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Human rights

In November 1960 the American people elected Senator John F. Kennedy to the Presidency. Kennedy defeated by a narrow margin his Republican opponent, Vice President Richard Nixon. The two youthful presidential candidates highlighted their campaigns by appearing on television in a serious of debates - Nixon emphasized the experience he had gained during his eight years in the administration and reminding voters of the "peace and prosperity" achieved under Republican leadership, and Kennedy calling for new, forward-looking leadership and more effective use of the country's human and economic resources. Almost everything about the new President caught the imagination of the people, and his Inauguration was no exception. In his. eloquent address the President set the tone of youthful energy and dedication that was the mark of his administration. Kennedy said: "Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined" by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed... Let every nation know that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." But the address was not merely a call to battle but an invitation to peace as well. "Let us never negotiate out of fear," said the President, "but let us never fear to negotiate. Co-operation is better than conflict; let us then substitute co-operation for conflict. Let both sides explore what problems unite us... Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease." The first President to be born in the twentieth century, and the youngest ever to be elected to the presidency, Kennedy was not only spokesman for a new generation, but symbol as well. He brought to the presidency an alert intelligence, immense personal charm, a warm and generous humanitarianism, but also a lively awareness of the immense potentialities of presidential leadership. Indeed, his Cabinet and his White House advisers made up the youngest group of top-level officials in the country's history -a group notable for its openness to new ideas and its readiness to take vigour actions.
ref.by 2006—2022