Talk:John F. Kennedy

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the John F. Kennedy page.


Removing Quote[edit]

I am removing a quote that I couldnt find any source for other than this article I'm never through with a girl until I've had her three ways I've never heard that quote attributed to him before, I looked it up. I own books of Kennedy quotations, so I am removing it --Kev62nesl 10:17, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I took it from here. Unlikely that you'll find such a quote in books of Kennedy quotations. Probably some newspaper reporters wrote that they heard Kennedy say it, without a confirmation. So if we knew the newspaper in which it appeared, we could cite it and put it back in the attributed section. Perhaps the rotten.com people know where it's from. iddo999 17:25, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

This quote is found in "The Funniest Thing You Never Said" by Rosemarie Jarski (2004) p.27 and attributed to JFK. Some great quotes regarding Kennedy's views about the national Security of the United States here.


Also, refer to the book "Presidential Passions - The Love Affairs of America's Presidents" 1991, Michael John Sullivan

A highly unlikely, and almost certainly spurious "quotation"[edit]

  • "The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy America's freedom and before I leave this office, I must inform the citizens of their plight."
    • Statement purportedly made at Columbia University, November 12, 1963

I am strongly against the total censorship of even the most absurd propositions, but was strongly impelled to remove this from the main quote page and paste it here instead, as unworthy to be included as if there actually were some reasonable likelihood of it's authenticity. I recommend similar response to future additions to quote pages that extensive research indicate are probably spurious. I originally simply made a footnote saying see "BS Alert", but do not feel that is a strong enough response in this case. The following notes trace some points of my research prior to making that decision:

A quote-mark enclosed google search for a key portion of this passage, provided less than 50 hits for this quote… nearly all of them on simple message boards about either a right-wing or left-wing conspiracy. All using the same snippet, and NONE stating in what context the statement was supposed to have been made, or why a President of the United States would make such a statement publicly without giving a clear context.

Further searching did turn up another variant which seems even more absurdly worded: ""The presidential bureau has been used to set up a plot to annihilate American People's freedom; and before I leave this bureau, I must inform the citizens of this critical state."

Extensive but not exhaustive searching of Google, and the Columbia University site gave no further indication of the precise origins of the supposed statement.

Another use of the "quote" actually provided a "Sourse" [sic] which was simply another conspiracy page using the same "quote".

ANYONE of any political or delusional persuasion who can actually provide ANY indication of an AUTHORATATIVE source for this quote is invited to do so.

It may simply be a case of someone, somewhen, endeavoring to tell a big enough lie, that they knew many would be eager to believe, and would come to be endlessly repeated by those who actually believe it. Until there is more evidence than quotations of other persons "quotations" the accuracy and actuality of this particular statement must be treated with extreme skepticism. Moby 15:24, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I am intensely interested in honesty, accuracy, and fairness… and after using up many hours in searches, and going through all manner of conspiracy sites from all ranges of the political and lunatic spectrum, the most that I can come up with is the same quotation with no sources or references, and some discussions concerning it on message boards declaring that even among prominent researchers into various conspiracy theories, who have regularly encounterd the supposed statement there are several who flat out assert: there are NO reliable indications and NO documented evidence that President Kennedy even spoke at Columbia University at anytime between mid to late 1963 in any of the official presidential papers, nor are their any that I can find in any of Columbia's online Records, though an interesting dialog with Malcolm X is documented to have occured there on November 20th, 1963, just two days before the assassination. My personal assessment: this "quote" is total BUNK. Moby 04:14, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)


Addition: 2/27/2005 Excellent analysis above. Concerned by such a quote, I have constructed a timeline of Kennedy's whereabouts for November 1963. No single source I have researched indicates Kennedy was at Columbia University in 1963. One such source includes direct contact with Columbia University officials, who agree there is no record of such a visit. In fact, historical records place Kennedy in the Oval Office on Tuesday November 12, 1963 during which time he met with Cartha DeLoach, the then new FBI Liason to the White House ("The Kennedy Men" by Lawrence Leamer, page 730).

Another source (James K. Galbraith, "Exit Strategy: In 1963, JFK ordered a complete withdrawal from Vietnam," Boston Review, October/November, 2003 ) indicates Kennedy also gave a press conference on Vietnam on 11/12/63 but makes no mention of Columbia University.

