‘Every Man Has Two Countries – His Own And France’ – JFK In Paris 1961 – Past Daily Weekend Reference Room
As the news continues to unfold about the recent horrific situation in Paris, I was reminded of the strong bond that has always existed between France and the U.S.
Typifying that bond was this visit in May of 1961 with President Kennedy and the First Lady, paying a visit to Paris and President De Gaulle, en route to the summit meeting between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Although a complex relationship, with its fair share of ups and downs, President Kennedy encapsulated that relationship with a quote, paraphrased and attributed to Benjamin Franklin in the late 18th century “Every man has two countries – his own and France”. A phrase that sums up the feeling shared by many on this day.
Here is that luncheon and address by President Kennedy from May 31, 1961.