Kennedy Inaugural Address Analysis

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LBJ Inaugural Address

Lyndon Baines Johnson the 36th President of the United States gave his inaugural address in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 20, 1965, to one of the largest crowds in history, approximately 1.2 million Americans. In the shadow of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, LBJ took up the mantle of leadership, while the country was still in a period of mourning the tragic loss and earned the trust and respect of the country to be re-elected in 1965. A speech that lasted just under 22 minutes, reflected his passion and the forward thinking spirit of his desire to transform the country through justice, liberty and union, wage a war against poverty that was facing most of the American population and return the nation
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During his speech, LBJ addressed the issue of American poverty by declaring that American’s could flourish if they abided by the covenant made with the land “conceived in justice, written in liberty and bound in union”, which would inspire the hopes of all mankind (Paragraph 3). Both Johnson and Kennedy felt the government needed to take a more functional role in helping those that were unable to help themselves and Johnson did not believe enough had been done by the government in providing socioeconomic opportunities for the poor in America (Nash 845). Declaring a war on poverty, Johnson set out to pass legislation to remedy this failure by continuing to build on a domestic program President Kennedy had begun prior to his assassination in an effort to ease the struggles of the poor. Johnson’s inaugural address shares his vision to stop poverty in America when he says, “By working shoulder to shoulder, together we can increase the bounty of all” claiming that it is through unity with one another the battle can be won against poverty (Paragraph 21). Johnson believed those that came to this country should share in the “fruits of the land” and outlined his Great Society plan earlier in his speech when he said, “In a land of great wealth, families must not live in hopeless poverty. In land rich in …show more content…
In the South, the system of “Jim Crow” Laws were still in full effect segregating blacks and whites from everything to schools, hotels, swimming pools, hospitals, restaurants, etc. Johnson shared his feelings concerning Civil Rights and addresses this issue a few times throughout his inaugural address, one memorable quote is when he says citizens are betraying America and their forefathers when a citizen denies his fellow, saying, “His color is not mine,” or “His beliefs are strange and different,” (Paragraph 11). Johnson felt one of the founding principles of our Nation was justice and had a vision of society in which all Americans would share in the comforts of life and poverty would be eliminated (Nash 856). When Johnson took office, the measures that Kennedy had taken for Civil Rights had stalled in Congress and Johnson made this issue one of his first priorities. The significance of the Civil Rights issue is clearly evident in Johnson’s speech when he says, “We are one nation and one people. Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not up one citizen, but upon all citizens” and he makes it clear that it will take unity to make equality a reality (Paragraph 1). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 initiated several laws outlawing racial discrimination regarding voting, schools, employment and public accommodations and was a great

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