Online Collection

16mm public service announcement of President Kennedy urging citizens to vote

Object Number: 2010.009.0001
Category: Films
Type of Object: Film, 16mm
Dimensions: Gauge: 16mm; Camera Speed: 24 fps; Duration: 46 seconds
Medium: Film
16mm black and white film featuring President John F. Kennedy urging citizens to vote.

This public service announcement was filmed in the Fish Room (now the Roosevelt Room) at the White House on October 31, 1962, only 3 days after the Cuban Missile Crisis was informally resolved and just one week before the mid-term elections of 1962.

In the 43-second, black and white address, President Kennedy reminds viewers of the importance of voting to show the strength and importance of American freedom and democracy.

The full text of the president's announcement:

"In these tense and anxious weeks, I know that every American wants to know what he can do for his country. Not everyone can serve in our Armed Forces or serve our Government, but there is one thing you can do. There is one way you can indicate your devotion to Freedom. There is one way we can show how strongly we believe in our democracy. Next Tuesday, November 6, is Election Day. I hope every American will turn out and vote - every American and every member of his family - and show the world how strongly we believe in Freedom; how strongly we believe in our Country; and how strongly we believe in Democracy."
Curator's Notes

This object represents the very first item made available to viewers on The Sixth Floor Museum's YouTube channel.  The channel launched on November 1, 2012, just five days before the presidential election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. - Sharron Conrad, Associate Director of Education and Public Programs

All requests for permission to reproduce, publish or broadcast materials in this collection must be submitted to the Museum's registrar, using the Rights & Reproductions Request Form. Inquiries may be sent to