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President Kennedy’s Race Speech Was Seventh Televised Address

June 12, 1963 - President Kennedy’s speech last night on racial problems in the nation marked the seventh time in 28 months that the President has addressed the nation over television and radio networks on matters of grave concern to the United States. On six previous occasions, Mr. Kennedy felt that the urgency of events impelled him to make special addresses to the people. The President first utilized this approach on June 6, 1961, after returning from his Vienna summit conference with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. He later addressed the nation on July 25, 1961, to declare America’s determination to fight Red aggression in Berlin; on May 2, 1962, to announce the U.S. would resume nuclear testing in the atmosphere; on Aug. 13, 1962, to promise a tax cut in 1963; on Sept. 30, 1962, to explain why the Federal government had compelled the University of Mississippi to enroll Negro James Meredith; and on Oct. 22, 1962, to notify the world that the U.S. would blockade Cuba.


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