“Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States on January 20, 1961. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963. He brought a youthful vigor to the Presidency and a call to all citizens to get involved.
He graduated from Harvard University. He served in WWII as a Navy commander of motor torpedo boat PT 109. After his boat was cut in two by a Japanese destroyer, he swam all night to a safe shore while carrying one of his injured crew. He was a real war hero. In 1956, he published his book Profiles in Courage which profiled eight U. S. senators and their great courage under enormous political pressure. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for this book.
He represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 and in the U.S Senate from 1953 to 1960. In 1960, he was the youngest man elected president at age 43. He was the first president to be born in the 20th century.
He campaigned as the leader of a new frontier, an identified set of challenges to be met. In a land founded on freedom of religion, he overcame a religious prejudice against Roman Catholics. He was proud of his Irish heritage in a country where businesses displayed signs declaring the “Irish need not apply.”
In his inaugural address, he challenged all Americans to act, saying: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” To counter the Soviet Union’s advanced space program, he promised to put an American on the moon by the end of the 1960s— a promise that was fulfilled when an American walked on the moon in 1969. He won the confrontation of the Cuban missile crisis with a naval quarantine of Cuba, causing the Soviet Union to back down and remove intermediate-range ballistic missile sites from Cuba.
The Broward County Bar Association has a new vigor. Last year BCBA reorganized with new staff, new goals and a new direction. The BCBA is now reaching out and getting involved in the community. The officers and staff have attended functions at various voluntary bar associations, including the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Legal Aid Services of Broward County, Coast to Coast Legal Aid of Broward County, the Caribbean Bar Association, T. J. Reddick Association, the Broward County Justice Association and Broward County Woman Lawyers Association . BCBA assists other voluntary bar associations with planning, promoting and managing joint events. BCBA will be sponsoring a team in the Broward Corporate Run on Thursday, April 2. BCBA has expanded its Legislative Affairs Reception and its Fourth District Court of Appeal Reception. Our section chairpersons have presented new and topical seminars. BCBA is taking on new challenges in the legal community while preserving the events that have worked well for us in the past, like the family law section’s Raising the Bar seminar.
Much of this vision has come from our Braulio Rosa, BCBA’s executive director. BCBA’s officers and directors stand firmly behind his plan of action. The BCBA is an umbrella organization under which other legal associations should feel comfortable and supported. Both BCBA and the other voluntary bar associations benefit greatly from this cooperation. We all work towards a common goal to better the legal community in Broward County. BCBA is making a big difference. As a member, ask what can you do for your Broward County Bar Association.
John G. Jordan
BCBA President 2014-2015