January 14, 2013
JFK GAVE HIS LAST STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 50 years ago today, on January 14, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave what was to be his last State of the Union Address.
President Kennedy Giving
the State of the Union Address
January 14, 1963
Photo by Cecil Stoughton
JFK Library Image
JFK spoke about the critical times in which he & the Congress served the Nation....
"(We) are privileged to serve the great Republic in what could be the most decisive decade in its long history.
The choices we make, for good or ill, may well shape the state of the Union for generations to come.
I can report....that the state of this old but youthful Union, in the 175th year of its life, is good."
Addressing the world situation, President Kennedy continued.....
"In the world...steady progress has been made....the people of West Berlin remain both free & secure (and) a deadly threat has been removed in Cuba (Soviet missiles)."
And speaking about economic conditions at home, JFK said:
"The recession is behind us (and our) manufacturing capacity....is humming with activity.
We have made a beginning, but we have only begun."
President Kennedy went on to call for "a substantial reduction & revision of Federal income taxes ($10 billion)" in order to "increase the purchasing power of American families & business..."
He called for an effort to provide for the 4 million people who were classified as impoverished.
"This country cannot afford to be materially rich & spiritually poor."
He called for a better effort in education, health care & treatment of the mentally ill.
And in the area of national defense, JFK said...
"This country continues to require the best defense in the world."
President Kennedy concluded his 1963 State of the Union address by saying...
"For 175 years, we have sailed with (the) winds at our back & with the tides of human freedom in our favor.
We steer our ship with hope, as Thomas Jefferson said "leaving Fear astern."
With thanks to Almighty God for seeing us through a perilous passage, we ask His help anew in guiding the 'Good Ship Union.'"