Top 10 History’s Most Famous Speeches

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6. “Inauguration address” of John F. Kennedy

“Inauguration address” of John F

If there ever was an American president in the modern era, who had a real way with words, it was beyond doubt the famous John F. Kennedy or JFK. This 35th President of the states was not only young and ebullient but was also a great speaker. ON January 26, 1961; when the youngest ever President of the United States took oath, it marked the hope of a new era for the country and its people. JFK’s inaugural address only strengthened that belief. His words, “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country” became a gospel for America’s youth and still is quoted and requited again and again.

 

7. “The Hydaspes speech” of Alexander the Great

“The Hydaspes speech” of Alexander the Great

Who has not heard of this truly great king and warrior? Anyone who has glanced into the amount of area his empire covered in his heyday will not question the “great” part in his name. It was 326 years before the birth of Christ, on the banks of the Hydaspes river in India that Alexander the Great gave a speech to boost the fledgling morale of his soldiers. They had already spent a decade fighting and starting a fresh conquest onto India seemed too much to take. But Alexander’s words: “I will make those who stay the envy of those who return” abruptly shook up the most dejected if his soldiers and the battles the followed are perhaps the most famous of Alexander’s.

 

8. “Citizenship in a republic speech” by Theodore Roosevelt

“Citizenship in a republic speech” by Theodore Roosevelt

You can pick up any book or treatise on greatest speeches ever delivered and nine out of ten times, Roosevelt’s speech will find a pride of place in the list, not once but twice or thrice perhaps. His speeches have a fan following of their own. Whether it is the “strength and decency” speech or the “duties of American citizenship” speech, Roosevelt’s words will forever be etched in gold in the annals of history. But of all these famous speeches, the one that we have selected is the “citizenship in a republic” speech. Delivered in April 23, 1910 in the University of Paris, this is one of his most admired speeches. Who can ever forget the words, “the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…”? A gem of a speech on citizenship and its vitality in a democracy, it is equally applicable in the modern world as it was a century ago.

 

9. “The sermon on the mount” by Jesus Christ

“The sermon on the mount” by Jesus Christ

Undoubtedly the most well-known words which any person who has even a remote idea of Christianity must have heard: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”. The year was 33 AD. The date is unknown. But what we do know is that never again will such a speech be delivered that will basically change how we think and impact the lives of billions to come. Call him God or His son or just a great teacher, but there is no denying the depth and wisdom in his sermons. And of all of them, “the sermon on the mount” is most probably the most famous and the most quoted.

 

10. “Abolition speech” by William Wilberforce

“Abolition speech” by William Wilberforce

It was in the summer of 1789, May 12 to be precise, that William Wilberforce gave this historic speech in the House of Commons. But who exactly was this Wilberforce? Well, unless you have taken a keen interest in British history or politics, it is very much possible that you may have never heard of this man. Well, Wilberforce was a member of the British parliament in an age when colonialism and slavery was at a peak. In the autumn of his youth, Wilberforce had converted into Christianity and set on a quest of abolishing the slave trade which he believed would ultimately lead to the abolition of slavery itself. With that end in sight, he gave this famous “Abolition speech” in the House of Commons: “….. I shall be able to justify upon the clearest principles, every resolution in my hand, the avowed end of which is, the total abolition of the slave trade.” His continuous persistence finally led to the passing of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

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