stephen Lucas

Posted on 08/11/2002 12:58:07 PM PDT by jern


Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th century

We hope to soon feature all the speeches by women listed below. Compiled by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A & M University, this list reflects the opinions of 137 leading scholars of American public address. (Full text of news release.)

Rank Title Speaker Date Place
1 "I Have a Dream" Martin Luther King, Jr. 28 Aug 1963 Washington, DC
2 Inaugural Address John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961 Washington, DC
3 First Inaugural Address Franklin D. Roosevelt 4 Mar 1933 Washington, DC
4 War Message ("A Date which Will Live in Infamy") Franklin D. Roosevelt 8 Dec 1941 Washington, DC
5 Keynote Speech to the Democratic National Convention Barbara Jordan 12 July 1976 New York, NY
6 "My Side of the Story" ("Checkers") Richard M. Nixon 23 Sept 1952 Los Angeles, CA
7 "The Ballot or the Bullet" Malcolm X 3 Apr 1964 Cleveland, OH
8 Address to the Nation on the Challenger Disaster Ronald Reagan 28 Jan 1986 Washington, DC
9 Speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association John F. Kennedy 12 Sept 1960 Houston, TX
10 Address to Congress on the Voting Rights Act ("We Shall Overcome") Lyndon B. Johnson 15 Mar 1965 Washington, DC
11 Keynote Speech to the Democratic National Convention ("A Tale of Two Cities") Mario Cuomo 17 July 1984 San Francisco, CA
12 Speech at the Democratic National Convention ("The Rainbow Coalition") Jesse Jackson 17 July 1984 San Francisco, CA
13 Statement on the Articles of Impeachment Barbara Jordan 25 July 1974 Washington, DC
14 Farewell Address to Congress ("Old Soldiers Never Die") Douglas MacArthur 19 Apr 1951 Washington, DC
15 "I've Been to the Mountaintop" Martin Luther King, Jr. 3 Apr 1968 Memphis, TN
16 "The Man with the Muckrake" Theodore Roosevelt 14 Apr 1906 Washington, DC
17 Statement on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Robert F. Kennedy 4 Apr 1968 Indianapolis, IN
18 Farewell Address Dwight D. Eisenhower 17 Jan 1961 Washington, DC
19 War Message ("The World Must Be Made Safe for Democracy") Woodrow Wilson 2 Apr 1917 Washington, DC
20 Farewell Address at the U.S. Military Academy ("Duty, Honor, Country") Douglas MacArthur 12 May 1962 West Point, NY
21 Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam ("The Great Silent Majority") Richard M. Nixon 3 Nov 1969 Washington, DC
22 "Ich bin ein Berliner" John F. Kennedy 26 June 1963 West Berlin, Germany
23 Plea for Mercy at the Trial of Leopold and Loeb Clarence Darrow 31 July 1924 Chicago, IL
24 "Acres of Diamonds" Russell Conwell 1900-1925 Delivered at many spots across the U.S.
25 Televised Speech on Behalf of Barry Goldwater ("A Time for Choosing") Ronald Reagan 27 Oct 1964 Los Angeles, CA
26 "Every Man a King" Huey Pierce Long 23 Feb 1934 Washington, DC
27 "The Fundamental Principle of a Republic" Anna Howard Shaw 21 June 1915 Ogdensburg, NY
28 "The Arsenal of Democracy" Franklin D. Roosevelt 29 Dec 1940 Washington, DC
29 Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals ("The Evil Empire") Ronald Reagan 8 Mar 1983 Orlando, FL
30 First Inaugural Address Ronald Reagan 20 Jan 1981 Washington, DC
31 First Fireside Chat ("The Banking Crisis") Franklin D. Roosevelt 12 Mar 1933 Washington, DC
