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Rhetorical Analysis-Jfk's Address To The Greater Houston Ministerial Association

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The speech that I decided to do is John F. Kennedy's Address to the Houston Ministerial Association. I will be using both external and internal criticism. With the external criticism I will be examining the time, the occasion, how the audience reacted, John F Kennedy's biographical factors and the effects of the speech. John F Kennedy came from a strong political family, was well educated, defended his country in WW II and received rewards for his courage and bravery, and along with his political career that lead him to the nomination for presidency in 1960. With in the internal criticism I will be looking at the invention, organization, style, and presentation. I will show how he used logical proof, ethical proof, and pathetic proof to sway his audience from viewing him as the Catholic candidate for presidency and how this speech contributed to his victory of the 1960 presidential election.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts; his parents where Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Joseph Patrick Kennedy. He was named in honor of Rose's father, John Francis Fitzgerald, the Boston Mayor popularly known as Honey Fitz . Before long, family and friends started to call him Jack. John Kennedy comes from a very large family; he has eight siblings altogether. His great-grandparents came to America from Ireland and Jack's grandfathers were both prominent Boston politicians. Jack's Father worked very hard for his family, he started out in 1919 as a manager of Hayden, Stone and Co. where he became an expert in dealing on the Wall Street stock market, he became a multi millionaire and retried. In 1934 he was appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt as the chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission, and after serving three years, he was than appointed to the position of Ambassador to Britain. The Kennedys lived a very comfortable life; they had everything that they needed and more.

Jack went to school at Choate, a boarding school for adolescent boys in Connecticut. He was involved in many sports such as; tennis, basketball, football, and golf. When he graduated from Choate he entered Harvard University in 1963, where his brother Joe was already a student. Late in 1937 Jack's Father was appointed United States Ambassador to England and moved his entire family, with the exception of Joe and Jack being at Harvard. Because of his father's job, Jack became very interested in European politics and world affairs; which lead Jack to become more eager to learn about history and government and with current affairs.

Jack's father wrote to him often and informed him of the all the tension and conflict that everyone feared would become a full blown war. At this time Adolph Hitler ruled Germany, and on September 1, 1939 Germany invaded Poland and WW II began. Jack was a senior at Harvard when this happened and decided to write his thesis on why Great Britain was unprepared for war with Germany. It was later published as a book called Why England slept.

Soon after graduating from College, Jack and his brother Joe joined the Navy. Joe was a flyer, and Jack made Lieutenant (Lt.) and was assigned to the South Pacific as commander of a patrol torpedo boat, the PT-109. On August 2, 1943 the PT-109 collided with a Japanese warship, the PT-109 spilt in half and two men died. The rest of the twelve men jumped off the boat and several were injured. Despite a back injury, Lt Kennedy managed to maintain courage and got the rest of his crew to safety. However his bother was not as fortunate. Joe went on to die a year later when his plane blew up.

When Jack returned home he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his leadership and courage. Now that the war was over he needed to decide what kind of work he wanted to do. He decided to run for Congress in Massachusetts' eleventh congressional district, where he won in 1946. This was the beginning of his political career. John F. Kennedy, a democrat, served three terms (six years) in the House of Representatives, and in 1952 he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

On September 12, 1953 John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier. They were married at St. Mary's church in Newport, Rhode Island. Twelve hundred people attended the wedding reception.

Shortly after the two married John F. Kennedy had to have surgery done on his back. While recovering from surgery, he wrote a book about several U.S. senators who had risked their careers to fight for the things in which they believed. The book, called Profiles in Courage, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1957.

John F. Kennedy was becoming a very popular politician. In 1956 he was almost picked to run for Vice president. Kennedy nonetheless decided that he would run for President in the next election. He began working very long hours and traveling all around the United States on weekends. On July 13, 1960 the Democratic Party nominated him as candidate for president. Before Kennedy was nominated for presidency, only one other Catholic ran for presidency. He was Alfred Emanuel Smith, who was the Democratic nominee for president in 1928; he lost overwhelmingly to Herbert Hoover.

When it was announced that he was running for president, people were not crazy about the fact that John F. Kennedy was of the Catholic faith. It may be surprising to us, that many felt that since he was a Catholic, his first allegiance might be to the Pope, rather than to the country. Evangelist leaders such as Billy Gram plunged into U.S. politics by announcing that religion Ð'- meaning John F. Kennedy's Roman Catholicism Ð'- was a legitimate issue in the campaign and would be decisive in the out come. "A man's religion cannot be separated from his person" said the North Carolina Baptist Graham. The southern Protestant groups still believed in old canards about every Catholic having to obey the Pope's commands unquestionably. He received an invitation from them to discuss this matter and with some reluctance he agreed. Kennedy was to address the crowd of 600, approximately 300 ministers and 300 spectators. The complete event was to be broadcasted live throughout Texas.

In the following speech, Kennedy expands on his views regarding his Catholicism affecting his changes to win presidency. He emphasizes his strong beliefs in the separation of church and state and his own personal independence in the decision making process. The general theme of the speech in that religious intolerance has no place in a modern society, and no place in making a determination about who is qualified to lead the nation.

On September 12, 1960 at the Rice Hotel in Houston Texas, John F. Kennedy delivered his Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial



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