What was the context of JFK's inaugural address?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The most dominant issue in the world was the Cold War at the time of President Kennedy's inaugural address.  This took on different forms around the world, but the battle for Communist control and the control of the West set the stage for Kennedy's arrival on the world stage.  In his Inaugural Address, President Kennedy called for a renewed sense of optimism in America's role in this battle.  He appealed to a youthful vigor in "answering the call" of the demands placed on America.  President Kennedy channeled American zeal through his Inaugural Address in allowing individuals to see their own role in this new conception, where the stakes were high, but equal to the task of American Identity.  With the advent of television, more Americans were able to feel that Kennedy was speaking "to them," making his words that sought to inspire and "call to action" more meaningful and relevant.