32 Address to Congress on Greece and Turkey ("The Truman Doctrine") Harry S Truman 12 Mar 1947 Washington, DC
33 Speech Accepting the Nobel Prize in Literature William Faulkner 10 Dec 1950 Stockholm, Sweden
34 Statement to the Court Eugene V. Debs 14 Sept 1918 Cleveland, OH
35 Address to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women ("Women's Rights Are Humans Rights") Hillary Rodham Clinton 5 Sept 1995 Beijing, China
36 "Atoms for Peace" Dwight D. Eisenhower 8 Dec 1953 New York, NY
37 American University Speech John F. Kennedy 10 June 1963 Washington, DC
38 Keynote Speech to the Democratic National Convention Ann Richards 18 July 1988 Atlanta, GA
39 Address to the Nation Resigning the Presidency Richard M. Nixon 8 Aug 1974 Washington, DC
40 "The Fourteen Points" Woodrow Wilson 8 Jan 1918 Washington, DC
41 Declaration of Conscience Margaret Chase Smith 1 June 1950 Washington, DC
42 "The Four Freedoms" Franklin D. Roosevelt 6 Jan 1941 Washington, DC
43 Speech at Riverside Church ("A Time to Break Silence") Martin Luther King, Jr. 4 Apr 1967 New York, NY
44 "What It Means to Be Colored in the Capital of the United States" Mary Church Terrell 10 Oct 1906 Washington, DC
45 Speech Accepting the Democratic Presidential Nomination ("Against Imperialism") William Jennings Bryan 8 Aug 1900 Indianapolis, IN
46 "A Moral Necessity for Birth Control" Margaret Sanger 1921-1922 Delivered several times for the American Birth Control League
47 Commencement Speech at Wellesley College ("Choices and Change") Barbara Bush 1 June 1990 Wellesley, MA
48 Address to the Nation on Civil Rights ("A Moral Issue") John F. Kennedy 11 June 1963 Washington, DC
49 Address to the Nation on the Cuban Missile Crisis John F. Kennedy 22 Oct 1962 Washington, DC
50 "Television News Coverage" Spiro Agnew 13 Nov. 1969 Des Moines, IA
51 Speech to the Democratic National Convention ("Common Ground and Common Sense") Jesse Jackson 20 July 1988 Atlanta, GA
52 Speech to the Republican National Convention
("A Whisper of AIDS")
Mary Fisher 19 Aug 1992 Houston, TX
53 "The Great Society" Lyndon B. Johnson 22 May 1964 Ann Arbor, MI
54 "The Marshall Plan" George C. Marshall 5 June 1947 Cambridge, MA
55 "Truth and Tolerance in America" Edward M. Kennedy 3 Oct 1983 Lynchburg, VA
56 Speech Accepting the Democratic Presidential Nomination ("Let's Talk Sense to American People") Adlai Stevenson 26 July 1952 Chicago, IL
57 "The Struggle for Human Rights" Eleanor Roosevelt 28 Sept 1948 Paris, France
58 Speech Accepting the Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination Geraldine Ferraro 19 July 1984 San Francisco, CA
59 "Free Speech in Wartime" Robert M. La Follette 6 Oct 1917 Washington, DC
60 Address at the U.S. Ranger Monument on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day Ronald Reagan 6 June 1984 Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France
61 "Religious Belief and Public Morality" Mario Cuomo 13 Sept 1984 Notre Dame, IN
62 Televised Statement to the People of Massachusetts ("Chappaquiddick") Edward M. Kennedy 25 July 1969 Boston, MA
63 "Labor and the Nation" ("The Rights of Labor") John L. Lewis 3 Sept 1937 Washington, DC
64 Speech Accepting the Republican Presidential Nomination ("Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice") Barry Goldwater 16 July 1964 San Francisco, CA
