Monday, January 30, 1961: State of the Union

President John Kennedy gives his first State of the Union speech. In an assessment more realistic than optimistic, Kennedy says, "I speak today in an hour of national peril and national opportunity. Before my term has ended, we shall have to test anew whether a nation organized and governed such as ours can endure. The outcome is by no means certain. The answers are by no means clear." And later: "Life in 1961 will not be easy. Wishing it, predicting, even asking for it, will not make it so. There will be further setbacks before the tide is turned."

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