President Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech

One of the famous quotations linked to the date June 26th is a line President John F. Kennedy spoke in German on June 26, 1963: “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Kennedy used the line twice that day in a historic speech in West Berlin, which was then separated from Communist-controlled East Berlin by the Berlin Wall. … Read more

The origins of the “The Domino Effect”…

Contrary to what many sites on the Internet say, President Dwight D. Eisenhower did not coin the famous Cold War term “the Domino Effect.”  He did use the phrase “falling domino principle” in a famous press conference on April 7, 1954. Journalists at the time dubbed this “The Domino Theory,” which later came to be … Read more

The origins of the Cold War term “hot line” and the mythical “red phones”…

Many books and websites note that the famed “hot line” communication link between the Pentagon and the Kremlin was established on August 30, 1963. Press reports about this new tool, intended to provide a possible way to avoid a nuclear war between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), soon cemented … Read more

7 famous space-related quotes launched on the date May 25th…

By an odd coincidence, some famous space-related quotations from several different sources are linked to the date May 25th. On May 25, 1977, Star Wars — a movie by the then little-known director George Lucas — was released in the United States. Yeah, yeah…I know. It’s now technically referred to as Star Wars: Episode IV … Read more

“Life is unfair,” as President John F. Kennedy famously observed on this date…

Many people are familiar with the famous quotation by President John F. Kennedy, “Life is unfair.” But few people today remember or know the context of this quote. It was something he said, in part, with respect to what would become the Vietnam War. In 1961, the newly-elected president decided to send more than a … Read more

Dan Quayle is no Jack Kennedy – and Lloyd Bentsen is no Michael Sheehan…

It’s not often that debates between candidates for Vice President of the United States generate a famous quotation – or even much attention. But there are some notable exceptions. One is the October 13, 1992 vice-presidential debate, in which Independent Ross Perot’s V.P. pick, James Stockdale, said “Who am I? Why am I here?” (It … Read more

Is Nixon’s November 7, 1962 rant a “teachable moment”?

Long before dogged news coverage of the Watergate scandal helped force Richard M. Nixon to resign as President in 1974, he disliked the press. In fact, throughout his long political career, Nixon felt the media generally had a liberal bias and an unfairly negative attitude toward him. He disliked the way the press failed to … Read more