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President Kennedy’s thoughts to early USAID mission directors preserved on audio.

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As one of the first group of mission directors set out for their work oversees in 1962, President Kennedy addressed them from the Rose Garden.

President Kennedy addresses a group of Mission Directors and Deputy Mission Directors of Agency for International Development (AID) missions in the Rose Garden, White House, Washington, DC. 8 June 1962. Photograph by Robert Knudsen in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

President Kennedy addresses a group of Mission Directors and Deputy Mission Directors of Agency for International Development (AID) missions in the Rose Garden, White House, Washington, DC. 8 June 1962. Photograph by Robert Knudsen in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

He stated:

“The presence of the United States as a leading power in the free world is involved in your work directly.  It permits us to exert influence for the maintenance of freedom.  If we were not so heavily involved, our voice would not speak with such vigor, and as we do not want to send American troops to a great many areas where freedom may be under attack, we send you, and you working with the people in those countries to try to work with them in developing the economic thrust of their countries so that they can make a determination that they can solve their problems without resorting to totalitarian control.”

For the full transcript of President Kennedy’s remarks, visit USAID.Gov