In snow-bound Washington January 20, 43-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States- the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic to hold that office.
"..As President of the United States, I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States..so help me God".
"..Neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course - so let us begin anew remembering on both sides that fidelity is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is our only subject of proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. Let both side explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us.."
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Background: In snow-bound Washington January 20, 43-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States- the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic to hold that office.
Thousands of spectators stood on Capitol Hill in a biting north wind and a temperature of 22 degrees as the new President took off his overcoat to take the oath of allegiance:
Then followed a handshake from the retiring President, 70-year-old Mr Eisenhower, before President Kennedy delivered a stirring 10-minutes inaugural address.
In the speech he referred to possible aggressors and said that American dare not tempt them by weakness. For only when the United States was armed beyond doubt could one be certain that those arms would never be employed. He continued:
Perhaps the biggest cheer came when he said in a forthright manner that Americans should not ask what the country should do for them, but what they could do for the country.
President Kennedy urged that both the West and Russia should begin anew the quest for peace and suggested as a beginning, genuine and polite negotiations. Civility was not a sign of weakness. He hoped for a "beach-head of cooperation in the jungle of suspicion".
Robert Frost-86-year-old American poet-attempted to read a dedication from a poem at the ceremony but bad light forced him to give this up. Another unplanned incident at the inauguration ceremony was a minor fire caused by an electric heater to the rostrum.
This film of the event was transmitted over transatlantic cable in the fastest time yet achieved. It was shown to Britain television audience one hour and 39 minutes after the inauguration ceremony.