“Of those to whom much is given, much is required.” ~ January 9, 1961 ~ JFK’s Farewell to the Massachusetts Legislature

Yesterday in his Inaugural Address, newly-sworn-in Governor Charlie Baker reminded us that on that rostrum in that Chamber, John F. Kennedy addressed the  Legislature and the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as he took his leave to become the 35th President of the United States. He noted ~

“Decades ago, John F. Kennedy stood where I stand today when he delivered a farewell address to the General Court of Massachusetts before traveling to Washington D.C. to become our 35th President.

“In that address, he said success in public service should be measured against four historic qualities: courage, judgment, integrity and dedication.

“The President-elect defined these qualities for his time in office. Today, I offer them as this administration’s compass in the years ahead – but redefined for our time….” See Baker’s Full address text here.

From this blog archive:

JFK’s Speech of Farewell to the Massachusetts Legislature ~ January 9, 1961

January 9, 2013 by Marie Posted in HistoryPolitics Leave a Comment

MassMoments reminds us that on this day January 9, 1961, President-elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy addressed the Massachusetts legislature. He acknowledged in an oft-quoted reminder that “of those to whom much is given, much is required.” Yet, the main subject of his address was the unique legacy of the Commonwealth – our Bay State. He noted: “No man about to enter high office in this country can ever be unmindful of the contribution this state has made to our national greatness…. Courage  — judgment—integrity—dedication—these are the historic qualities of the Bay Colony and the Bay State.” Kennedy took formal leave of the state and on January 20,1961  he stood hatless in the bitter cold on the steps of the Capitol and stepped into history as he was inaugurated the 35th President of the United States.

On This Day...

      …in 1961, John F. Kennedy bade farewell to the people of Massachusetts and reminded them of the state’s unique legacy. In a speech at the State House, the youngest man and first Catholic elected to the presidency quoted the words of John Winthrop in 1630, “We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us.” “No man about to enter high office in this country,” Kennedy said, “can ever be unmindful of the contribution this state has made to our national greatness.” He referred to the “enduring qualities of Massachusetts” — “they are,” he explained, “an indelible part of my life, my convictions, my view of the past, and my hopes for the future.”

Read more from MassMoments here:http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=12

You can read President Kennedy’s entire speech  here in a post from 2011:  http://www.richardhowe.com/2011/01/09/5947/#more-5947

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