Fact Check: Former President Kennedy Did NOT Give Speech About Slavery Plot 7 Days Before His Assassination

Fact Check

  • by: Courtney Kealy
Fact Check: Former President Kennedy Did NOT Give Speech About Slavery Plot 7 Days Before His Assassination Fact Check: Former President Kennedy Did NOT Give Speech About Slavery Plot 7 Days Before His Assassination No Such Speech

Did former President John F. Kennedy give a speech seven days before he was assassinated about a plot to enslave every man, woman and child? No, that's not true: According to the communications manager at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, it is a common question that the organization "has found no truth to." No other source has supported that Kennedy ever said this.

The claim reappeared in an Instagram post on April 2, 2022. It opens:

Please wake up America...before they destroy our children's futures. someone must issue the arrest warrants. We the People will help you serve them.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-04-05 at 2.59.08 PM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tues Apr 5 19:59:08 2022 UTC)
Matt Porter, communications manager for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, wrote in an email to Lead Stories on April 4, 2022, "The JFK Library has received this question before and has found no truth to it." Often the claim is that Kennedy made the remarks at Columbia University. There are no records that support a speech at or even a visit to Columbia University in November 1963 or in any previous month that year.
This quote cannot be found on the library and museum website. There are no quotations attributed to Kennedy on the subject of slavery on the site either.

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  Courtney Kealy

Courtney Kealy is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, she specializes in national and foreign affairs with more than two decades experience in the Middle East. Her work has appeared on FOX News, AlJazeera America, ABC News, the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time and Newsweek.

Read more about or contact Courtney Kealy

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