JUNE 6, 2012
THE BIG ONE IV
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report of Chapter 8 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy. It is published by Little, Brown & Company.
The title of Chapter 8 is THE BIG ONE.
Kenneth O’Donnell discusses JFK’s appearance before the Houston Ministers Association which was attended by 300 spectators & also televised.
Kenny calls JFK’s opening statement “by far the best speech of the campaign & probably the best speech he ever delivered in his lifetime.”
“I believe in an America where the separation of the church & state is absolute…..where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”
After his statement, JFK took individual questions from the ministers themselves which Kenny classifies as “hesitant & routine, & not particularly memorable.”
Kenny writes that JFK’s performance pleased Speaker Sam Rayburn who became “a staunch & enthusiastic admirer of Kennedy for the rest of his days.”