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Remembering JFK

Profiles in Courage—The Climax

June 1963

Indeed, President John F. Kennedy was an extremely busy man during this historic month, and quite obviously intent on using the full powers and privileges of his high office for the long-term benefit of not only himself and his fellow Americans, but also the whole of mankind—as we can see in the summary below.

Even though I personally was alive-and-well in June of 1963 (albeit as an eight-year-old living in the suburbs of Detroit), I consider it as nothing less than surreal when compared to the so-called “political service” we have since gotten, and thus heroic by any such standards, or any stretch of the imagination.

In the well-structured John F. Kennedy: In His Own Words, the editors (Eric Freedman, J.D., and Edward Hoffman, Ph.D.) ultimately ask: Was John F. Kennedy a visionary more than a politician? Based alone on what’s presented below, a mere “one month’s worth,” the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”

Photos of JFK at his desk, at the signing of a 1963 Farm Bill, and during a moment of smilingly engaging an audience.

June 1

“NAACP official Medgar Evers telegrams President Kennedy urging a Justice Department investigation into the treatment of jailed black protesters, including children, by Jackson, Mississippi police.” (1)

June 2

“Governor Wallace says he still plans to block the integration of the University of Alabama despite a federal injunction. Wallace says the state cannot guarantee the safety of two black students who plan to enroll.” (1)

June 3

“After Pope John XXIII dies in Rome at age 81, President Kennedy says that the Pope’s ‘wisdom, compassion, and kindly strength have bequeathed humanity a new legacy of purpose and courage for the future.’” (1)

“President Kennedy believes that Senate review of a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty would unleash a controversy as bitter and perhaps as fatal as the Senate battle over the League of Nations 44 years ago. But he is still strongly committed to ending nuclear testing. (4)

“President Kennedy's messages asking broad civil rights legislation are expected to ban racial discrimination in business dealing with interstate commerce. (4)

Rachel Carson testifies before Senate committees holding hearings on issues related to pesticides. The first hearing is on June 3rd before Senator Ribicoff’s U.S. Senate Subcommittee of Government Operations and the second is three days later, on June 6th, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce.

June 4

“A high tribute to Pope John came from President Kennedy, who led the mourning of official Washington. The President said that the Pontiff ‘brought compassion and understanding drawn from wide experience to the most divisive problems of` tumultuous age.’” (4)

“The President ordered a review of federal construction programs to ensure that contractors do not practice discriminatory hiring He also directed Labor Secretary Wirtz to require that young workers be admitted to apprenticeship programs without racial discrimination.” (4)

JFK issues Executive Order #11110 and according to the JFK Presidential Library & Museum:

“On June 4, 1963 President Kennedy signed this virtually unknown Presidential decree, which, as an amendment to Executive Order 10289, delegated the authority to issue silver certificates (notes convertible to silver on demand) to the Secretary of the Treasury. Some conspiracy theorists believe this executive order was the cause of President Kennedy’s assassination.”

June 5

“JFK leaves Washington for another tour through the West, including Colorado, California, and Texas. He tells graduates at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that the U.S. plans to build a supersonic transport plane for commercial use.” (1)

JFK visits White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

“President Kennedy met with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Texas Governor John Connally at the Hotel Cortez in downtown El Paso. There they decided Kennedy would visit Dallas in late November.” (2)

June 6

“San Diego State College confers an honorary degree on Kennedy, who tells graduates the country ‘must recognize that segregation in education—and I mean de facto segregation in the North as well as the proclaimed segregation in the South—brings with it serious handicaps to a large proportion of the population.’” (1)

June 7

“In California, the President reviews naval weaponry at the China Lake Station before attending a Democratic Party fundraising event in the evening.” (1)

June 8

“Addressing a breakfast of 2,500 Democratic women in the Hollywood Palladium, President Kennedy sounded a vigorous call for enactment of his tax reduction program.” (4)

“The President plans to sell NBC the television rights to his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, and donate the proceeds to charity.” (1)

June 9

“President Kennedy warned the National Conference of Mayors, meeting in Honolulu, that in this ‘moment of moral and constitutional crisis,’ in American race relations, ‘the time for token moves and idle talk is over.’ He called on the mayors to adopt a program of biracial committees, elimination of local segregation ordinances, nondiscriminatory hiring and promotion of employees, equal opportunity ordinances and a campaign to help young people of all races find jobs.” (4)

Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” is now #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening (AC) song chart, where it will remain for the rest of the month.

