Archive for Speeches

Maya Angelou and Libraries

Remembering Maya Angelou from the American Library Association has selected quotes from her involving libraries. In her long distinguished career, she was the target of many censorship challenges. Read about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and how its banning was the spark that founded Banned Books Week.

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More Commencement Speeches Online

C-SPAN has almost 700 speeches online, dating back to JFK. They can be searched by person, location, or date.

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300+ Best Commencement Speeches Online

NPR, building on the work of Graduation Wisdom, has produced a searchable database of commencement speeches stretching back to 1774. YouTube videos (obviously NOT of the 1774 speech) are indicated where available. The 1774 speech? Is by Barnabas Binney at what was then the Rhode Island College; in later years it became Brown University.

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Mayor Fulop’s 2014 State of the City Address

Last night, Mayor Fulop gave his first “state of the city” address; the text and photos of this event are online, courtesy of The Jersey Journal.

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Transcript of Governor Christie’s 2015 Budget Message

For those who like to read the words as well as hear them, a transcript of his speech as prepared for delivery is available from his office. Reactions to his speech can also be read online.

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Governor Christie’s 2014 Budget Address – Key Statements

The Governor’s office released key excerpts from his upcoming speech today; most deal with additional pension reforms. BTW, the speech will be streamed by starting at 2pm.

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2014 State of the State Addresses

Please go to C-SPAN for videos of these speeches; texts of all the speeches are  available courtesy of NASBO.

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President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address

The video and transcript of his speech are online. For a brief history of this now-annual event, please read this previous blog entry. Politicians from both sides have offered their opinions/reactions on the speech. NPR, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution have special features on the SOTU. Of course, The New York Times and The Washington Post provide reportage. To review the veracity of President Obama’s statements, please read Facts of the Nation from

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Governnor Christie’s 2014 State of the State Address

His address will begin at 3pm today; C-SPAN will cover it. Brief excerpts in which he advocates for a longer school year for K-12 can be found in The Star-Ledger. NJ Spotlight carries an informative pre-speech review of his current situation; Politicker NJ features Winners and Losers: Week of Scandal while The New York Times contributes a timeline and multimedia sources. Update: transcript of the speech is available.

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“This I Believe” Program

Launched in 1951 and continuing until 1954, the radio program This I Believe, hosted by Edward R Murrow allowed people famous and obscure to declare in five-minute speeches what they held near and dear to them. As Murrow himself put it: “In this brief time each night, a banker or a butcher, a painter or a social worker, people of all kinds who need have nothing more in common than integrity—a real honesty—will talk out loud about the rules they live by, the things they have found to be the basic values in their lives.”(Introduction) Eight hundred of these nightly programs were broadcast and they are all available at the Tufts Digital Library along with transcripts of each speech. More information can be obtained at the Edward R Murrow Collection. Murrow was the chief European correspondent for CBS during World War II, and his and his “boysriveting reports were main sources of information for the people back home. His 1960 documentary Harvest of Shame(YouTube) on the plight of migrant farm workers is considered among the greatest ever produced.

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Here is What Governor Christie Said About Higher Education in His 2014 Budget Speech

To quote:

Now, in higher education, I am once again proposing to increase student assistance through the Tag Grant Program. The budget calls for an increase of $17 million in Tag funding. And I am restoring aid to independent colleges with a $1 million increase in their funding.

The voters also agreed with me that we needed to invest capital in our state colleges and universities. For the first time in a quarter century, they voted overwhelmingly to invest in our children’s future. We will put to work this spring over $1.6 billion in state and private funds to build classrooms, laboratories and other facilities to grow and modernize our higher education system.

The correlation between the ability to get a job, a higher income, and educational attainment is clear. So let’s make the path to college available to every New Jerseyan who’s willing to do the work to get there.

The full text of his speech is here

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Text and Video of President Obama’s Speech at Sandy Hook Prayer Vigil in Newtown, CT

The full text of the speech and a video are available.

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Governor Christie’s Keynote Address at the 2012 Republican National Convention

For those who did not stay up, here is a video of his speech from C-SPAN which is also providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of this convention. A transcript of the speech is also online; a YouTube round-up of commentaries is available as well.

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President Obama’s Afghanistan Speeches of May 1

It was certainly a busy day for President Obama yesterday. He spoke on three different occasions from venues in Afghanistan: the first was at the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement with President Karzai; the second was with troops at the Bagram Air Base; and the third was a national address that dealt with ending the American presence in Afghanistan by 2014.

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Use of Drones Against Terrorists

Remarkable for its public discussion of the United States and its drone policy, John Brennan’s speech (courtesy of C-SPAN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars laid out in a detailed fashion the Obama administration’s use and justification for drones. And as drones are employed abroad and are about to be employed in U.S. airspace soon, it is important to review this situation. The text of the speech is here. Additional news/commentary is at: Washington Post, Politico, NPR, and  The New York Times. Background information on drones is at: Council on Foreign Relations, Times Topics, Scientific American, Brookings Institution, and RAND. An absolute must read is this January 2012 report – U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems from CRS.

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President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Speech

His speech, a transcript of said speech, the Republican counter-speech, and various interviews are all aggregated at this C-SPAN site. Highlights of the speech are available courtesy of CBS News, along with analysis. Additional reportage is at: USA Today (includes a “fact check” of the speech); the Washington Post (with its own well-established “The Fact Checker“); The New York Times (along with “Choice Words” – a tally of selected words used by President Obama in his SOTU speeches and by the Republican presidential candidates in their debates, interviews, and speeches);  and The New Yorker. A very informative essay, accompanied by a linked listing of all previous SOTU messages and speeches, can be found at the American Presidency Project. Here is an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor on how the foreign press viewed this speech.

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American Historical Association – Presidential Speeches

At the annual meetings of the AHA, the outgoing president delivers a speech usually from one of the following categories: an historiographical perspective, a state-of-the-profession reflection, or a summation of his/her field of specialized research. Since 1884, some of the great names in history have been elected as president and have delivered speeches. The Archive of AHA Presidental Addresses includes all of these speeches. Read addresses from such luminaries as Frederick Jackson Turner, Robert Darnton, Carl Becker, Joseph Strayer, Charles Homer Haskins, and other prominent names in history.

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President Obama’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Speech

Both a transcript and a video of the speech are here. Analysis can be found at: NPR, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, PBS, and the Los Angeles Times.

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President Obama Announces the Death of Osama bin Laden

A video and full transcript of the speech are available here.

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Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address

We have written about the state of the union address in previous entries. But this year, the address can be viewed along with accompanying graphs and charts which illustrate the speech as it is being given. It is being called the Enhanced State of the Union and is only available through the White House portal.

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