65 "Black Power" Stokely Carmichael Oct 1966 Berkeley, CA
66 Speech at the Democratic National Convention ("The Sunshine of Human Rights") Hubert H. Humphrey 14 July 1948 Philadelphia, PA
67 Address to the Jury Emma Goldman 9 July 1917 New York, NY
68 "The Crisis" Carrie Chapman Catt 7 Sept 1916 Atlantic City, NJ
69 "Television and the Public Interest" ("A Vast Wasteland") Newton W. Minow 9 May 1961 Washington, DC
70 Eulogy to Robert Kennedy Edward M. Kennedy 8 June 1968 New York, NY
71 Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee Anita Hill 11 Oct 1991 Washington, DC
72 Final Address in Support of the League of Nations Woodrow Wilson 25 Sept 1919 Pueblo, CO
73 Farewell to Baseball Lou Gehrig 4 July 1939 New York, NY
74 Address to the Nation on the Cambodian Incursion Richard M. Nixon 30 Apr 1970 Washington, DC
75 "Address to the United States Congress" Carrie Chapman Catt Nov 1917 Washington, DC
76 Speech at the Democratic National Convention ("The Dream Shall Never Die") Edward M. Kennedy 12 Aug 1980 New York, NY
77 Address to the Nation on Vietnam and the Decision Not to Seek Re-Election Lyndon B. Johnson 31 Mar 1968 Washington, DC
78 Speech to the Commonwealth Club Franklin D. Roosevelt 23 Sept 1932 San Francisco, CA
79 First Inaugural Address Woodrow Wilson 4 Mar 1913 Washington, DC
80 "An End to History" Mario Savio 2 Dec 1964 Berkeley, CA
81 Speech at the Democratic National Convention ("AIDS: A Personal Story") Elizabeth Glaser 14 July 1992 New York, NY
82 "The Issue" Eugene V. Debs 23 May 1908 Girard, KS
83 The Children's Era Margaret Sanger Mar 1925 New York, NY
84 "A Left-Handed Commencement Address" (Mills College) Ursula Le Guin 22 May 1983 Oakland, CA
85 "Now We Can Begin" Crystal Eastman Sept-Oct 1920 New York, NY
86 Radio Broadcast of March 7, 1935 ("Share Our Wealth") Huey Pierce Long 7 Mar 1935 Washington, DC
87 Address on Taking the Oath of Office ("Our Long National Nightmare Is Over") Gerald Ford 9 Aug 1974 Washington, DC
88 Speech on Ending His Fast Cesar Chavez 10 Mar 1968 Delano, CA
89 Statement at the Smith Act Trial Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 2 Feb 1953 New York, NY
90 Address to the Nation on Energy and National Goals ("A Crisis of Confidence") Jimmy Carter 15 July 1979 Washington, DC
91 "Message to the Grassroots" Malcolm X 10 Nov 1963 Detroit, MI
92 Speech at the Prayer Service for Victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing Bill Clinton 23 Apr 1995 Oklahoma City, OK
93 "For the Equal Rights Amendment" Shirley Chisholm 10 Aug 1970 Washington, DC
94 Address at the Brandenburg Gate Ronald Reagan 12 June 1987 West Berlin, Germany
95 "The Perils of Indifference" Elie Wiesel 12 Apr 1999 Washington, DC
96 Address to the Nation on Pardoning Richard M. Nixon Gerald Ford 8 Sept 1974 Washington, DC
97 "For the League of Nations" Woodrow Wilson 6 Sept 1919 Des Moines, IA
98 Address to Congress after Assuming the Presidency ("Let Us Continue") Lyndon B. Johnson 27 Nov 1963 Washington, DC
99 Defense of Fred Fisher at the Army-McCarthy Hearings ("Have You No Sense of Decency?") Joseph Welch 9 June 1954 Washington, DC
100 "Adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights" Eleanor Roosevelt 9 Dec 1948 Paris, France




TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 20thcentury; americanspeeches; liberalbias; top100
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I ran across this looking up some Reagan speeches today, and I thought everyone would want to tear into this...
1 posted on 08/11/2002 12:58:07 PM PDT by jern
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To: jern
I can do without quite a few "gifts" listed here.
2 posted on 08/11/2002 1:01:39 PM PDT by wattsmag2
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To: jern
What prism were these clowns who compiled this looking through?

Stalin, Lenin, Hitler and other tyrants made some of the most vital speeches of the century......where are they?

3 posted on 08/11/2002 1:02:09 PM PDT by zarf
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To: zarf
Oh it says Murican....sorry....nevermind!!!
4 posted on 08/11/2002 1:03:13 PM PDT by zarf
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To: jern
I detect a little bias in the selection.
5 posted on 08/11/2002 1:11:32 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Free the USA
seems like the person making this list spent a lot of time atDemocratic National Conventions and not so much time at Republican National Conventions.
6 posted on 08/11/2002 1:16:25 PM PDT by Beernoser
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To: jern
George S. Patton's speech to the troops.

I know it's Hollywood, but Al Pacino's speech (well, kind of a speech) defending the kid from Arigon in "Scent of a Woman" is still fun to watch and listen too.

7 posted on 08/11/2002 1:16:36 PM PDT by leadpenny
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To: jern
They just couldn't ignore Reagan, could they? But they ignored Coolidge, who was real thinker, and wrote his own speeches, and delivered several timeless gems, such as his speech on the Declaration of Independence, at Philadelphia, July 4, 1926. And they obviously do not exclude from "greatness" speeches that are a tissue of lies and demogogic claptrap, like Teddy's speech on the murder of Mary Jo, Anita Hill's smear of Clarence Thomas, or Saint Mario's speech in 1984 at San Francisco.
8 posted on 08/11/2002 1:17:51 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: Beernoser
I would think that a current R. Reagan speech would at least be able to bump a J Jackson or T Kennedy off the list.
9 posted on 08/11/2002 1:18:14 PM PDT by 3k9pm
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To: wattsmag2
Most interesting, besides the fact that one would have to assume that liberals in general must be better speechifiers than conservatives based on the lack of conservative speeches on the list, is the fact that Margaret Sanger appears several times on the list. Margaret Sanger, the lover of Hitler's eugenics program who gave us Planned Parenthood and the murder of millions of innocents in the womb.

10 posted on 08/11/2002 1:18:42 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper
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To: zarf
american speeches... but what about churchill on American soil at Fulton, MO, "an iron curtain has descended across the continent."
11 posted on 08/11/2002 1:18:59 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: jern
I kind of thought W's post September 11th speech to congress should have been in there SOMEWHERE.
12 posted on 08/11/2002 1:22:48 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: jern
So where is Slick Willie's "I'm only gonna say this once.,,,,"?
13 posted on 08/11/2002 1:24:07 PM PDT by COL. FLAGG
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To: jern
1 "I Have a Dream" Martin Luther King, Jr. 28 Aug 1963 Washington, DC

OK. I'll give them that one.

2 Inaugural Address John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961 Washington, DC
3 First Inaugural Address Franklin D. Roosevelt 4 Mar 1933 Washington, DC

No way.

4 War Message ("A Date which Will Live in Infamy") Franklin D. Roosevelt 8 Dec 1941 Washington, DC

Yes.

94 Address at the Brandenburg Gate Ronald Reagan 12 June 1987 West Berlin, Germany

94 !!! Should be 3-4.


14 posted on 08/11/2002 1:24:17 PM PDT by gitmo
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To: Free the USA
Re: "I detect a little bias in the selection."

Agreed !

But of you consider the source of Madison WI, it's natural behaviour of the indiginous libs that populate that place.

15 posted on 08/11/2002 1:24:49 PM PDT by ChadGore
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Husker24
20th century
17 posted on 08/11/2002 1:25:38 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Husker24
I was thinking of that too, but the list was compiled in 99, I believe.
18 posted on 08/11/2002 1:26:52 PM PDT by leadpenny
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: gusopol3
ohh, well at least that explains that.
20 posted on 08/11/2002 1:27:20 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: Husker24
W. is part of the 21st century...
21 posted on 08/11/2002 1:29:17 PM PDT by X-Servative
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To: Husker24
Agnew's "nattering nobobs of negativism" should have made the list, as it is such an appropriate description of so much that is on it.
22 posted on 08/11/2002 1:32:03 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: jern
These people seem overly hung up on Democratic speeches (especially at their convention). And what person who is not one of the few members of NOW even has a clue what Hillary's speech was about. At least Bill was correctly snubbed and Reagan had several on the list.
23 posted on 08/11/2002 1:32:06 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: jern
The liberals who put this together forgot one:

"LSD: Methods of Control" (Dr. Timothy Leary)

24 posted on 08/11/2002 1:32:30 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: Biker Scum
Where is Clinton's speech to the American People about Monica? That should be number one!

More likely number 68 with Bill owing her one.

25 posted on 08/11/2002 1:35:26 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: gitmo
Reagan's First Inaugural. Hands down.
26 posted on 08/11/2002 1:36:43 PM PDT by HumanaeVitae
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To: jern
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." (Sea of Tranquility, lunar surface, July 20, 1969)

It's a short speech but an important one.

27 posted on 08/11/2002 1:39:53 PM PDT by palmer
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To: jern
It's not that they don't list the most notable speeches, and it's not like they ignored conservatives. It's the rankings that are bizarre, not to mention the feel-good diversity inclusions.

Barbara Jordan's 1976 keynote speech was well-delivered, but it had no significance other than that she was the first black woman to be a keynoter.

Cuomo's convention speech was a great speech (although it was false as anything and I frankly hated it). His 1984 speech at Notre Dame on abortion was pure claptrap.

Reagan's Challenger speech was rated highest of his speeches because it wasn't ideological in nature. His D-Day speech was way too far down. His "Tear Down This Wall" speech, as someone else noted, should have been in the top 5.

The "Checkers" speech was memorable, but it was by no means worthy of being ranked in the top 10. If I was to choose a Nixon speech it would have been his convention speech in 1968.

Hillary Clinton's "abort 'em all" speech at the Women's Conference was listed as a sop to feminism. She hasn't given a good speech in her life. I can think of half a dozen Bubba speeches that were far more memorable than anything Hillary said.

Maw Richards' speech ("poor George, he can't hep it") was nothing more than poorly argued invective.

Teddy Kennedy's best speech was his one at the 1980 Democratic convention. Why it's lower than his others is beyond me.

As far as acceptance speeches go, Goldwater's is underrated, because it's clear they take into account future significance and Goldwater launched the movement that led to Reagan. Jerry Ford's acceptance speech was the best of his life, but probably not listed because he lost.

Anita Hill's comments weren't a speech. They were a pack of lies delivered in an unconvincing monotone by an utterly dishonest individual. Even if you believed her crap, I can't see how something so unemotionally delivered could leave much of an impression.

28 posted on 08/11/2002 1:41:15 PM PDT by Numbers Guy
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To: gusopol3
Agnew's "nattering nobobs of negativism" should have made the list, as it is such an appropriate description of so much that is on it.

The speech did make the list - at number 50. The compiler didn't use the famous phrase as its title and, anyway, Agnew would not have even thought of the phrase had it not been provided by Nixon White House speechwriter William Safire, who gave the alliteration-addicted vice president a choice between "the hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history" and "the nattering nabobs of negativism" - to which Agnew, in Safire's recollection (he tells the story in both Before The Fall and in a scathing review of Agnew's grotesquery The Canfield Decision), said, "What the hell - let's go with both!" (Safire concluded his skewering of Agnew's novel, in fact, by writing, "Now, he has become that which we used to deride so enthusiastically: a nattering nabob of negativism.")
29 posted on 08/11/2002 1:42:07 PM PDT by BluesDuke
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To: Numbers Guy
I was surprised the compilers didn't include Edward R. Murrow's tailpiece from the See It Now program devoted entirely to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. (You could call the tailpiece, "The Line Between Investigation and Persecution"); or, his "Evidence of Escapism, Decadence, and Destruction" skewering of prime-time entertainment television from 1959. Not to mention Ted Williams's magnificent Hall of Fame induction speech in 1966...
30 posted on 08/11/2002 1:44:45 PM PDT by BluesDuke
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To: jern
Bill Clinton's top is in the 90's, and Hillary is #35. They have a total of 2 in the top 100.
The Kennedys have 11 in the top 100.
Jesse "the race hustling extortionist" Jackson has #12 and #51, equalling the Clintons by himself.
Roosevelts have 9 of the top 100.
31 posted on 08/11/2002 1:45:10 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: jern
Pat Buchanan's Unforgettable Speech To The '92 GOP Convention

Go Pat Go!!!