Kennedy's public whereabouts are very much public record. Had such a quote been made at Columbia University, it like all of his real speeches and quotes would be immortalized in hundreds of documents and websites around the world. Yet, there are a few small references to this "speech", whose citations are circular within those few small websites. Cover up? Get real - there are millions of people alive right now that were around in 1963. NOBODY has a recollection of this speech. NO VERIFIABLE RECORDS exist of this speech. However, there are ample witnesses and documents that accurately record the events of November 12, 1963 - and they all agree there was no speech given at Columbia University.

COMMENT on preceding paragraph by one of those witnesses, George J. Leonard, now Prof of Humanities at San Francisco State University: I was a Freshman residing in the dorms (John Jay Hall) at Columbia College on that date. He was not at Columbia. I am an eye witness. The claim is preposterous. Had President Kennedy honored Columbia with a visit, it would have been the greatest event of the year-- if not our lives, given our hero worship for him. We Freshmen were let out of class once just to shake hands with Peter, Paul and Mary that term, who had stopped by the Sundial for a photo op. If a sitting president had arrived for any reason? Just before his martyrdom? (You don't know Columbia's fierce dedication to its claims to fame. They'd call it "Kennedy's Columbia Address" and have a bronze plaque on the site by now. The King of England's visit rated a mural in the Library.) As an eyewitness, I can absolutely state he never came. Moreover, I stayed at Columbia for another 9 years, until my Ph.D, and never heard a single reference to this non-event. Today, when I encountered this webpage, was the first I ever heard of it. We may reasonably infer that the quotation is as bogus as the event. --G. J. Leonard, August 18, 2005.

Addition: 3/17/05 I have long been interested in JFK and his Presidency, and have read quite a bit about him. I also collect quotations, and have never come across this particular quotation before now. I strongly agree that it is spurious. I presume, judging from the purported dating (just ten days before President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas), that whoever wrote it was trying to imply that Kennedy was silenced by those whose "plot" he was about to expose.

""Addition: 10/19/06" I stumbled upon this talk page, but remember seeing this quote years ago as cited as a letter from Kennedy to someone at Columbia... I have no sources, of course, but i figured I'd share what I remember.


Addition: 04/20/07 I am assuming that this statement from the JFK Library can be taken as a somewhat authoritative source debunking the existence of this quote/speech:


Columbia University "Speech" President Kennedy's supposed speech at Columbia University, November, 1963.

Many references to this fictitious speech exist in assassination theorist material. Supposedly, the President was discussing changes in the Federal Reserve and the gold standard, and this topic was somehow linked to his assassination. Others also claim he said, "The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy American freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight." But the simple fact is that President John F. Kennedy did not speak at Columbia University in November of 1963.

Those who believe in the "fact" of President Kennedy having made such a speech, either at Columbia or some other place, will simply deny this denial. At best, they will say that because "all or most records" have been destroyed, we simply don't know the truth; at worst, they will claim that there is a conspiracy to keep this issue silent. If someone chooses to believe in the existence of this speech, he or she does so as a matter of faith, which is fine, as long as that person realizes that it is religion and not history in which he or she is dealing.

—This unsigned comment is by 203.130.2.98 (talkcontribs) .

The above quote from the official JFK library website can still be viewed in archive format <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20090310192142/http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Columbia+University+Speech.htm">here</a>.


This quotation is clearly a hoax, it is known that Kennedy did not speak at Columbia University at any time during November of 1963.

As stated above, the date of the alleged quote implies that Kennedy was silenced by conspirators he was about to expose. There are only two possible motivates for somebody to spread such disinformation:

A) It was fabricated by someone who derives some sort of perverse pleasure from the act of deceiving others.

OR

B) It was fabricated by someone for the purpose of discrediting accusations about the assassination. Any so called 'conspiracy theory' citing this quote could be easily discredited using verifiable documentation that the event never happened.

It would be reasonable to assume that motive "A" is correct if it was an isolated event. Unfortunately it is not an isolated event, there are a number of such "hoaxes" that can be found on the internet regarding Kennedy. - This alone does not warrant suspicion.

What does warrant suspicion is the absence of any references in the official archives to several very important events that took place during the Kennedy administration:

Example #1

Kennedy did make similar statements during his speech to nsnews on February 12, 1960, the following are a few selected quotes from that speech: [CORRECTION of DATE AND OFFICIAL SOURCE]: this speech was made 27 April 1961, 10 DAYS AFTER the Bay of Pigs failed invasion where the CIA deceit the President Full Audio and transcript.

"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"

"there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment"

"Our way of life is under attack" (sound familiar?)

"we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations" source

It has been asserted by some that Kennedy was referring to communism, this is very unlikely:

1) Secret societies are not permitted in communist countries.

