Ted Nelson, Contributing Author: "JFK: the Last Speech"
Jan Worth-Nelson, Former Editor - East Village Magazine
February 15, 2020
Jan Worth Nelson, who just stepped down as the long time Editor of the area’s long time publication “East Village Magazine”, and her husband Ted Nelson, join Fish in the Aquarium for a truly fascinating talk about one of the little known, yet incredibly compelling stories in American history.
President John F. Kennedy’s speech at Amherst college, delivered just weeks before his assassination in Dealey Plaza in Dallas was the culmination of a relationship that involved JFK, Soviet Union Premier Nikita Krushchev, and legendary American poet Robert Frost.
That this juxtaposition happened during the very height of the Cold War exacerbated the entire situation and raised the stakes on both the speech and the relationships between these three iconic men.
JFK’s speech was in a sense an artistic one, centered on poetry and the responsibilities of power. Considered one of his best, it inspired a group of Amherst classmates to completely alter their lives.
What helps to make this story so fascinating is that it reveals JFK’s friendship with Robert Frost, Frost’s dealings with Krushchev during a perilous time in world history, and how public remarks from Frost impacted his relationship with JFK and sparked a particularly unforgiving response.
All of this played out behind the scenes of a perilous and taut geo political ballet with nothing less than a cataclysmic war as the ultimate negative outcome on one end, and world peace on the other.
In the midst of this enter Ted Nelson, one of those students who’s life was dramatically impacted by JFK’s speech, and his wife Jan Worth Nelson who was on a path inspired by the same sensibilities. Ted is one of the writers of the book that explores the pathways that the speech illuminated, and the behind the scenes drama that few knew about.
Their book “JFK’s: The Last Speech” is an ensemble work that won 1st place in the annual Writers Digest Self - Published book awards. It expertly dissects the speech, the relationships impacted, while inculcating the clarion call it had on those young men and women who heeded JFK’s call for a dramatic commitment to public service, and civic engagement.
visit: JFK: The Last Speech site