32 posted on 08/11/2002 1:45:19 PM PDT by Willie Green
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To: gitmo
Yeah, I saw that 94th and I almost had to grab for the air-sickness companion bag. That is one of the single greatest speeches ever made in the past century, bar none (perhaps with the greatest single line -- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall !). I have not even heard of half these speeches, let alone the rantings of supreme genocidal racist Margaret Sanger and the overrated windbag Barbara Jordan (may she rest in peace) complaining about Nixon, or Mario "Mumbles" Cuomo (MARIO CUOMO !?!) getting ranked so far ahead of the Brandenburg Gate speech. Utterly sickening.
33 posted on 08/11/2002 1:45:48 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj
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To: Always Right
I thought the Dukakis acceptance speech at the 1988 convention was great. Of course I was from Mass. and I wasn't Always Right.
34 posted on 08/11/2002 1:51:24 PM PDT by palmer
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To: fieldmarshaldj
That is one of the single greatest speeches ever made in the past century, bar none (perhaps with the greatest single line -- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall !).

I have to rank it even with the "Day of Infamy" speech by President Roosevelt. (Not by Truman, as I stupidly stated in a post yesterday. Sheesh! %*$## public education!)

And if it weren't a list of American speeches, I would have to put Churchill's "Blood Sweat and Tears" speech right up there. (Nothing to do with the rock group.)

35 posted on 08/11/2002 1:52:21 PM PDT by gitmo
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To: jern
40 of the top 100 from Washington DC, 13 in NY state, 11 in NYC, 11 in California, 6 outside the US, and 3 in Indiana.
36 posted on 08/11/2002 1:53:21 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: jern
92 Speech at the Prayer Service for Victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing Bill Clinton 23 Apr 1995 Oklahoma City, OK

Actually, my favorite Bill Clinton speeches started with:
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky..." and ended with his "apology" and impeachment. A really good show. Too bad it wasn't followed up by his imprisonment.

37 posted on 08/11/2002 1:54:07 PM PDT by Bon mots
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To: jern
Thanks! My kids are going to be studying famous speeches this year. Have to bookmark this one!
38 posted on 08/11/2002 1:54:38 PM PDT by TxBec
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To: Always Right
Where is Clinton's speech to the American People about Monica? That should be number one!

More likely number 68 with Bill owing her one!

LOL.

39 posted on 08/11/2002 1:55:51 PM PDT by gitmo
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To: gitmo
2
Inaugural Address
John F. Kennedy
20 Jan 1961
Washington, DC


I'll agree with you that this speech is ranked too high.
BUT...if it is the same speech that I heard (I believe accidentally) played on NPR some
years ago, I'll say it does deserve to be in the top 100.

I was SHOCKED at how openly defiant the tone of the speech was toward Communism;
I guess that being a small child at the time of the speech, I'd not gotten
the direct, unapologeice belligerant tone of the speech.

Heck, it was practically a St. Crispin's Day speech for the Cold Warriors!!!
(That's why I decided that the propaganda officers at National Public Radio must have
taken one too many hits of LSD when they actually played the speech on their "All Things Considered".)

For all of JFK's feet of clay, he hit the right notes for the time with this speech.
40 posted on 08/11/2002 1:57:04 PM PDT by VOA
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To: jern
What BS! All but one in the top ten are by communists or, in the case of Checkers, a speech by a conservative that communists like to poke fun at. Heck, they might as well just go ahead and stick a speech in there by Lenin or Stalin or Pol Pot.
41 posted on 08/11/2002 1:59:18 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: jern; anymouse; RightWhale; First_Salute
Thanks. It was getting pretty boring this afternoon. Let me start at the beginning.

Free speech is not a gift, it is a right. Now a good speech can be a gift, but that list was like a Snickers bar - chock full 'o nuts.

I see Anita Hill was on the list, but not Clarence Thomas. No suprise there, coming from that Communist Indoctrination Center know as the UofW. Here is one of Judge Thomas's: Be not afraid --- by Judge Clarence Thomas posted by First_Salute.

