Many historians have wondered how history might have changed if John F. Kennedy wasn’t assassinated on that fateful day in November of 1963. The world will never know, though the final lines of the speech he would have given on the night of his assassination might provide some insight to the direction he was headed.
JFK was shot and killed on November 22, 1963, while riding in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas. The 50th anniversary of his death is later this month.
Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian and PBS contributor, flagged the final lines of the speech that JFK would never be able to give:
Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone, but to the nation, and, indeed, to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake.
Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause — united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future — and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.
Here are JFK's last words at end of speech he planned to give at Texas welcome dinner, Austin, night of 11/22/1963: pic.twitter.com/R25jhOzhmc
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) November 7, 2013