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President Kennedy's Tribute to Sam Rayburn

Nov. 16, 1961 - Following is President Kennedy’s expression of tribute and statement of regret at the death today of Sam Rayburn (left), Speaker of the House of Representatives: “Mr. Kennedy and I join the nation in mourning the death of Speaker Rayburn. His public service stretched from the Administration of President Woodrow Wilson to the present day, but it was the quality of that service more than its length that was so distinctive. He had an instinctive understanding of the American system and was a loyal counselor and friend of Presidents of both parties on the great matters which affect our national interest and security. I had singular opportunity as a young Congressman, and more recently as President, to appreciate his temperament and his character. Both were bedded in rock and remained unchanged by circumstances. This country has lost a devoted servant and the citizens of this country an unflinching friend.”


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