I nominate this one:

Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort

Delivered in person by John F. Kennedy, Houston, Texas September 12, 1962

President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief.

I am delighted to be here and I'm particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.

We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.

Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation¹s own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man¹s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year,and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.

Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobile sand airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America¹s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward--and so will space.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead,whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it--we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world's leading space-faring nation.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man's history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor. We have seen the site where the F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.

Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were "made in the United States of America" and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.

The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the the 40-yard lines.

Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.

To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.

And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this State, and this region, will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your City of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this Center in this City.

To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year¹s space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year--a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures will soon rise some more,from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman and child in the United Stated, for we have given this program a high national priority--even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us. But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field,made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour,causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun--almost as hot as it is here today--and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out--then we must be bold.

I'm the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute. [laughter]

However, I think we're going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don't think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university. It will be done during the term of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade.

I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."

Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Thank you.

42 posted on 08/11/2002 2:02:59 PM PDT by snopercod
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To: jern
1900-1909: 4 speeches
1910-1919: 11 speeches
1920-1929: 4 speeches
1930-1939: 7 speeches
1940-1949: 8 speeches
1950-1959: 8 speeches
1960-1969: 28 speeches
1970-1979: 8 speeches
1980-1989: 14 speeches
1990-1999: 7 speeches

Berkeley bias, anyone? (Madison, WI, is Berkeley northern chapter)

(That totals 99. Speech #24 covers 3 decades, so i left it out.)

43 posted on 08/11/2002 2:05:03 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: jern
I don't know when the list was compiled but I have seen a side by side comparison of GWB's 9/20/01 speech with FDR's "Day that will Live in Infamy" speech and Dubya's was considered much better by the author(s). In fact the author pointed out that the only inspiring thing that anyone remembers about the FDR speech was the "...day that will live in infamy..." line. I have to agree. As for this list - Malcolm X, Ma Richards, Eugene Debs etc.? No bias there.
44 posted on 08/11/2002 2:08:30 PM PDT by Let's Roll
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To: VOA
For all of JFK's feet of clay, he hit the right notes for the time with this speech.

I am not sure why people bash JFK so much. He was a tax cutter (and for the rich no less). He was an anti-communist. He did protect our borders. And his speech was pretty good and wasn't filled with promises of a bunch of government handouts. JFK was more Republican than many Rinos of today.

45 posted on 08/11/2002 2:11:33 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Let's Roll
"20th Century American speeches"... 9/20/2001 doesn't count, even for those overly-technical geeks (like me) who insist that the 21st Century didn't start until 01/01/2001. ;^)
46 posted on 08/11/2002 2:12:55 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: LibWhacker
Ronald Reagan was no communist!

And Richard Nixon was no conservative.

FDR did promote a socialist agenda in the 1930`s and JFK was a 1960`s liberal on many social issues. Malcom X was a militant Muslim, while Barabra Jordon was a black liberal.

The closest any of those top ten come to being a communist is, Martin Luther King. King was made some supportive remarks about communism during his public career.

Get real.

47 posted on 08/11/2002 2:15:23 PM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: zarf
Get use to it, this is what you'll see in the future regarding the VOMIT COUPLE FROM HELL. The historians will rewrite the actual events that took place during the bubba communist regine. The majority of historians are BIG LIBERAL RATS with an agenda. Just wait, in the near future Bubba and the WITCH will be regarded as the 90"s JFK and Jackie!! MARK MY WORDS!!
48 posted on 08/11/2002 2:15:34 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: Reagan Man
WHO IN THE WORLD said Reagan was a commie? YOU get real and go re-read what I actually did say.

As far as your claim that the OTHER EIGHT speeches on the list (besides Reagan's and Nixon's)were not by communists, here's a little history lesson for you: Communists = socialists = nazis = democrats. Only Communists deny it.

49 posted on 08/11/2002 2:30:54 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: palmer
Good Lord. It sounds as though you've made quite a transformation. Did you the campaign ad where he was riding in the tank too?
50 posted on 08/11/2002 2:32:25 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace
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