The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Remarks at the White House Concert for Handicapped Children.
August 22, 1961

I WANT to express our great pleasure at having Dr. Pfohl and the students from his school in North Carolina. I just said to them that I think they played "Hail to the Chief" better than the Marine Corps Band, and we're very grateful to them. I think we have the Governor of North Carolina and Mrs. Sanford, and Governor Hodges and Mrs. Hodges, and also some of the North Carolina delegation with us today.

This is the first in a series of concerts here at the White House, by students of music, by younger people for younger people--and we hope that we will have many during the coming months and years.

As an American I have the greatest possible pride in the work that's being done in dozens of schools stretching across the United States--schools where devoted teachers are studying with interested young men and women and opening up the whole wide horizon of serious music.

I think the program which we're going to hear today is an example of how successful this school and these students have been. I think that sometimes in this country we're not as aware as we should be of the extraordinary work that's being done in this field. Probably the best chamber music in the world is played in Vermont, by young Americans--and here in this school where they have produced extraordinary musicians and teachers, and their work is being duplicated all across the United States. This is a great national cultural asset, and therefore it is a great source of satisfaction to me, representing as I do today my wife, to welcome all of you here today at the White House.

We're particularly glad that you're playing for a group of children from the District, whom we're very happy to welcome here to the White House also.

So, while I will have to go back to my office, I do want to say that I'm going to keep the door open.
Thank you.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Remarks at the White House Concert for Handicapped Children.", August 22, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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