Thursday, November 22, 2012

TDIH: Kennedy and the Two Thanksgivings

A year prior to his assassination in Dallas, President Kennedy stood before a large audience in the State Department auditorium to discuss the continued draw down of offensive weapons on the island of Cuba by the Soviet Union.

In that speech, Kennedy spoke of the steps being taken by Chairman Khrushchev to meet the missile removal agreement. He also spoke of the lessons of the crisis and offered this:

"In this week of Thanksgiving, there is much for which we can be grateful as we look back to where we stood only four weeks ago--the unity of this Hemisphere, the support of our allies, and the calm determination of the American people. These qualities may be tested many more times in this decade, but we have increased reason to be confident that those qualities will continue to serve the cause of freedom with distinction in the years to come."
Following a crisis that brought the world the closest it has ever been to nuclear war, the country had much to be thankful for. Not resting on his laurels, the vibrant Kennedy also announced an executive order requiring all federal agencies to take all action necessary, including legal action, to prevent housing discrimination in housing owned by, for sale or lease by or insured by federally guaranteed loans.

Thanksgiving of 1962 brought the country much for which to be grateful. Just a year later, they would be collectively grieving for their young president.

On this day, just a year after the conclusion of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy was struck down in Dallas by a sniper who would be killed himself just two days later. 

Two Thanksgivings, the stark contrast as evident as day and night.

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