Segments in this Video

Pre-Inaugural Ceremony Activities outside the Capitol Rotunda (05:55)


President Kennedy and other dignitaries enter the inaugural platform outside the capitol rotunda. Archival film footage shows the assemblage, giving attention to JFK, Mrs. Kennedy, and President Eisenhower.

Opening of the Inaugural Ceremonies (06:25)

After a delay in starting the inaugural ceremony of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Sparkman opens with a welcoming speech. The Marine Band plays "America the Beautiful."

Inaugural Invocation for John F. Kennedy (08:09)

Richard Cardinal Cushing pronounces the invocation for John F. Kennedy's Inauguration. A short circuit in the wiring system of the lectern occurred while Cushing was talking, and smoke began curling upward from the stand.

Marian Anderson Sings the National Anthem (05:15)

In the aftermath of the invocation, a fireman looks at the smoldering lectern in an attempt to keep communication cables from being cut off. The Marine Band accompanies soloist Marian Anderson with the National Anthem.

Prayer at John F. Kennedy's Inauguration (04:40)

A second prayer is delivered for John F. Kennedy by Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Oath of Office for Vice-President Lyndon Johnson (05:59)

House Speaker Sam Rayburn swears in Lyndon Baines Johnson as Vice-President of the United States on January 20, 1961. A prayer follows by Rev. John Barclay.

Robert F. Frost at John F. Kennedy Inauguration (04:48)

U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Frost attempts to read an original poem dedicated to President Kennedy's inauguration. The glare of the sun off the snow blinded the poet, so Frost recited a poem he had memorized, "The Gift Outright."

John F. Kennedy Oath of Office (01:28)

Chief Justice Warren Berger swears in John F. Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States.

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address: Heirs to the Revolution (03:12)

In the first part of his address, John F. Kennedy notes that Americans are the "heirs of that first revolution," and that they are "unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed."

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address: U.S. Support of New Republics (03:07)

John F. Kennedy swears to support loyal allies of the U.S., to support new democracies, and to help the poor and suffering in the world "to break the bonds of mass misery." He promises to support new Central and South American republics.

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address: Negotiations (02:50)

John F. Kennedy promises to support the United Nations. He asserts that both sides of the Cold War are burdened by the cost of modern weapons. His famous quote appears: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never feat to negotiate."

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address: Americans for Justice and Peace (03:17)

John F. Kennedy urges the use of science for the betterment of mankind. He seeks a new balance of power in which "the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved." He asks Americans to struggle against tyranny, poverty, disease, and war.

John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address: Conclusion (02:40)

In this final part of John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, he says, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

John F. Kennedy Inauguration: Rabbi Delivers Prayer (05:15)

Rabbi Nelson Glueck delivers a prayer and a benediction for the President and America.

Conclusion of John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Ceremony (04:30)

The Marine Band plays "The Star-Spangled Banner." President Kennedy departs from the inaugural platform as the band plays "Hail to the Chief." A procession of dignitaries leaves the platform. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley make closing remarks.

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The Kennedy Inauguration: January 20, 1961

Part of the Series : NBC News Time Capsule
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



This classic NBC News program anchored by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley will take viewers back to the inauguration of John F. Kennedy to witness the birth of Camelot and the New Frontier-and to hear one of the most stirring inaugural speeches in U.S. history, as JFK challenges Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Length: 69 minutes

Item#: BVL39059

ISBN: 978-1-4213-9117-5

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.