John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks to a Group of Fulbright Exchange Teachers from Abroad.

August 23, 1962

Ladies and gentlemen:

I want to express my very warm welcome to you at the White House. I understand that this is the end of your year--is it? or the beginning?--the beginning of your year. You look so American that I just figured that--[ laughter ].

What countries do we have represented here now? How many are there from Europe?

Voices: France.

THE PRESIDENT. What about Latin America?

Voices: Venezuela and Peru.

THE PRESIDENT. And there are some from Africa and Asia?

Voices: And India.

THE PRESIDENT. We are glad to have you here from all parts of the world. This Fulbright program has been, I think, one of the most useful efforts which have been made internationally to expand understanding. And I'm particularly glad that you are coming to the United States because I hope that you learn something about us, something about our history and culture, and where we've been and where we're going.

I know also that you will teach a good deal more than you will learn, to a good many Americans who have lived a comparatively isolated life surrounded by two oceans through much of our history, and who have since the end of the second war been compelled and propelled by events to play a significant role in many parts of the world. This is an astonishing experience for a country whose whole life, whose whole policy, whose whole development was a national one. To be placed on the world stage at a most difficult time in the world of course presents entirely new problems to us.

You will be most welcome wherever you go, and we want you to know that you will teach and, we hope, learn. We are very glad to have you here, and I'm glad you've seen something of the White House. It belongs to all of the American people, and is also where I live. I'm glad to see you.

Note: The President spoke at 9:30 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks to a Group of Fulbright Exchange Teachers from Abroad. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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