JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1826THE PRESIDENT SHALL GIVE TO CONGRESS INFORMATION ON THE STATE OF THE UNION
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The United States Constitution directs that the President of the United States "shall from time to time give to Congress information on the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."
This evening President Barack Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address. Fifty-four years ago last night, January 11, 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave his State of the Union Address as he was about to complete his first year in office.
What JFK said in the beginning of his speech is just as applicable today...
"We are the trustees for the American people, custodians of the American heritage. It is my task to report the State of the Union--to improve it is the task of us all."
President Kennedy presented more than thirty "measures" including...
--$3 billion for the Alliance for Progress
--Federal funding for public schools
--Federal incentives for building public fallout shelters
--Improved unemployment insurance benefits
--Salary increases for Federal employees
JFK also gave his view on the state of the economy...
"At year's end, the economy which Mr. Khrushchev once called a stumbling horse, was racing to new records in consumer spending, labor income and industrial production."
In regard to the status of the United States among the nations of the world, the President said...
"In the past year, I have traveled to other lands and I have found that people everywhere look to us, not to our wealth and power, but to the splendor of our ideals. Our obligation is to fulfill the world's hopes by fulfilling our own faith."
As to the Nation's goals in foreign policy, JFK said that we desired...
"a peaceful world community of free and independent states, free to choose their own future and their own system."
To achieve these goals, the President listed the following basic sources of strength...
--moral and physical strength of the USA
--united strength of the Atlantic community
--regional strength of our Hemispheric relations
--creative strength of new and developing nations
--peace keeping strength of the United Nations
JFK concluded his 1962 State of the Union message with these words...
"A year ago, I said that few generations have been granted the role of defender of freedom in its hour of maximum danger. No nation has ever faced such a challenge and no nation has ever been so ready to seize the burden and glory of freedom."
"John F. Kennedy, Annual Message on the State of the Union, January 11, 1962," The American Presidency Project, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/
LINK TO AUDIO RECORDING OF JFK'S 1962 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS