Skip to content
Fact
ba
.
se

John F. Kennedy: Prepared Remarks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner - May 24, 1963

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
8.3
Gunning Fog:
10.6
Coleman Liau:
10.4
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
7.9

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.9
Sprache:
5.0

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
279.0
Sprache:
272.0

Statistics

Characters:
4,830
Sentences:
65
Words:
1,087
Syllables:
16.72
Words Per Sentence:
1,596
Syllables Per Word:
1.47
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0
Note
-
[The following are remarks are prepared for delivery by John F. Kennedy for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on May 24, 1963 at the now-defunct Sheraton-Park Hotel in Washington. You can see the original document here: https://f2.link/jfk-19630524]

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
6.9
Gunning Fog:
8.9
Coleman Liau:
10.8
SMOG:
11.8
ARI:
5.4

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
6.3
Sprache:
3.5

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
16.0
Sprache:
18.0

Statistics

Characters:
199
Sentences:
4
Words:
44
Syllables:
11
Words Per Sentence:
71
Syllables Per Word:
1.55
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.03
Harvard IV:
0.08
VADER:
0.05
AFINN:
7.00
John F. Kennedy
-
I do not know if it is appropriate that I, as President of the United States, should be called upon to honor Mark Twain. For he himself was once thought of as a candidate for the Presidency. And when informed that a group of supporters wanted to form a Mark Twain club, he replied that such a compliment would be fine after he was dead only, but "as long as we are alive we are not safe from doing things which, however... intended, can wreck our reputations."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
7.1
Gunning Fog:
10.3
Coleman Liau:
8.5
SMOG:
10.9
ARI:
6.9

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.1
Sprache:
4.8

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
18.0
Sprache:
24.0

Statistics

Characters:
368
Sentences:
5
Words:
89
Syllables:
17.80
Words Per Sentence:
126
Syllables Per Word:
1.34
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.04
Harvard IV:
0.05
VADER:
0.87
AFINN:
7.00

Entities

the United States [Country, City, State]
Mark Twain [Organization]
Mark Twain [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
Now was this an isolated instance of his attitude toward politics. When assuming the editorship of the Buffalo Express he proudly proclaimed that "I shall not with politics, because we have a political editor who is already excellent, and only needs to serve a term in the penitentiary in order to be perfect."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
11.7
Gunning Fog:
16.1
Coleman Liau:
12.0
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
10.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
5.8
Sprache:
4.3

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
17.0
Sprache:
17.0

Statistics

Characters:
260
Sentences:
3
Words:
55
Syllables:
18.33
Words Per Sentence:
93
Syllables Per Word:
1.71
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

VADER:
0.29
AFINN:
4.00

Entities

the Buffalo Express [Organization]
John F. Kennedy
-
But I would ["I would" crossed out, handwritten "you gentlemen of the press should"] not take much comfort from this because, as the first advocate of managed news, he pointed out: "The old saw says, 'let a sleeping dog lie.' Right. Still, when there is much at stake it is better to get a newspaper to do it."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
5.0
Gunning Fog:
8.9
Coleman Liau:
7.9
SMOG:
9.0
ARI:
5.6

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.5
Sprache:
4.1

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
15.0
Sprache:
18.0

Statistics

Characters:
258
Sentences:
4
Words:
64
Syllables:
16
Words Per Sentence:
80
Syllables Per Word:
1.22
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.01
Harvard IV:
0.02
VADER:
0.98
AFINN:
10.00

Topics

0:
Arts & Entertainment

Entities

27let [Cardinal Number]
first [Ordinal Number]
John F. Kennedy
-
But whatever his opinion of the press or of politicians, American leaders from Grant and Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt have [Handwritten: "themselves"] taken pride and delight in honoring Mark Twain. He was born in the American frontier, in the town of Florida," Missouri -- a town with a population of 100 for which, he said, he did more than the best men in the country had done for any city, he increased the population by one percent.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
12.0
Gunning Fog:
19.0
Coleman Liau:
11.1
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
12.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
6.9
Sprache:
5.0

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
25.0
Sprache:
24.0

Statistics

Characters:
365
Sentences:
2
Words:
80
Syllables:
40
Words Per Sentence:
127
Syllables Per Word:
1.58
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.02
Harvard IV:
0.02
VADER:
0.49

Topics

0:
News/Politics

Entities

100 [Cardinal Number]
Florida [Country, City, State]
Missouri [Country, City, State]
American [Nationality, Political or Religious Group]
one percent [Percent]
Franklin Roosevelt [Person]
Grant [Person]
Mark Twain [Person]
Theodore Roosevelt [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
And from that frontier, -- the river and its people, -- he forged an art which has placed him among the towering creators of every age and continent. He brought to birth a literature which was American in spirit and in language. And after he had written, American letters, for better or worse, were forever freed to seek a distinctively national expression.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
11.5
Gunning Fog:
14.0
Coleman Liau:
12.0
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
10.9

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.7
Sprache:
4.8

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
14.0
Sprache:
21.0

Statistics

Characters:
284
Sentences:
3
Words:
60
Syllables:
20
Words Per Sentence:
102
Syllables Per Word:
1.63
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.01
Harvard IV:
0.06
VADER:
0.94
AFINN:
10.00

Topics

0:
Arts & Entertainment

Entities

American [Nationality, Political or Religious Group]
John F. Kennedy
-
We often think of him as a humorist, for he entertained America and made it laugh. He "was just the thing the American people needed to cheer them up after the civil war," wrote James Lowell. But his was the humor of Cervantes and Moliere and Chaucer -- compounded of bitterness and compassion. And along the banks of the grand Mississippi, Huckelberry Finn became the great mythical figure of our country -- questing and uncertain, pitting instinct against circumstance.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
11.2
Gunning Fog:
12.0
Coleman Liau:
12.0
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
11.5

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
6.2
Sprache:
5.0

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
26.0
Sprache:
28.0

Statistics

Characters:
387
Sentences:
4
Words:
79
Syllables:
19.75
Words Per Sentence:
128
Syllables Per Word:
1.62
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
-0.02
Harvard IV:
0.02
VADER:
-0.71
AFINN:
-5.00

Topics

0:
Books & Literature

Entities

America [Country, City, State]
Mississippi [Country, City, State]
American [Nationality, Political or Religious Group]
Cervantes [Person]
Chaucer [Person]
Huckelberry Finn [Person]
James Lowell [Person]
Moliere [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
His America was not the America of patriotic orations. It was the America of millions of struggling people, each with his desires and weakness."What is the country" he asked, "it is the common voice of the people. Each...by himself and on his own responsibility must speak. Each must for himself decide" what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic... is to be a... traitor, both to and which isn't. [Otherwise..i yourself and to your country."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
5.1
Gunning Fog:
6.4
Coleman Liau:
10.2
SMOG:
9.0
ARI:
3.3

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
3.7
Sprache:
3.0

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
18.0
Sprache:
17.0

Statistics

Characters:
376
Sentences:
11
Words:
85
Syllables:
7.73
Words Per Sentence:
118
Syllables Per Word:
1.49
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.01
Harvard IV:
0.13
VADER:
0.83
AFINN:
4.00

Entities

millions [Cardinal Number]
America [Country, City, State]
John F. Kennedy
-
In the long course of civilizations few names endure. But I would guess that men of future centuries will consider the name and work of Samuel Longhorne Clemens as one of America's great gifts to the world. And through his work they will come to understand something of the rest of us. For he is, as William Dean Howells wrote, "the national spirit as seen with our own eyes."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
6.1
Gunning Fog:
9.1
Coleman Liau:
9.6
SMOG:
10.5
ARI:
6.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.5
Sprache:
3.9

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
17.0
Sprache:
18.0

Statistics

Characters:
307
Sentences:
5
Words:
71
Syllables:
14.20
Words Per Sentence:
103
Syllables Per Word:
1.37
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
-0.02
Harvard IV:
0.08
VADER:
0.68
AFINN:
2.00

Entities

one [Cardinal Number]
future centuries [Date]
Samuel Longhorne Clemens [Person]
William Dean Howells [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
Tonight I press a key which will light a beacon on the Mississippi in memory of that river's most famous pilot. But it will shine [Handwritten: "only"] dimly against the genius of Mark Twain who, from the river's edge, illuminated the darknesses and the grandeur of our country and of our common humanity.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
12.0
Gunning Fog:
14.6
Coleman Liau:
11.0
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
12.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
6.5
Sprache:
5.0

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
18.0
Sprache:
19.0

Statistics

Characters:
250
Sentences:
2
Words:
55
Syllables:
27.50
Words Per Sentence:
84
Syllables Per Word:
1.53
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.04
Harvard IV:
0.04
VADER:
0.80
AFINN:
4.00

Topics

0:
Arts & Entertainment

Entities

Mississippi [Country, City, State]
Mark Twain [Person]
Tonight [Time]
Header
-
[WHITE HOUSE PRESS DINNER]

