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Kennedy, John F. (1917–1963)

John F. Kennedy was the first U.S. president born in the 20th century. He was also the first Catholic and the youngest man elected to that office. He assumed the presidency in 1961 and served until his assassination in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

Kennedy viewed his speeches as an important element of his political style, and he was very involved in crafting the public address that would be part of his legacy. He would often edit a major address right up until delivery, and it was not uncommon for him to abandon a prepared text entirely and speak extemporaneously. The importance he placed on his speeches was based, in part, on his belief that an active president needed to provide the leadership necessary ...

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