2) a foreign power could not announce the need for increasing our security, doing so would require legislation, such as the "patriot act"

3) The last quote is a very accurate description of the Council on Foreign Relations, which every president we have had since Woodrow Wilson has been a member of. Except for Kennedy and Reagan - who was also shot by a 'lone gunman"

Example #2

Kennedy fired Allen W. Dulles and vowed to break the corrupt CIA "into 1,000 pieces". He also sent the FBI and local law agencies to close down the agency's training camps in Florida (Jupiter Island) and Louisiana. The following National Security Action Memorandums were filed for implementing the necessary changes in protocol:

NSAM No. 55, June 28, 1961

NSAM No. 56, June 28, 1961

NSAM No. 57, June 28, 1961

In addition to these omissions: Allen W. Dulles was among those appointed to the Warren commission, a clear conflict of interest considering Kennedy had just fired him. Some of the files from the Warren commission were withheld from the public, for "national security" reasons.

Example #3

Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110, requiring the Treasury Department to start printing and issuing silver certificates for the silver then remaining in the US Treasury. That same day, Kennedy signed a bill changing the backing of one and two dollar bills from silver to gold, adding strength to the weakened U.S. currency. After his assassination, the silver certificates were pulled from circulation without any explanation.

Example #4

The official web site still perpetuates the claim that Oswald acted alone in Kennedy's assassination.

1) It has been proven that Oswald could not have acted alone and the police in charge latter admitted they could find no evidence that Oswald had fired a gun that day (negative GSR test). Not to mention the fact that if Oswald had left the rifle upstairs, he could not have possibly shot the police officer who was not visible from the window.

2) Several of the witnesses who were interviewed by the Warren commission were threatened or intimidated to change their stories, other witnesses died under mysterious circumstances.

By the way, The Zapruder film of the assassination shows an unidentified man holding up an open, black umbrella standing alongside the motorcade on Elm Street, even though the weather was sunny and warm. He was standing in front and to the right of Kennedy's car at the moment Kennedy was struck in the throat.

Col. Fletcher L. Prouty identified the man as Gen. Edward G. Lansdale, who he had known for years, Lansdale was a known CIA assassin..

—This unsigned comment is by 209.204.186.48 (talkcontribs) .

I've been looking up on this quote and found two Internet sources from 1999. [1] [2] Both seem to say November 13th of 1963 at Columbus University, not Columbia. However, one of these sources misquotes it as being 10 days before JFK's assassination, when it's really nine. So it seems the origin of this quote is supposed to be something said at a Columbus University on the 13th. However another few sources from the 80's repeat the Columbia 10 days before assassination source. [3] There also seems to be no real agreement on what was actually said. It's possible he did say something like this but it was paraphrased or misstated. When these kinds of quotes pop up there's almost always a real source for it, but it may be completely different from that which is claimed and the specific statement may be different from what is commonly stated now.

Columbia University says he never spoke there, but another individual here said it may have been a letter. There's also the possibility it was actually said at Columbus University nine days before his assassination, though the records seem to show no such visit on either day it is possible there was some communication to one or the other. With Columbus University one interesting area of exploration would be Catholic University of America, which had merged a law school called Columbus University into it. Columbus state in Louisiana had moved its location in 1963 and may have received some communication from JFK.

The former actually seems to a very good avenue for exploration because the Columbus University merged with CUA was formed by a group called the Knights of Columbus and JFK was apparently a member of this society. The Knights of Columbus were apparently a very active lobbying group which got "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and apparently the adoption of Columbus Day as a national holiday. Communication between JFK and a fellow member of the group may have actually led to confusion between the group and its university and subsequent confusion with Columbia University.--69.179.151.249 22:43, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

A famous misattribution[edit]

Kennedy once said that "Dante said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality." In fact Dante said nothing of the sort. [4] Is there any way to put this in the article? 209.149.235.254 15:40, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This has been added, with the link to Bartleby's that you provided here. I would say Kennedy's summation of Dante's ideas were indicative of his intent, even if they were not entirely accurate. ~ Kalki 16:25, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Did JFK say this?[edit]

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

Yes, but it is edited.

"Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
Yale University Commencement June 11, 1962

TLSG 18:49, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

"Ask not..."[edit]

When Kennedy said in his 1961 inaugural speech, "ask not what your country can do for you --ask what you can do for your country." He was quoting Lebanese-American writer Khalil Gibran. Khalil Gibran is the one who wrote this famous saying! How come Khalil Gibran never gets aknowledged for making this great saying?

