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    John F. Kennedy: An Important Annotated Personal Reading of a Fascinating 1958 Speech. Thirteen 8.5" x 11" typewritten pages, with over 50 words of notes and a doodle of a boat in JFK's hand. An important address on foreign policy delivered to the D.C. Women's Democratic Club. Above the title are what appear to have been Kennedy's introductory words. On page 1 he says (referring to the Cold War): "But let us not take victory for granted." After that statement he crossed out "I do not say that it will be easy. It will come to us only if we deserve it," replacing it with "I think the prospects are excellent."

    On page 5 Kennedy says: "When an administration lets fall the reins of leadership, they must be held firmly by Congress--today a Democratic Congress. We must exercise that leadership." He then adds in pencil: "and we must do it now on a whole variety of fronts-at home and abroad." JFK crossed out the next four lines and the first thirteen lines on the next page before going on to quote Justice Olive Wendell Holmes: "And above all, in the words of Justice Holmes, whether we sail with the wind or against the wind, let us sail--and not drift or lie at anchor." JFK adds in pencil: "Therein lies our responsibility and our opportunity."
    In this highly literate speech he references or quotes T.S. Eliot, King Lear, Nikita Khrushchev, and FDR. Much of the speech is devoted to foreign policy. Kennedy stresses the need to change the focus of our foreign aid from military to economic aid, and particularly local development. He also declares that we should "be prepared to negotiate with the Russians-at the Summit or anywhere else...We should be willing, certainly, to reopen disarmament talks."
    This was clearly intended as a major address, designed to build Kennedy's stature in anticipation of a 1960 presidential run. Interestingly, page 3 of the speech is on a different paper from the other 12. The JFK Library has a nearly identical copy, but without his annotations and with page 3 the same as the others, strongly suggesting that the speech offered here is probably Kennedy's final draft.
    All pages of the text are reproduced along with our lot description at, and we strongly recommend taking the time to read through this significant policy address.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2016
    3rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 419

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