KENNEDY, JOHN F., President. Typescript speech with several words and many underlines by Kennedy, DELIVERED AS PRESIDENT, n.p., [after November 1962]. 16 pages, 4to, in large type (for delivery as a speech), with seven words and numerous underlines by Kennedy, three-ring punches at left margins, irregularly paginated (1), 5-16, text without break.
"PROMOTING CONSTITUTIONAL OBJECTIVES" BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN HOUSING
Kennedy's reading copy of a strongly worded address before "members of the homebuilding industry," after Kennedy's November 1962 Executive Order of Equal Opportunity in Housing. The typescript preserves very interesting notes made by JFK to help in the delivery of the address, emphasizing certain words, or reminding him to use a certain tone of voice. In the address, the President reaffirms the American goal of "...a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family. This Administration takes this pledge seriously. The role of the Federal Government in support of homebuilding and community development had been allowed to lapse dangerously...Congress responded with the Housing Act of 1961. The results achieved in less than two years have been remarkable..." But, he cautions, in spite of those successes, "the problem of housing for members of minority groups is a challenge of a special kind! It tests...our sense of fairness and our devotion to our ideals...It was in this spirit that, on November 20, I issued the Executive Order on Equal Opportunity in Housing." The Act authorized Federal funds for housing "available to all Americans without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin." It was done with full awareness that "it would call for very significant changes in some of our ways of doing business...But we have come to the point in our history when these changes and adjustments must be made. And we will find that the greater freedom of choice...to our people will not only promote constitutional objectives, but in the long run will be good for the housing economy..." He urges compliance and cooperation in reaching the goal of decent housing for all Americans, and vows "this Nation has the resources, the productive capacity and, yes, the will to achieve that goal..."
Issued just after the 1962 elections, the Executive Order was limited to housing controlled or insured by the Federal government but "still marked a new step toward equal opportunity" (A. Schlesinger, Jr. A Thousand Days, p. 866).