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
0.7
Gunning Fog:
1.6
Coleman Liau:
12.0
SMOG:
3.3
ARI:
5.3

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
10.0
Sprache:
1.4

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
3.0
Sprache:
3.0

Statistics

Characters:
21
Sentences:
1
Words:
4
Syllables:
4
Words Per Sentence:
7
Syllables Per Word:
1.25
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
-0.02
Harvard IV:
0.07
VADER:
0.83
AFINN:
5.00
Header
-
[Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse, Hannibal, Missouri]

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
12.0
Gunning Fog:
2.4
Coleman Liau:
12.0
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
12.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
10.0
Sprache:
1.9

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
6.0
Sprache:
6.0

Statistics

Characters:
43
Sentences:
1
Words:
6
Syllables:
6
Words Per Sentence:
15
Syllables Per Word:
2.33
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
-0.02
Harvard IV:
0.05
VADER:
0.80
AFINN:
1.00
John F. Kennedy
-
1. At first I could not figure out why the White House Correspondents' would be interested in Mark Twain. Then I came across one of his sayings, which I am told is a Washington newspaper motto: "All you need to achieve success in this life is ignorance and confidence."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
5.6
Gunning Fog:
8.2
Coleman Liau:
9.6
SMOG:
10.3
ARI:
5.3

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.3
Sprache:
3.3

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
12.0
Sprache:
14.0

Statistics

Characters:
220
Sentences:
4
Words:
51
Syllables:
12.75
Words Per Sentence:
74
Syllables Per Word:
1.37
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Harvard IV:
0.27
VADER:
0.84
AFINN:
7.00

Entities

1 [Cardinal Number]
Washington [Country, City, State]
the White House [Infrastructure]
first [Ordinal Number]
Mark Twain [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
2. It is interesting to note that the original lighthouse was activated in a similar ceremony by Franklin Roosevelt in his 3rd year in the White House and the following year he won a landslide. I don't claim this is a binding precedent, however... because I haven't written off Maine and Vermont.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
7.9
Gunning Fog:
11.4
Coleman Liau:
10.7
SMOG:
11.8
ARI:
6.3

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.9
Sprache:
3.9

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
14.0
Sprache:
20.0

Statistics

Characters:
234
Sentences:
4
Words:
52
Syllables:
13
Words Per Sentence:
84
Syllables Per Word:
1.56
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
-0.04
Harvard IV:
-0.04
VADER:
0.05
AFINN:
-1.00

Entities

2 [Cardinal Number]
Maine [Country, City, State]
Vermont [Country, City, State]
the following year [Date]
the White House [Infrastructure]
3rd [Ordinal Number]
Franklin Roosevelt [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
3. Actually, it is very fitting that this dinner is the occasion for initiating the operations of the new Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse. For Mark Twain was familiar with light-houses -- but he wrote many years ago: "There are only two forces that can carry light to all corners of the globe the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press. And to" that, in view of Merriman Smith's new position, we must add the United Press International.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
10.3
Gunning Fog:
10.9
Coleman Liau:
10.7
SMOG:
12.0
ARI:
9.7

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
5.4
Sprache:
4.9

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
22.0
Sprache:
23.0

Statistics

Characters:
356
Sentences:
4
Words:
79
Syllables:
19.75
Words Per Sentence:
117
Syllables Per Word:
1.54
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
-0.03
Harvard IV:
-0.03
VADER:
-0.21
AFINN:
-2.00

Entities

3 [Cardinal Number]
only two [Cardinal Number]
many years ago [Date]
Merriman [Organization]
the Associated Press [Organization]
the United Press International [Organization]
Mark Twain [Person]
Header
-
[General.]

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
2.5
Gunning Fog:
0.4
Coleman Liau:
4.5
SMOG:
7.3
ARI:
0.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
7.9
Sprache:
0.9

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
1.0
Sprache:
1.0

Statistics

Characters:
7
Sentences:
2
Words:
2
Syllables:
1
Words Per Sentence:
3
Syllables Per Word:
1.50
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.02
Harvard IV:
0.08
VADER:
0.85
AFINN:
16.00
John F. Kennedy
-
1. I appreciate all of you coming to help celebrate my birthday.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
4.5
Gunning Fog:
9.1
Coleman Liau:
8.7
SMOG:
9.0
ARI:
1.2

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
2.9
Sprache:
1.6

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
2.0
Sprache:
3.0

Statistics

Characters:
50
Sentences:
2
Words:
12
Syllables:
6
Words Per Sentence:
18
Syllables Per Word:
1.50
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Harvard IV:
-0.03
VADER:
0.61
AFINN:
1.00

Entities

1 [Cardinal Number]
John F. Kennedy
-
2. This has been a busy year in Washington. First we had to contend with TFX -- and now we've got his brother Malcolm."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
1.0
Gunning Fog:
2.4
Coleman Liau:
6.7
SMOG:
6.1
ARI:
0.0

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
3.6
Sprache:
1.9

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
5.0
Sprache:
6.0

Statistics

Characters:
92
Sentences:
4
Words:
24
Syllables:
6
Words Per Sentence:
29
Syllables Per Word:
1.21
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Sentiment

Loughran-McDonald:
0.03
Harvard IV:
0.11
VADER:
0.85
AFINN:
8.00

Entities

2 [Cardinal Number]
Washington [Country, City, State]
a busy year [Date]
First [Ordinal Number]
TFX [Organization]
Malcolm [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
3. We are still having trouble with the Rules Committee too. So far, we've been able to get nearly everything through -- but we "don't make a move without calling Smith."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
3.0
Gunning Fog:
4.5
Coleman Liau:
9.4
SMOG:
7.3
ARI:
2.7

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
2.4
Sprache:
2.3

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
4.0
Sprache:
8.0

Statistics

Characters:
137
Sentences:
4
Words:
32
Syllables:
8
Words Per Sentence:
45
Syllables Per Word:
1.31
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Topics

0:
Arts & Entertainment

Entities

3 [Cardinal Number]
the Rules Committee [Organization]
Smith [Person]
John F. Kennedy
-
4. I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I express our thanks and admiration for a first rate show -- Happy days are here again. I thought Guy Marks was almost as funny as his great-grandfather Karl and I'd like to sign up Barry's boys for 1964 -- for Barry. I had planned this weekend to renew my appreciation of the American past by visiting another Civil War Battlefield -- but Merv Griffin's jokes are just as old.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
8.0
Gunning Fog:
10.8
Coleman Liau:
8.8
SMOG:
11.3
ARI:
7.9

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
4.4
Sprache:
4.6

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
17.0
Sprache:
20.0

Statistics

Characters:
322
Sentences:
4
Words:
77
Syllables:
19.25
Words Per Sentence:
110
Syllables Per Word:
1.36
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Topics

0:
Arts & Entertainment

Entities

4 [Cardinal Number]
1964 [Date]
this weekend [Date]
another Civil War Battlefield [Event]
American [Nationality, Political or Religious Group]
first [Ordinal Number]
Barry [Person]
Guy Marks [Person]
Karl [Person]
Merv [Person]
Barry's [Title]
John F. Kennedy
-
5. I also went to a black-tie dinner, with top show-business entertainment, last night the only difference between these two dinners is that last night they admitted it wasn't tax deductible.

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
8.0
Gunning Fog:
11.4
Coleman Liau:
11.5
SMOG:
11.3
ARI:
8.7

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
2.7
Sprache:
3.2

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
4.0
Sprache:
7.0

Statistics

Characters:
153
Sentences:
2
Words:
33
Syllables:
16.50
Words Per Sentence:
50
Syllables Per Word:
1.45
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Entities

5 [Cardinal Number]
two [Cardinal Number]
last night [Time]
Header
-
[Bread-slicer]

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
2.9
Gunning Fog:
0.8
Coleman Liau:
12.0
SMOG:
3.3
ARI:
5.5

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
10.0
Sprache:
1.1

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
2.0
Sprache:
2.0

Statistics

Characters:
11
Sentences:
1
Words:
2
Syllables:
2
Words Per Sentence:
3
Syllables Per Word:
1.50
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0
John F. Kennedy
-
This is a very nice gift -- but I already have an excellent bread slicer which I intend to keep even though she couldn't attend the dinner here with me tonight."

Grade Level Score

Flesch Kincaid:
6.8
Gunning Fog:
8.8
Coleman Liau:
8.9
SMOG:
9.0
ARI:
6.1

Readability Score

Dale Chall:
2.3
Sprache:
3.1

Difficult Words

Dale Chall:
3.0
Sprache:
7.0

Statistics

Characters:
130
Sentences:
2
Words:
31
Syllables:
15.50
Words Per Sentence:
43
Syllables Per Word:
1.39
Seconds:
0
Words Per Minute:
0

Topics

0:
Home & Garden

Entities

tonight [Time]