Historical References

In this campaign speech, then-Senator Kennedy quoted three U.S. Presidents, American writer Robert Sherwood, Shakespeare's King Lear, American historian Vernon Louis Parrington, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and British statesman David Lloyd George.

While waiting to deliver the speech, he decided to close with the last lines of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "Ulysses," but could not quite remember the words. So he scribbled on the back of a page this note to his wife, who had memorized the poem as a child: "Give me last lines from Ulysses beginning, 'Come my friends.'" She wrote down the rest of the poem, missing just a few words. He recited the poem's final lines at the end of his prepared text.

 

 

Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Yakima, Washington, first and last pages and the back of page 4, showing the exchange of notes between the Senator and his wife, June 21, 1959

Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Yakima, Washington, June 21, 1959, page 1
Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Yakima, Washington, June 21, 1959, page 22 Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy, Yakima, Washington, June 21, 1959, page 4a