10 of John F. Kennedy’s Most Powerful Quotes

In honor of the 35th President’s birthday

May 29, 2013

Image from Flickr user roberthuffstutter

Today John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, would have turned 96 years old. JFK is an iconic figure in history who, in his short life, accomplished many things. The Pulitzer Prize winner was the youngest elected president, created the Peace Corps – a federal run international volunteer program – and was a strong promoter of the arts.

MORE: Short inspirational quotes from Goodnet

Kennedy, along with his beautiful wife Jackie, represented youth, vitality and a promise of a new America. In honor of his birthday, we have compiled a list of 10 of his greatest quotes that still ring true today.

1.ON EDUCATION

“The human mind is our fundamental resource.”

2.
ON CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

3.
ON DREAMERS
“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 and ask "why not?"

4.
ON PEACE
“And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights—the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation—the right to breathe air as nature provided it—the right of future generations to a healthy existence?”

5.
ON ART
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

6.
ON CHANGE
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

7.
ON THE POWER OF MAN
“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.” 

8.
ON FREEDOM
“For a city or a people to be truly free they must have the secure right, without economic, political or police pressure, to make their own choice and to live their own lives.”

9.
ON PARTNERSHIP
“Partnership is not a posture but a process - a continuous process that grows stronger each year as we devote ourselves to common tasks.”

10.
ON FREE SPEECH
“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.”

RELATED:
10 of Gandhi’s Memorable Quotes
A Third Grader and Obama in the Oval Office
10 of Martin Luther King’s Most Inspiring Quotes 

ADD A COMMENT