Great Speeches of the 20th Century

At we understand the impact of the spoken word and the resounding effect a message can have on an individual, a group, an organization, a culture, or even a generation.  Here are examples of some of the greatest and most well-known speeches ever given.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill "...this was their finest hour."

The eloquent and hopeful words of the British leader gave his people the strength to endure the onslaught of German bombings in the dark days of World War II.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King "I have a dream…"

Speaking to a crowd demanding equal rights and an end to segregation, King shared a dream of optimism that the world would abandon discrimination and live in harmony, with words that would echo long after his 1968 death.

Pres. John F. Kennedy - Inaugural "Ask not what your country can do for you…"

Taking the oath of office and capturing the imagination of America's young people, the country's youngest president challenged a generation to envision new possibilities.

Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt -- Inaugural "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

A newly elected president begins the arduous task of bringing a country back to its feet from the depths of the Great Depression by first getting them to look up.

Pres. Ronald Reagan "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall."

Speaking to America and the world, Reagan appealed to the Russian leader to continue the reforms that had East and West speaking openly, urging him to remove the Berlin Wall that symbolized Communist Bloc repression.

William Jennings Bryan "Behold a republic."

In describing the ideal nation, this lawyer with a glorious gift for oratory conveys a sense of pride in America, while simultaneously providing standards for which to strive, and much food for thought.

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