Archive for November 22nd, 2011

November 22,

Today in Irish History. JFK Assassinated. Kennedy’s Speech to Irish Parliament.

TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by For the Love of Being Irish)

1963: President John F Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

Kennedy had visited Ireland the previous June to rapturous response. He spoke for 25 minutes to Dail Eireann in a wide ranging, historical speech that was maybe not always accurate. e.g. Ireland “is not neutral between liberty and tyranny and never will be.” Just twenty years previously, Ireland remained neutral in the face of the horrors of Hitler.

But the speech was uplifting and motivating to an Irish nation that was still young. Kennedy said

“This has never been a rich or powerful country, and yet, since earliest times, its influence on the world has been rich and powerful. No larger nation did more to keep Christianity and Western culture alive in their darkest centuries. No larger nation did more to spark the cause of independence in America, indeed, around the world. And no larger nation has ever provided the world with more literary and artistic genius.

This is an extraordinary country. George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life: Other people, he said “see things and . . . say ‘Why?’ . . . But I dream things that never were– and I say: ‘Why not?'” ”

Listen to JFK’s speech to Dail Eireann (Irish parliament) on June 28th 1963.

Kennedy was due to speak at the Trade Mart Dallas on that terrible day. Read a transcript of Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart Dallas, November 22nd 1963.

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