John F. Kennedy's Presidency

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What was the purpose of John F. Kennedy's speech on January 20, 1962?  

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President John F. Kennedy spoke at a fundraising dinner for the Democratic party at the National Guard Armory in Washington D.C. on the first anniversary of his inaugural address to the nation.

In this speech, Kennedy parodies bits of his inaugural address and acknowledges the debt accrued by Democratic campaigns in the run up to his presidency. The President goes on to emphasize the importance of funding the Democratic hopefuls campaigning in the upcoming Congressional races of 1962, his main purpose on that January evening.

Kennedy praises the historic and current achievements of the Democratic party, highlighting its endurance and progressiveness. A Democratic majority in the House and Senate would enable his administration to expedite Democratically-sponsored legislation and, in his view, move the country forward.

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John F. Kennedy was addressing a large gathering of Democratic supporters at a fundraising event in Washington D.C. The evening was a celebration of the one-year anniversary of Kennedy's inauguration of the previous January. The reason for the address was to draw Democratic financial and political support for the Congressional elections that were to be held in November. The election was important to Kennedy's presidency because he hoped to gain further support for his programs by adding some Democratic seats in Congress. Kennedy recounts some of the great achievements of Democratic presidents of the Twentieth Century and even makes parallels to the programs that his presidency was attempting to pursue. By connecting some of his programs like the space race and the Alliance for Progress with historical successes, he is able to further communicate the importance of the upcoming Congressional elections.

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