JFK SAYS "ICH BIN EIN BERLINER"
President John F. Kennedy was welcomed in West Berlin today as he spoke in Rudolph Wilde Plaza to a million West German citizens.
The President said:
"All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, & therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner."
JFK Speaks To West Berliners
June 26, 1963
Photo by Robert Knudsen
JFK Library Photo
JFK, the leader of the free world in the Cold War against the spread of communism, wanted the people of West Berlin to know that America stands with them in the struggle.
West Berlin is completely surrounded by communist territory.
JFK also said:
"There are many people in the world who really don't understand...what is the great issue between the free world & the communist world. Let them come to Berlin."
And in the shadow of the Berlin Wall dividing the city, he said:
"Freedom has many difficulties & democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in...."
The crowd waved American flags & chanted in unison "Ken-e-dee, Ken-e-dee!"*
*JFK's Berlin speech marked the high point of American prestige in the aftermath of WWII.
Marker at JFK Platz
Photo by Axel Mauruszat (2008)
June 26, 1956
CONGRESS APPROVES FEDERAL HIGHWAY ACT
The US Congress approved today the Federal Highway Act which when signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower will provide $30 billion for construction of 41,000 miles of interstate highways.
This will be the largest public construction program in US history.
The federal government will pay 90% of the cost of construction funded, in part, from a hike in the federal gasoline tax of 2 to 3 cents a gallon.*
*President Eisenhower signed the Federal Highway Act 3 days later. The act is regarded as Ike's greatest domestic achievement by many historians.
Unveiling of New Interstate Sign
July 29, 1993
June 26, 1956
KENNEDY-HILL INTRODUCE BILL FOR SENIORS
Senators John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts & Lister Hill of Alabama jointly introduced a bill today which proposes to provide $150 million in assistance to America's senior citizens over a 6 year period.
The bill also proposes for matching grants for projects sponsored by the states to provide assistance for the elderly.
JFK WANTS TO REVISE IMMIGRATION POLICY
Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, himself a descendant of Irish immigrants to the United States, proposed today a bill to establish a commission on immigration.
JFK's proposed commission would suggest revisions to the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act.
The commission is to be patterned after the Hoover Commission on Government Reorganization.
June 26, 1952
ROSE KENNEDY HOSTS TEA FOR SON'S SENATE CANDIDACY
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., hosted a reception at the Walk Over Club today in honor of her son's (Congressman John F. Kennedy) candidacy for the United States Senate.
The reception was attended by an over-flow crowd who also had the pleasure of joining the Kennedys for tea.
Walk Over Club
June 26, 1945
UN CHARTER SIGNED IN SAN FRANCISCO
The charter of the new world organization for peace, the United Nations, was signed today by representatives of 48 nations in San Francisco.
The UN will include a General Assembly composed of representatives from each member nation & a Security Council which will include representatives of China, France, Great Britain, US & USSR.*
*JFK attends the event as a reporter for the Hearst newspapers. His column, "written from a GI viewpoint", includes the following statement:
"We have a long way to go before Russia will entrust her safety to any organization other than the Red Army."**
**Source: "Kennedy & Defense: The Formative Years"
Site of UN Charter Meeting
San Francisco, California
June 26, 1945
photo by Leonard G.