Washington, Jan.21 (ANI): Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have been credited with delivering the best inaugural addresses in American history, according to a Live Science report. Here is an abbreviated version:
Delivering his first inaugural address in 1981, Reagan delivered a memorable summons to the American people, asking them for some old-fashioned blood, sweat and tears to combat the economic hardships that had hit the nation:
"We are not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope."
Franklin D. Roosevelt said in 1933: "This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days."
Thomas Jefferson opened the 19th century with a stirring, eloquent speech aimed at repairing divisions caused by his controversial election, which took recounts and debates in Congress to decide:
"We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."
John F. Kennedy said 1961: "I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it - and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
Abraham Lincoln said in 1865 when the Civil War was in its final days and the country still divided: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." (ANI)