June 10

“Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act, which requires most employers to pay women equal pay for equal work.” (1)

“In a commencement speech at American University in Washington, on his ‘strategy of peace,’ President Kennedy announced that the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union would join soon for new talks in Moscow on a nuclear test-ban treaty.” (4)

“President Kennedy, the keynote speaker at American University’s commencement ceremonies today, delivered a frank and eloquent address on the always-timely topic of world peace . . . in a sharp departure from standard Cold War rhetoric . . . ”

June 11

“President Kennedy urged Gov. George C. Wallace to stay away from the University of Alabama campus and reconsider his plan to bar two Negroes from enrolling there today.” (4)

“Governor Wallace defies a presidential order delivered by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach designed to allow integration of the University of Alabama. Kennedy federalizes the Alabama National Guard and prevents Wallace from blocking the enrollment of two black students.” (1)

“Gov. George C. Wallace stepped out of the schoolhouse door, permitting two Negroes to enroll in the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Earlier, Mr. Wallace turned back four attempts by the Justice Department to enforce the Federal desegregation order. Then National Guard units, federalized by President Kennedy, arrived and Governor Wallace gave in.” (4)

“On nationwide television, President Kennedy said that Negro discontent had produced a ‘moral crises.’ He called for action and promised to send sweeping legislation to Congress to speed school desegregation.” (4)

June 12

“Just hours after Kennedy’s televised speech on segregation, NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers is murdered in Jackson, Mississippi.” (1)

“The United States representative at the nuclear test ban talks in Moscow next month will be W. Averell Harriman, named yesterday by President Kennedy.” (4)

“President Kennedy called about 300 top labor leaders to a White House meeting tomorrow to discuss eliminating discrimination in employment.” (4)

June 13 “President Kennedy renewed his efforts to rally the broadest possible support for new civil rights legislation. He held meetings with Congressional leaders of both parties. He also conferred with former President Truman and he met with nearly 300 labor leaders.”(4)

“The Kremlin made public, and Muscovites eagerly read, the text of Monday's speech by President Kennedy urging a reexamination of attitudes toward the cold war.”(4)

“President Kennedy talked with former President Eisenhower in an apparent effort to gain his support for new civil rights legislation.”(4)
June 14

“Worldwide reaction builds after a horrific news photo of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burning himself to death to protest religious persecution by the Diem regime.” (1)

“Kennedy offers financing plan for sonic plane.”(4)

“Kennedy to meet rail negotiators today.”(4)

June 15

“Kennedy telegrams Governor Wallace to insist that the governor use state police to maintain order in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after the administration withdraws federal troops from the city.” (1)

“Next week, President Kennedy will continue his efforts to develop a broad base of public support for his new civil rights legislation.” (4)

June 16

“The Russian space program records another notable first by launching into space the first female cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova.” (1)

“At President Kennedy’s request, the nation's railroads and the five train-operating unions agreed to renew efforts until June 10, to settle their long dispute over work rules. If an accord is not reached by then, the Administration will apparently have to let a national rail strike occur or insist on a postponement until the President advises Congress on how he believes the dispute should be handled.” (4)

June 17

“The U.S. Supreme Court stuns religious conservatives in the country by ruling 8-1 that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.” (1)

June 18

“The President talks about his civil rights program at the White House with governors from Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oregon.” (1)

“The ten-day European itinerary for President Kennedy’s tour, to begin Saturday, was announced. It includes the first speech to Ireland's Parliament ever made by a visiting official. West Germany, Britain and the Berlin wall were on the agenda, but details of Mr. Kennedy's visit to Italy were indefinite.”(4)

June 19

“Kennedy tells Congress that passage of proposed civil rights legislation is ‘imperative’ even if it requires extending the legislative session. The bill would mandate equal access to hotels, restaurants, and other facilities open to the public, and allow federal suits aimed at desegregating public schools.” (1)

“Wide expansion of job-training and vocational-education programs were among the final touches made to President Kennedy's civil rights legislation. The bill will go to Congress today.” (4)

June 20

“In a meeting with key civil rights leaders, Kennedy approves their plan for a march on Washington to demand education and employment reforms.”(1)

“President Kennedy asked Congress for broad civil rights legislation that, he said, will ‘go far toward providing reasonable men with reasonable means’ to deal with a national crisis in race relations. The most controversial proposals would bar discrimination in privately owned establishments like theaters, restaurants and hotels and arm the Attorney General with powers to speed school desegregation. Other major requests include more vocational and training programs to qualify more Negroes for jobs and community services to seek voluntary solutions to racial problems.” (4)

June 21

“French government sources indicate that President de Gaulle will withdraw French warships from the NATO fleet.”(1)

“Kennedy hails West Virginia's 100th anniversary.” (4)

June 22

“By executive order, Kennedy authorizes the withholding of federal funds from construction firms that practice racial discrimination. Also on this day, in a meeting with the vice president as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders, Kennedy cautions against demonstrations that may work against passage of civil rights legislation.” (1))

“Negro leaders at a White House meeting told President Kennedy that mass demonstrations would continue until the civil rights issue was resolved. They warned that ‘if there is a filibuster in Congress, we will have a nonviolent peaceful demonstration in Washington.’”(4)

“President Kennedy; who will call on Pope Paul on July 2 at the end of a 10-day European tour, sent his ‘heartiest congratulations.’”(4)

