John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Burk Burnett Park, Fort Worth, TX

September 13, 1960

Senator KENNEDY. My friend and colleague, Congressman Wright; my running mate, Lyndon Johnson; Speaker Rayburn; Senator Yarborough; Lieutenant Governor and the Governor of Texas; ladies and gentlemen:

I want to express my thanks to you for your generous welcome today. I hope the Vice President of the United States will not confine his visits to Texas to the city of Dallas, but, instead, will drive the 30 miles to Fort Worth and see a great Texas city. [Applause.] Texas and Massachusetts are 2,000 miles apart, but they are sisters under the skin. It is a source of satisfaction to me that Mrs. Willey is here today.

My brother flew for many months over the Bay of Biscay in the winter of 1943-44 in a Liberator, a B24, built in this city, so I am honored to come here today.

This city of Fort Worth was built as an armed camp for the defense of this part of Texas during the days of the Indian wars. The city of Fort Worth, Tex., serves today as a defense, not for the Indian wars in the State of Texas, but for the security of the entire free world, all over the free world. [Applause.] For the planes and the missiles built in Fort Worth serve as a shield for the United States. I saw, over the SAC base, in Omaha, Nebr., 3 weeks ago, a B-58, built in this city, refueled. It is capable of flying to the opposite ends of the earth in defense of the United States. Those planes, those pilots serve as our shield, Fort Worth and Massachusetts, Boston and Texas. [Applause.] And we are united today because Massachusetts and Texas, Lyndon Johnson and myself, serve as the standard bearers for a great Democratic Party, a party which rose in the South, which grew in the North, which developed in the West, and is strong in the East - the only national party in the United States today. [Applause.]

The Vice President, speaking in Dallas yesterday, said that the party of Kennedy and Johnson is not the party of Jefferson and Jackson. When Woodrow Wilson ran for the Presidency in 1912, they said Woodrow Wilson was not part of the party of Jefferson and Jackson. And when Franklin Roosevelt ran in 1932, they said that Franklin Roosevelt was not part of the party of Jefferson, and Jackson, and Wilson. And when Truman ran in 1948, they said he was not in the tradition of Wilson, or Roosevelt, or Jefferson or Jackson. We do not need members of the Republican Party to tell us for what the Democratic Party stands. [Applause.] I have been endorsed by the 21 members of the congressional delegation who are Democrats. I have not been endorsed by the one member of the Texas delegation who is a Republican. [Applause.] I wanted Lyndon Johnson, of Texas, to join me in this fight because I believe that here in this State a great progressive, vigorous Democratic Party was existing, had led the party under Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson in the House and Senate, had sent distinguished Governors and Senators to represent this State. This State belongs to the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party belong to it. [Applause.] We ask your help in this campaign. The Democratic Party has, in my opinion, as great an opportunity for service in the future as it ever has been in the past - a strong country, a country second to none, a national security position which is first, not "first, but"; not "first, if"; not "first, when"; but first. That's what we want in this country. [Applause.] So we ask you to join us on the New Frontier, not saying that if we're elected, life will be easy. But promising you that, if we are elected, if the Democratic Party once more in the great tradition controls the executive branch of the Government, that this party will lead, and this country will move again. Thank you. [Applause.]

John F. Kennedy, Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Burk Burnett Park, Fort Worth, TX Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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