I was sitting in Miss Chambliss’ 5 grade classroom at Oakhurst Elementary School in Fort Worth.  It was a beautiful, crisp late autumn day, one of those days we cherish, living in the oven that is often Texas.  We had just come in from lunchtime recess and were getting back to studying when one of my close childhood friends, Steve Ellis, burst into our classroom yelling, “The President has been shot in the face! The President has been shot in the face!” In an instant, my own life, and those of millions of Americans, changed forever. Read the rest of this entry

50th Anniversary of Two Great Speeches

We started this blog almost 2 years ago to discuss issues we believe to be critical to our American society: equality, social justice, energy, nutrition, education and security.  We named our blog this small planet, invoking the the words spoken by John F. Kennedy at the commencement ceremony at American University on June 10, 1963.  At the time, he was talking about the superpowers of the US and Soviet Union, humanizing the lives of those of us on both sides of the ideological divide. Have a look:

“For, in the final analysis, our most basic
common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe
the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all
mortal.”

Those words today still ring true, especially in view of the critical issues we are grappling with in all corners of our planet.  Just as important, though, was a speech he made the very next evening, on June 11, 50 years ago today in a television address to the nation.  In his speech, JFK took on racial equality and civil rights, a battle then unfolding on our television sets during each broadcast of the evening news.  Have a look at a clip from that speech:

We all know that JFK was human and had his own personal flaws.  What he did possess, though, was an uncanny ability to deliver the messages that we, as a society, and indeed the world needed to here at the precise time we needed to here it.

Half a century later, his words still deliver a powerful message that are as, and even more important than then.