June 23

“President Kennedy will arrive in Cologne today on the first leg off 10-day journey through Europe to plead the cause of Atlantic partnership. The trip to West Germany, Berlin, Ireland, Britain, Italy and the Vatican will keep the President on European television virtually all of every day.” (4)

“Gaily chanting ‘Ken-ne-DEE. Ken-ne-DEE’ more than a million Rhinelanders turned out to give President Kennedy a rousing welcome to Europe.”(4)

“In Bonn, Kennedy tells West Germany’s chancellor and cabinet that ‘any attack on your soil is an attack on our soil.’” (1)

“Despite the frequent tributes that Mr. Kennedy and Chancellor Adenauer exchanged during the busy day, their airport statements indicated marked policy differences. The 87-year-old Chancellor termed the President's visit a ‘political act’ which he said underscored America's determination to maintain a rigid position in the cold war. Mr. Kennedy replied: ‘Our alliance was founded to deter a new war. It must now find a way to a new peace.’”(4)

June 24

“In Mississippi, white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith is indicted for the murder of Medgar Evers. (Two trials in 1964 will end in mistrials, and it will be 30 years before de la Beckwith is convicted and imprisoned for the murder.” (1)

News Conference 57, held in the Auditorium, Foreign Ministry; Bonn Germany (3)

“At a news conference in Bonn, President Kennedy said that any country signing a nuclear test ban agreement should advise other nations against developing atomic weapons.” (4)

June 25

“Kennedy tells an audience in Frankfurt, Germany, that American commitment to the defense of Europe means that the United States ‘will risk its cities to defend yours.’ (1)

“Before television cameras in Frankfurt's Paulskirche—St. Paul's Church—President Kennedy renewed his call for ‘interdependence’ between the United States and a ‘fully cohesive Europe.’ Mr. Kennedy promised to risk United States cities in a commitment to the defense of Western Europe.” (4)

“Kennedy hails U.S. forces on guard in Europe.” (4)

June 26

“The President makes a much anticipated tour of West Berlin and tells a cheering crowd in the city: ‘All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin; and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner.’ (1)

“With cheers and tears, more than a million West Berliners accorded President Kennedy one of the greatest receptions he has ever received. He saluted the troubled city as the front line and shining example of humanity’s struggle for freedom. Expressing pride in being a ‘Berliner’ because ‘all free men’ are Berliners, Mr. Kennedy told the crowd that ‘when I leave tonight, the United States stays.’” (4)

June 27

“When the President flew on to Ireland, it seemed that all of Dublin turned out to welcome him ‘home.’ Mr. Kennedy was hailed by President de Valera as the ‘first citizen’ of the United States and by the people of Dublin as the local boy—three generations removed—who made good.” (4)

“Kennedy travels to his family’s ancestral home in County Wexford, Ireland, before attending a dinner in his honor in Dublin with Prime Minister Sean Lemass, President Eamon de Valera, and guests.” (1)

“A placard proclaimed: ‘Johnnie, I hardly knew ye’ as John Fitzgerald Kennedy came ‘home’ to County Wexford on the Irish Sea. Mr. Kennedy joined in the singing and spoke to a crowd of well-wishers on the quay at New Ross, where-his great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, sailed for the New World in the eighteen-forties to become a cooper in Boston. The President then visited Dunganstown where his cousins still live on a Wexford farm.” (4)

June 28

“The President speaks to a joint session of the Irish Parliament and receives honorary law degrees at the National University of Ireland and Trinity College.” (1)

June 29

“Kennedy signs a one-year extension of excise and corporate taxes just one day before the $4.2 billion annual revenue would have expired.” (1)

June 30

“In England, JFK and British Prime Minister Macmillan meet for two days. They issue a statement that affirms their desire for a nuclear test-ban treaty with the Soviets.” (1)

(1) JFK Day-By-Day (Terry Golway & Les Krantz, 2010)
(2) – El Paso TX
(3) JFK Presidential Library & Museum
(4) New York Times


     banner at JFK Library and Museum celebrating 50th anniversary of his presidency

     Selected JFK Video/Audio

     June 5, 1963

     June 7, 1963

     American University
     June 10, 1963 >>>  or >>>

     Civil Rights Speech
     June 11, 1963

     “Five Cities of June” — Trip
     to Europe beginning June 23
     >>>  and  >>>

     News Conference 57
     June 24, 1963

     June 26, 1963

     June 28, 1963

    November 22, 1963

    Brief Notes about the
     Assassination >>



  Return to Top >>> 


“JFK's Boston—October 2012”: A photo-tour of locations pertinent to the life of JFK >>>    

Photo Gallery of Dallas Locations Associated with JFK’s Assassination >>>   

Photo Gallery: A Visit to JFK’s Gravesite >>>   

“Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto, a #1 hitsong in June 1963 >>>   

Brief Notes about the Assassination >>>   

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