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President John F. Kennedy's First Speech as President—Speech

What should a President say in his first speech? A speech is a chance for a leader to tell a group of people about his ideas.


Primary Source

“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…”

Excerpt from President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, 1961.


Background

John F. Kennedy became the President of the United States in 1961. On his first day as President he made a speech. The words above are from that speech. They have become very famous. President Kennedy was reminding people that the work citizens do for the country and for freedom is important.