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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Analyzing Word Choice in a Presidential Statement

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day in 1963. Later in the same day Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States. President Johnson took the oath of office on Air Force One. When the plane landed at Andrews Air Force Base he gave a short statement. His speech card is today's featured document in the National Archives' daily document series.

One of the interesting things on President Johnson's speech card is the freehand editing that was done to it. I would have students look at the speech card and analyze why President Johnson edited out things like "every American" and replaced it with "all people." When looked at in light of the Cold War that choice and some of his other editing choices are significant.

An audio recording of President Johnson's statement can be heard here on the LBJ Library website.

See Larry Ferlazzo's blog for a long list of more resources about the assassination of JFK.