Words Matter


SPECIAL The Declaration of Independence - Read by John F. Kennedy

Season 2

On July 4th we celebrate the birth of the American Experiment. The Declaration of Independence -- written in the Spring of 1776 by a 33 year old Thomas Jefferson -- is America’s mission statement. And like all mission statements, the words represented not what we were, but what we aspired to be. In fact, the author himself was a gifted writer, but a deeply flawed person who – like his country -- did not embody the ideas and ideal of that document.

For more than two hundred and forty years, the story of America has been the struggle between those who want to move us close to the words of our mission statement – and those who want to stop them.

It is often forgotten that the Declaration itself was meant to be spoken. 

In 2004 the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library released a previously unknown 1957 recording of then-Senator Kennedy reading the Declaration of Independence in New York on July 4th.

So this week to honor Independence Day -- And to remind ourselves that as a country must continue the struggle to turn America’s founding words into reality – we give John F. Kennedy’s reading of the Declaration of Independence the final word.

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