Defining moments from John F. Kennedy's life

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26 2013 12:20 a.m. MDT

June 1963 — Kennedy calls civil rights a "moral crisis" for the United States Next List » 18 of 18 « Prev
Associated Press
Kennedy today is not remembered as the strongest of supporters for civil rights. While certainly not happy about the treatment of blacks in the U.S., Kennedy is often remembered for tip-toeing around the issue as best he could to avoid destabilizing the status quo, and it wasn't until LBJ became president that true civil rights reform took place.

This is not entirely true, as a few months before he was assassinated, Kennedy gave what some consider to be his best speech, in which he embraced the cause of civil rights and called it a "moral crisis" for America.

"One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free."

"We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is a land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or caste system, no ghettos, no master race except with respect to Negroes?"
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Merritt Island, Fl

They just don't make them like him anymore. At 64, I only wonder what the future would have been if he was not murdered.

Manti, UT

I have one of the 21 75mm blank canon shells that was fired at his inauguration. My uncle was on the honor guard and sent it to me.

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