Richmond, Virginia (JFK+50) On March 23, 1775, Virginia's Patrick Henry* spoke at the Second Virginia Convention here in Richmond in support of resolutions to organize the militia and put the colony in a state of defense.
Mr. Henry said...
"Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.
We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come!
"Gentlemen may cry: peace! peace! but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? No! Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
A common theme of the speeches of President John F. Kennedy is LIBERTY. JFK expanded on Patrick Henry's willingness to sacrifice for liberty in his Inaugural Address of January 20, 1961. The President said...
"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
I find it interesting that not only did Patrick Henry and JFK share the love of liberty, they also shared the same birthday, May 29th.
*Patrick Henry (1736-1799) was born in Hanover County, Virginia & passed the bar in 1760. PH was a member of the House of Burgesses and a delegate at the 2nd Virginia Convention when he gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech.
"Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death," Colonial Williamsburg, www.history.org/
"Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry," by William Wirt, 1836.