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JFK, a friend to Canada

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Published on Jun 10, 2010

(Technical note: Blips in audio) "Nothing is more vital than the unity of the United States and Canada," says President John F. Kennedy in his address to Parliament. The U.S. president encourages Canada to join a coalition meant to increase military ownership in the Cold War era. Though President Kennedy's speech is a serious one, he still manages to charm Canadians during his two-day visit. Newspapers write about his "Florida-tanned figure" and "smiling first lady."

Kennedy's Parliamentary address is met with frequent bursts of applause, cheers and standing ovations. It's because his speech is studded with eloquent turns of phrase. He unveils his famous aphorism: "Geography has made us neighbours; history has made us friends." JFK also attempts a few sentences in French, but says he regrets doing so when his wife's French is far superior. Jackie Kennedy, watching from the gallery, smiles and looks smart in her pillbox hat.

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