Reflections on Greatness

Letter from President JFK to Mrs. Medgar Evers
Letter from President JFK to Mrs. Medgar Evers

Charity can be shown in many different ways. Sometimes it means raising money for a cause or coming out to support a cause. Other times it means expressing words of condolence and companionship in times of need. Throughout history, acts of charity have inspired.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, it is interesting to look back at acts of charity on his part. On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy reached out to the country in a nationally televised speech from the Oval Office to call for the end of race-based discrimination. He wanted Congress to enact sweeping legislation that would guarantee equal rights and equal opportunities for all in America.

Ironically, within a few hours of his speech, a KKK member in Mississippi ambushed and killed Medgar Evers in front of his wife and children. In response, JFK penned a letter to his wife which is part of the collection on display with the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. As JFK wrote,

I extend to you and your children my sincerest condolences on the tragic death of your husband condolences on the tragic death of your husband. Although comforting thoughts are difficult at a time like this, surely there can be some solace in the realization of the justice of the cause for which your husband gave his life. Achievement of the goals he did so much to promote will enable his children and the generations to follow to share fully and equally in the benefits and advantages our Nation has to offer.

Certainly, when we arrive at anniversaries, it is helpful to reflect on the people who have past and the lessons we have learned from their noble and valiant efforts for our nation.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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