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President Kennedy Speaks at Yale University

June 11, 1962 - Addressing 12,000 persons at the 261st annual commencement of Yale University, President Kennedy appealed to the business community today to cooperate in finding solutions to the problem of how to “make our free economy work at full capacity.” He warned against misleading economic “stereotypes” and “myths.” In what was taken as an allusion to the recent spectacular price declines on the New York Stock Exchange, he asserted that such gyrations might be temporary and “plainly speculative in character.” Mr. Kennedy, a Harvard graduate, also received today an honorary degree from Yale. He drew laughter when he announced that “it might be said now that I have the best of both worlds, a Harvard education and a Yale degree.” Many of his troubles, he said, came from Yale men. He listed a disagreement with Roger Blough, chairman of the U.S. Steel Corporation; complaints from Henry Ford 2d, automobile maker; a difference with John Hay Whitney, publisher of The New York Herald Tribune; Henry R. Luce, editor-in-chief of Time magazine; and William F. Buckley Jr., founder of the conservative magazine National Review.


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