John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Fordham Road and Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY

November 05, 1960

Senator KENNEDY. Ladies and gentlemen, Governor Ribicoff, the next Congressman from this district, Gene Sugarman, Mayor Wagner, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I come to New York City by myself and ask your support. [Applause.] I come to the Bronx as an old Bronx boy. I used to live in the Bronx. [Applause.] I agree it was the Riverdale end of the Bronx, but it was the Bronx, and therefore I come back here to this part of New York City, to New York, and ask your support in this campaign. [Applause.] This campaign is coming to an end Tuesday night. Then you have to decide. You have to make your judgment. I made my judgment long ago that the basic issue of this campaign was the question of whether the people of the United States believed it was time they started moving again, that they started going forward again, and that the greatest contribution that they could make to the cause of freedom was to build a strong and vital society here in the United States. Mr. Nixon has chosen a different road. [Response from the audience.] He has gone to the American people in the 1960's, in the time of change and revolution, saying, "We're never had it so good," saying our prestige in the world has never been higher. I recall in 1935, when Winston Churchill was warning of the dangers of the Nazi rise, Stanley Baldwin, the leader of the Conservative Party, told the people of England that everything was being done in its own good time. He won that election and England almost lost the war.

In 1960 we tell the truth. We stand for the public interest, and I believe on Tuesday, November 8, the American people are going to choose to go forward. [Applause.]

Mr. Nixon has not presented a program for the future - tell them the Syracuse game is over [laughter]. Ladies and gentlemen, this speech will come to an end very quickly. I come here today and ask your help. I ask you to join us. I ask your support on Tuesday. I ask your help in building a stronger country here, providing educational opportunity for our children, in providing jobs for our people, in providing medical care for our older citizens, tied to social security, in providing opportunity for all men and women of talent to build their society here in the United States that will serve as an example of freedom. This is an important election. It involves a high office. It is the highest responsibility that a citizen of a free country can have, to pick the President, and it is the President's responsibility to set before the American people the unfinished business of our society, to rally them to a great cause.

The Presidency, as Franklin Roosevelt said, is above all a place for moral leadership, and I believe in 1960 the people of the great Republic, as in 1932, are going to choose to go forward, and right in the lead will be the Bronx County of New York. Thank you. [Applause.]

John F. Kennedy, Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Fordham Road and Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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