The Presidency: Happy to Be There

President Kennedy looked across the flat land toward the Missouri River, its waters imprisoned behind the world's largest rolled earth dam (Oahe: 242 ft. high, 9,300 ft. long). Behind the river rose the brown buttes of South Dakota's cattle country. The President opened his speech to some 9,000 persons with a deeply heartfelt cliche: "I want to express my great pleasure and tell you what a privilege it is to leave Washington these days and come out here." Kennedy had every reason to enjoy being away from Washington: the Democratic Congress was still giving him fits, and the U.S....

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