Speeches by John F. Kennedy

From the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy at Alderson, West Virginia, May 4, 1960

This is a transcription of this speech made for the convenience of readers and researchers. A copy of the speech exists in the Senate Speech file of the John F. Kennedy Pre-Presidential Papers at the John F. Kennedy Library.

The most urgent and critical need of the people of Greenbriar County - and of all the people of West Virginia - is the need to attract new industry - new jobs and new incomes - to your state.

And there is no place in West Virginia more ideally suited to industrial development than Greenbriar County. You have some of the best and most beautiful business sites in the world. You have a strong, determined and skilled people - people who want to work, are willing to work, and should be given the chance to work. You are situated within easy reach of America's most important markets. And you have the resources - the human resources and the material resources which new industry demands. All you need in order to start a vital, booming industrial development in Greenbriar County, is a little help and a little understanding from Washington.

We Democrats have given you this help and understanding. We have proposed legislation in Congress to help stimulate new jobs and new industry in Greenbriar County, and the many other hard-hit areas of this country - legislation which will restore prosperity and hope to your state - a bill which provides long-term loans, technical assistance, help in building roads and water supplies, and all the essential prerequisites of economic growth.

A Democratic Congress passed this bill in 1958 - but it was vetoed - vetoed without regard to the suffering and tragedy that fills the more than 100 distressed communities of heavy unemployment - vetoed by a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. But in 1961 - with a Democratic President in the White House, this legislation will become a reality - and in 1961 Greenbriar County will begin the march back to prosperity and abundance for all its people.

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