John F. Kennedy "City Upon a Hill" Address

Commemorating the address delivered by the president-elect to the General Court, January 9, 1961

By John Benson of the John Stevens Shop, Newport, RI

Monsoon slate, and 23 carat gold leaf, 21 x 40 in.

Installed January 25, 1972 under Res. 1969, ch. 2.
Unveiled by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the president.

Ten days before his inauguration, John F. Kennedy delivered his "City Upon a Hill" address during which he quoted from John Winthrop's treatise, A Model for Christian Charity, invoking the attributes that Winthrop and his shipmates would need as they built a new government on a perilous frontier. Kennedy called on courage, judgment, integrity and dedication, qualities of the Bay Colony and the Bay State which he hoped would also characterize his administration.

The John Stevens Shop, founded in 1705, had received the commission for the lettering on the Kennedy Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and was the natural choice for the Massachusetts project. As the speech was too long to replicate on the Speaker's rostrum, 111 words were carved into the same black slate used at the president's gravesite.

plaque of John F. Kennedy "City Upon a Hill" Address