What’s In A Word?
“West Virginia already has the men to match her mountains – men of vigor and courage and determination .” – Sen. John F. Kennedy in Glenwood Park, West Virginia, April 26, 1960, one of dozens of campaign addresses in which he spoke of “vigah” in his distinctive accent.
“Our commitment to Berlin. There’s going to be a test of our nerve and will. There’s going to be a test of our strength and because we’re going to move in ’61 and ’62, partly because we have not maintained our strength with sufficient vigor in the last years.” – Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kennedy, in the second debate with Vice-President Richard Nixon on October 7, 1960, taking subtle advantage of his opponent’s pale, weakened appearance in the previous debate.
“It was men who possessed vigor and strength as well as courage and vision who first settled these shores and, over more than three centuries, subdued a continent and wrested a civilization from the wilderness.” – President John F. Kennedy, from “The Vigor We Need,” a 1000-word article appearing under his byline in the July 16, 1962 issue of Sports Illustrated, in which he used “vigor” a half-dozen times and “vigorous” twice.
“We must move ahead….with vigah.” – Vaughn Meader, from his million-selling 1962 album The First Family.
Vigah – The one-word heading of Elizabeth Drew’s 2003 notice in the London Review Of Books of Robert Dallek’s An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963.
“‘Senator Obama conveyed … that he is committed to supporting Afghanistan and to continue the war against terrorism with vigor,’ [Afghan President] Karzai’s spokesman, Humayun Hamidzada, said.” – From the Associated Press account of Sen. Barack Obama’s visit to Afghanistan last weekend.
“Already Obama’s advisers are likening Obama’s galvanizing effect on foreign crowds to John F Kennedy ‘s. The campaign rhetoric underscores this: Obama’s recent promise to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to fight terror ‘with vigor’ deliberately echoes the cold war Camelot days of Kennedy.” – Jan McGirk, seemingly the only blogger to spot the use of the word, earlier this week at The Huffington Post.
“The Republicans are sort of talking down to Gen-Nexters, not bringing them in. You don’t hear Barack Obama going around saying, ‘I’m John F. Kennedy.’ He’s saying, ‘I’m Barack Obama.'” – David All, 29-year-old Republican activist, quoted in “Young Republicans, Blue About The Prospects Ahead,” from The Washington Post, July 22, 2008.