Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
 
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 


AND OR NOT
Limit by Year

From:
To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents

Instructions
You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
 
John F. Kennedy: Statement by Senator John F. Kennedy on Citizenship Day
John
John F. Kennedy
Statement by Senator John F. Kennedy on Citizenship Day
September 17, 1960
1960 Presidential Election Campaign
1960 Campaign:<br>Senator Kennedy<br>Aug. 1 - Nov. 7
1960 Campaign:
Senator Kennedy
Aug. 1 - Nov. 7
Font Size:
Print
 Report Typo
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

It is very fitting that we celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States by honoring Americans who have come here as immigrants to become citizens.

The greatness of our Constitution comes not so much from the words that it contains. It is great because of the people who have lived and worked under it to add to its framework of words and ideas the work and sacrifice and passionate devotion of many generations of Americans. Men and women came here from every corner of the world, from every nation and every race to live together as parts of one great, unified nation.

Our Constitution is founded on the principle that all men are equal as citizens, and entitled to the same rights, whether they achieved citizenship by birth, or after coming here as immigrants, seeking to find in America new freedom and new opportunities.

In the divided world of today, it is important that we live evermore closely by these principles. The future peace of the world depends upon our carrying abroad this concept of freedom and of equality, which we know will prevail over all the doctrines of dictatorship and totalitarianism, wherever the two are free to compete in the marketplace of public opinion.

We must present to the world a concept of freedom which has not been diluted by the evils of prejudice and discrimination. As Woodrow Wilson once said in an address on citizenship:

No amount of dwelling upon the idea of liberty and of justice will accomplish the object we have in view, unless we ourselves illustrate the idea of justice and liberty.
We cannot afford, for example, to continue to keep on our books an immigration law which rates people of one national Origin as better than people of another national origin. Such a law is not in keeping with the ideals of American democracy, not with the spirit of the American Constitution.

There is no place in America for any concept of second-class citizenship. Our Constitution defines as citizens "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" - and they are and ought to be entitled to all of the same rights and privileges.

Too long we have permitted biased legislation to deny some of these rights to those who came here by their own free choice, as immigrants, and who became citizens through naturalization, also by their own free choice. The division of citizens into classes is alien to America. As we honor all new citizens from whatever land they may come, let us resolve to strike from our statute books the outmoded laws which deny to our immigrant citizens any of the rights to which every American is properly entitled.



Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Statement by Senator John F. Kennedy on Citizenship Day," September 17, 1960. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=74069.
Home         
© 1999-2015 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project
Locations of visitors to this page