—This unsigned comment is by 69.19.143.213 (talkcontribs) . yea

Reply:

It has been reported at various places on the internet that in JFK's Inaugural address, the famous line "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country", was inspired by, or even a direct quotation of the famous and much esteemed writer and poet Khalil Gibran. Gibran in 1925 wrote in Arabic a line that has been translated as:

Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?
If you are the first, then you are a parasite; if the second, then you are an oasis in a desert.

However, this translation of Gibran is one that occurred over a decade after Kennedy's 1961 speech, appearing in A Third Treasury of Kahlil Gibran (1975) edited by Andrew Dib Sherfan, and the translator most likely drew upon Kennedy's famous words in expressing Gibran's prior ideas. A translation by Anthony R. Ferris in The Voice of the Master (1958) exists that could conceivably have been used as an inspiration, but it is less strikingly similar:

Are you a politician who says to himself: "I will use my country for my own benefit"? If so, you are naught but a parasite living on the flesh of others. Or are you a devoted patriot, who whispers into the ear of his inner self: "I love to serve my country as a faithful servant." If so, you are an oasis in the desert, ready to quench the thirst of the wayfarer.

The title of Gibran's essay has been translated as The New Deal, or The New Frontier.

Other even earlier occurences of similar expressions or ideas are also known to exist, and have sometimes been cited as possible sources of inspiration:

It is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Memorial Day speech in Keene, New Hampshire (30 May 1884)
As has often been said, the youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask, not "What can she do for me?" but "What can I do for her?" ~ Lee Baron Russel Briggs, in "College Life", Routine and Ideals (1904)
In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it, and more anxious about what it can do for the nation. ~ Warren G. Harding Speech at the Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois (7 June, 1916)

Occasionally it has also been stated that JFK was quoting, paraphrasing, or adapting a statement of the ancient Roman orator Cicero, but with no example provided, and research done for Wikiquote as yet indicates no clear sources or definite citations as to when or where Cicero made any such expressions. ~ Kalki 22:33, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Quotation about Thomas Jefferson?[edit]

Does anyone have a source for the quotation attributed to JFK when he hosted Nobel laureates at the White House for dinner (paraphrasing), "At no time in the history of mankind has so much intellect been gathered in this building—save when Thomas Jefferson dined alone"? 74.12.84.30 06:04, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

This can be found easily...it was probably on video too...

29 April 1962 Dinner for Nobel Prize Winners of the Western Hemisphere, Kennedy Library Archives


Thanks, Neal Hurwitz Columbia University 1962-1977


The First time I heard the Kennedy quote re: "High office of the President.." was on an old John Birch Society VHS program entitled "Overview of Our World," John F. McManus (currently the JBS President I think). But it wasn't Columbia... McManus said on the video, if I remember right, that it was Annapolis, at the Naval Academy. McManus I think mentions on the video that he was told by one or more naval officers who attended the AUGUST 1st speech, that it wasn't part of the actual prepared speech, but that Kennedy added that statement during the address. Might be an avenue to research to try and pin down whether or not Kennedy made such a statement anywhere, Columbia or no.

Naval service[edit]

i recall a statement by jfk to the effect that when a man comes to the end of his life he could hold that life as worthwhile if all he could say was 'i served in the united states navy'. does anyone else know of this quote? if so, i think it merits inclusion.Toyokuni3 15:31, 24 June 2008 (UTC)


"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.'"

President John F. Kennedy, 1 August 1963, in Bancroft Hall at the U. S. Naval Academy. [Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, January 1 to November 22, 1963 (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1964), 620]

Unsourced[edit]

Many are commonly known and appear to be legitimate. Jmiche

That isn't actually the point. They have not been sourced, and while originally unsourced quotes were permitted in the articles, this has been increasingly discouraged, and placing them there without sourcing them is agains current policy. ~ Kalki 12:24, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
  • "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."
  • "Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation."
  • "Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain."
  • "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
  • "The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly."
  • "The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."
  • "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
    Second sentence is corruption of text of 1962 Yale address. --R. S. Shaw (talk) 08:53, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • "The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'"
http://www.conservativeforum.org/authquot.asp?ID=143 sources it to "Jun. 11, 1962 - from a speech at Yale University".
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03Berkeley03231962.htm claims to be a JFK speech at Berkeley, March 23, 1962 with a very similar quote.

