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November  18, 1961


Los Angeles, California (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy spoke out this evening against right-wing extremists such as those represented by the John Birch Society & the Minutemen.

JFK, speaking at the Hollywood Palladium, said:

“Now we are face to face once again with a period of heightened peril.  The risks are great & under the strains…the discordant voices of extremism are heard.”

The President continued…

“There have always been those fringes of our society who have sought to escape their own responsibility by finding a simple solution, an appealing slogan, or a convenient scapegoat.

They call for a ‘man on horseback’ because they do not trust the people.  They equate the Democratic Party with the welfare state, the welfare state with socialism & socialism with communism.”*

While JFK was speaking, a crowd of 3000 pickets were outside the Palladium holding up signs which read: ‘Unmuzzle the Military” & “Disarmament is Suicide.”

The President concluded his remarks with these words…

“Let our patriotism be reflected on the creation of confidence rather than the crusades of suspicion (&) remember that, however serious the outlook, the one great irreversible trend in world history is on the side of liberty.”

*Edward M. Dealey, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, had previously attacked JFK at a White House luncheon for ‘riding Caroline’s tricycle’ instead of being ‘a man on horseback.’

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