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Home » Full Transcript: President Kennedy’s Peace Speech at American University (June 10, 1963)

Full Transcript: President Kennedy’s Peace Speech at American University (June 10, 1963)

President John F Kennedy

Here is the full transcript and summary of the commencement address delivered by President John F. Kennedy at American University on June 10, 1963.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


[Announcer: Remarks of the President at graduation ceremonies of the American University, in the John M. Reeves Athletic Center on campus of American University in Washington DC, June 10, 1963.]

President John F. Kennedy – 35th President of the United States

President Anderson, members of the faculty, board of trustees, distinguished guests, my old colleague, Senator Bob Byrd, who has earned his degree through many years of attending night law school, while I am earning mine in the next 30 minutes, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is with great pride that I participate in this ceremony of the American University, sponsored by the Methodist Church, founded by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst, and first opened by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

This is a young and growing university, but it has already fulfilled Bishop Hurst’s enlightened hope for the study of history and public affairs in a city devoted to the making of history and to the conduct of the public’s business. By sponsoring this institution of higher learning for all who wish to learn, whatever their color or their creed, the Methodists of this area and the Nation deserve the Nation’s thanks, and I commend all those who are today graduating.

Professor Woodrow Wilson once said that every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time, and I am confident that the men and women who carry the honor of graduating from this institution will continue to give from their lives, from their talents, a high measure of public service and public support.

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