John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks in Frankfurt Upon Signing the Golden Book at the City Hall.

June 25, 1963

Mr. Mayor, members of the City Council:

I want to express my very warm appreciation to you, Mr. Mayor, for your generous welcome.

The last 2 days have been among the most heartwarming days that I have spent since I have been in public service, and particularly the warm welcome we received coming into your city.

My grandfather was Mayor of the city of Boston. I don't think he would ever feel that his descendants had ever accomplished nearly as much as he accomplished in occupying the highest gift in the hands of his neighbors, becoming mayor of a great city.

And so we are indebted to you. I am also indebted to you for the generous gift, which is a letter from Major Donelson who, of course, was related to one of our great Presidents, intimately served with him, Andrew Jackson. And the expression of interest and support and sympathy which came to this city from America in 1848 indicates that the strong love of freedom is not a national concern, but one which stretches its ties and bonds all around the globe.

So I am proud to be in this very ancient city, in this hall, which is connected with so much that was distinguished in history many years ago with lost causes like the one in 1848. But that cause was lost only for a period, and now it has come back again to fruit and flower in this city, state, and country. And I am most proud to have this opportunity to come to Frankfurt and pay tribute to its citizens.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 3:30 p.m. in the City Hall. His opening words "Mr. Mayor" referred to Werner Bockelmann, Mayor of Frankfurt.

The letter given the President was accompanied by a descriptive card which, as translated from the German, reads as follows:

"Note from the U.S. Minister to the Prussian Court, Major Andrew Jackson Donelson, to the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Interior, Anton Ritter von Schmerling.
"Frankfurt am Main, 25 July 1848

"From August 15, 1848, Major Andrew Jackson Donelson was also accredited to the Provisional Central Government in Frankfurt am Main."

John F. Kennedy, Remarks in Frankfurt Upon Signing the Golden Book at the City Hall. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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