50 years ago today, John F. Kennedy gave his historic inaugural speech in Washington, D.C., imparting many oft quoted phrases, among them the famous declaration "Let every nation know ... that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Today, which also marks the two year anniversary of the Obama inauguration, those words still resonate.
Half a century later, these photos show the optimism the Kennedy's had before embarking on the short-lived presidency.
View more photos at LIFE.com.
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