“E così, i miei concittadini americani, non chiedete che cosa il vostro paese può fare per voi; chiedete che cosa potete fare voi per il vostro paese.”
The inauguration of John F. Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States was held on Friday, January 20, 1961 at the eastern portico of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. This 44th presidential inauguration marked the commencement of the term of John F. Kennedy as President and Lyndon B. Johnson as Vice President.
In 1960, Kennedy gained the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, and millions watched his televised debates with Richard M. Nixon, the Republican candidate. Kennedy won by a narrow margin in the November 1960 election, and became the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic elected and inaugurated as President of the United States.
His inaugural address encompassed the major themes of his campaign and would define his eventual presidency during a time of economic prosperity, emerging social changes, and diplomatic challenges, ended prematurely on November 22, 1963 by his assassination.
Presidential inaugurations are organized by the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. For John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, this committee was chaired by SenatorJohn Sparkman, and included Senators Carl Hayden and Styles Bridges, and Representatives Sam Rayburn, John William McCormack, and Charles A. Halleck
“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy