March 7, 1962
JFK SAYS “I’M GOING TO HAVE A DINNER & WE WILL SEE WHO EATS WHAT!”
At his 26th news conference as President of the United States today, JFK was asked the following question:
“Mr. President: You have said….that heads of government should not go to the summit to negotiate agreements but only to approve agreements negotiated at a lower level. Now it is being…written that you are going to eat those words & go to a summit without any agreement at a lower level. Has your position changed, sir?”
The President responded:
“Well, I’m going to have a dinner for all the people who have written it, & we will see who eats what.”
JFK’s answer was followed with laughter from the reporters attending the conference held in the State Department Auditorium.
March 7, 1961
JFK ANNOUNCES CIVIL RIGHTS COMMITTEE
Just over a month after being inaugurated as President of the United States, JFK announced today his 1st major civil rights action.
He is creating a new committee to fight racial discrimination in hiring practices of both the federal government & its contractors.
JFK has named Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as head of this committee & has also designated the Labor Department to be its main legislative arm.
March 7, 1936
GERMAN TROOPS REOCCUPY THE RHINELAND
Adolf Hitler sent German troops into the demilitarized zone created by the Versailles Treaty today.
The area, known as the Rhineland, was declared off-limits to military forces by the treaty. Just last year, Hitler cancelled the military clauses of the treaty.
March 7, 1923
ROBERT FROST PUBLISHES POEM
The New Republic published a poem today written by Robert Frost. The title of the poem is: “Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening”.
“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of the easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. “
Born in California, Mr. Frost moved to New England when he was 11 years old. Although he attended both Dartmouth & Harvard, Frost did not complete requirements for a degree.
In 1912, Frost moved to England to work on his poetry. After World War I broke out, he bought a farm in New Hampshire.*
*JFK, a lover of poetry & admirer of Robert Frost, invited him to his inauguration. Mr. Frost penned a new poem for the occasion but when he tried to read it, the bright sunlight made it difficult so he recited from memory another poem.
The original poem, in Frost’s own handwriting, showed up in the mail at the JFK Library in 2006. With the poem was a note from Jackie Kennedy which said “this is the 1st thing I had framed to put in (the oval) office.”
JFK Library, Boston
When President Kennedy spoke at Amherst College in honor of Frost, he said:
“Our national strength matters, but the spirit which informs & controls our strength matters just as much. This was the specific significance of Robert Frost.”
March 7, 1876
BELL GETS PATENT ON HIS TELEPHONE
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell has been granted a patent on his…”method of & apparatus for, transmitting….sounds telegraphically by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air….”
Bell, 29 years old, was born in Scotland & is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He moved to London & then to Boston where he worked as a teacher for the deaf.
With the help of assistant Thomas A. Watson, Bell developed a prototype, the 1st telephone.
Just 3 days later, Mr. Bell spoke the 1st words into the telephone which were heard in another room by his assistant: “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you.”*
*The telephone has special significance in the Kennedy White House. JFK was the 1st President to use the “Call-Director” telephone which enabled him to be connected to extension lines with the push of a button. Also, JFK had a “Hot Line” installed between the White House & the Kremlin.
Kennedy “Hot Line” Telephone
March 7, 1850
DANIEL WEBSTER DELIVERS “7th of MARCH” SPEECH
Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts delivered a most controversial speech today in the U.S. Senate.
The Senator speaking “not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northerner, but as an American…” said:
“let us enjoy the fresh air of Liberty & Union. (It is our duty) to preserve this Constitution & the harmony & peace of all who are destined to live under it.”
The speech is receiving much criticism in the North because Webster is supporting the proposed Compromise of 1850 which includes a Fugitive Slave Act. This part of the compromise will make it a crime to assist runaway slaves.*
*Daniel Webster was forced to resign his senate seat. He became Secretary of State, a position he had previously held.
March 7, 322 BC
GREEK PHILOSOPHER, ARISTOTLE, DIES
Aristotle, Greek philosopher who created the scientific method & contributed to logic, physics, ethics & politics, died today in Greece.*
*JFK often talked about the definition of happiness according to the Ancient Greeks. In speaking to a group of foreign students in 1963, the President said:
“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”
The actual quotation from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is:
“The Good of man is the active exercise of his soul’s faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue….”