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John F. Kennedy's Quotes


  We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A child miseducated is a child lost.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Great crisis produce great men and great deeds of courage.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The most powerful single force in the world today is neither communism nor capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile - it is man's eternal desire to be free and independent.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  What really counts is not the immediate act of courage or of valor, but those who bear the struggle day in and day out - not the sunshine patriots but those who are willing to stand for a long period of time  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  No matter how big the lie - repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardner objected that the tree was slow growing and wouldn't reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Libraries should be open to all - except the censor.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I have a nice home, the office is close by, and the pay is good.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When things dont go well they like to blame presidents; and that's something that presidents are paid for.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is also true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  There is, in addition to a courage with which men die; a courage by which men must live.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We have become more and more not a nation of athletes but a nation of spectators.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  My fellow Americans, let us take that first step. Let us... step back from the shadow of war and seek out the way of peace. And if that journey is a thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Our problems are manmade - therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable - and we believe they can do it again.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A police state finds that it cannot command the grain to grow.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  For those who much is given much is required.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Truth is a tyrant - the only tyrant to whom we can give our allegiance. The service of truth is a matter of heroism.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I look forward to a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the measure of our nation.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We have become more and more not a nation of athletes but a nation of spectators.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  There is, in addition to a courage with which men die; a courage by which men must live.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  No matter how big the lie - repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Truth is a tyrant - the only tyrant to whom we can give our allegiance. The service of truth is a matter of heroism.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When things don't go well they like to blame presidents; and that's something that presidents are paid for.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is also true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We have become more and more not a nation of athletes but a nation of spectators.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.'  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the measure of our nation.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.  
 -  John F. Kennedy, Amherst College, 1963
  

  Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, human liberty as the source of national action, the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes... can no longer be of concern to great powers alone.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, human liberty as the source of national action, the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  My brother Bob doesn't want to be in government - he promised Dad he'd go straight.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  An economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget, just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The best road to progress is freedom's road.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We cannot expect that all nations will adopt like systems, for conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We cannot expect that all nations will adopt like systems, for conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Persons are judged to be great because of the positive qualities they possess, not because of the absence of faults.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today's military rejects include tomorrow's hard-core unemployed.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today's military rejects include tomorrow's hard-core unemployed.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The freedom of the city is not negotiable. We cannot negotiate with those who say, What's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Now we have a problem in making our power credible, and Vietnam is the place.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The best road to progress is freedom's road.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The tax on capital gains directly affects investment decisions, the mobility and flow of risk capital... the ease or difficulty experienced by new ventures in obtaining capital, and thereby the strength and potential for growth in the economy.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Khrushchev reminds me of the tiger hunter who has picked a place on the wall to hang the tiger's skin long before he has caught the tiger. This tiger has other ideas.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.  
 -  John F. Kennedy
  

  Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.  
 -  John F. Kennedy