--Gwern 10:02, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

  • "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."
  • "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."
  • "Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm."
  • "We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch."
  • "We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others."
  • "When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were."
  • "The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us."
  • "...probably the greatest concentration of talent and genius in this house except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone."
  • "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
  • "And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
  • "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
  • "We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."
  • "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's futures, and we are all mortal."
  • "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
  • "The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all."
  • "All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -- whether it is to sail or to watch it -- we are going back from whence we came."
  • "We need men who can dream of things that never were."
  • "The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity."
  • "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."
  • "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."

Some of the above are actually now on the page as sourced quotes; I am adding this last set of unsourced quotes to this section:

  • I was never accepted into certain parts of New England society because my grandfather was an Irish barkeep.
  • Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provides supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor. But their work goes beyond their own job, and even beyond our borders. For the labor movement is people. Our unions have brought millions of men and women together ... and given them common tools for common goals.
  • I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President, who happens also to be a Catholic.
  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
  • Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.
  • Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
    - combines words of two non-adjacent sentences, Yale 1962; meaning not much distorted, though.
  • Freedom is not merely a word or an abstract theory, but the most effective instrument for advancing the welfare of man.
  • When I read that we will fight the Japs for years if necessary and will sacrifice hundreds of thousands if we must, I always like to check from where he's talking: it's seldom out here. (While on Naval duty in the Pacific, 1943; quoted by Paul Fussell.)
  • Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
  • Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.
  • It is not our wealth that built our Roads, but it is our roads that built our wealth.
  • It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing to war.
  • Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
  • speaking in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 22, 1963, just a few hours before his assassination: Two years ago, I introduced myself in Paris by saying that I was the man who had accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. I'm getting somewhat that same sensation as I travel around Texas. No one wonders what Lyndon and I wear!
  • So, you want this rotten job? (To Barry Goldwater, visiting him in the Oval Office)
  • When we got into office, the one thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were.
  • We must remember. The French have always been there...when they needed us most.
  • Victory has a thousand fathers; but defeat is an orphan.
Perhaps http://www.jfklibrary.org/white%20house%20diary/1961/April/21 --Gwern 10:08, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Kennedy called it an "old saying" when he used it in a 1961 press conference about the Bay of Pigs fiasco. (Ralph Keyes, The Quote Verifier (2006), p. 234). The exact wording used by Kennedy (it was a hundred, not a thousand) had appeared in the 1951 film The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (William Safire, Safire's New Political Dictionary (1993), pp 841–842). The earliest known occurrence is Galeazzo Ciano, Diary 1937-1943, entry for 9 September 1942 ("La victoria trova cento padri, e nessuno vuole riconoscere l'insuccesso."), but it may have older origins. ~ Ningauble 15:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Yup! Tacitus: “Iniquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi vindicant, adversa uni imputantur.” Friday afternoon in the year 98. Grey Geezer (talk) 12:49, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

when where was the "The Solon quote" made?[edit]

When and where was this quote made?

"That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy"

The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association
President John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City, April 27, 1961
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03NewspaperPublishers04271961.htm
95.16.145.102 23:31, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Quote frequently attributed to JFK but no good ref can be found[edit]

Where there's smoke, there is usually a smoke-making machine.

The oldest source I've been able to find is from 1991, to wit: Venice West: the Beat Generation in Southern California, by John Arthur Maynard, p. 20.

See: http://books.google.com/books?id=aGOVgiSR7oEC&lpg=PA20&dq=%22where%20there's%20smoke%22%20%22smoke%20making%20machine%22&pg=PA20#v=onepage&q=%22where%20there's%20smoke%22%20%22smoke%20making%20machine%22&f=false

MEMcNeil 19:27, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Columbia Speech redux[edit]

The quote purported to have been given by JFK at Columbia - aside from (apparently) having no supporting historical information which would confirm even the occurrence of said speech - doesn't sound like something he would have SAID; it sounds like something he WROTE to someone in a letter (as is mentioned above).

I tend to believe that the quote is real but that the letter is perhaps in private hands and remains undisclosed. This, however, is only my BELIEF; I also have no supporting information to justify this belief.

Doninsbca (talk) 13:40, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Kennedy's last words?[edit]

Should Kennedy's last words be mentioned here? "No, you certainly can't"; This was said in reply to Nellie Connally, wife of Governor John Connelly, commenting "You certainly can't say that the people of Dallas haven't given you a nice welcome, Mr. President." Kennedy said his last words just after the Main-to-Houston Street turn (with photos and films even showing him leaning in towards Mrs. Connally on Houston Street to reply to her). Look at 0:24 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo6ik2Zti6k