raise in rank or condition
The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and
elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization.
gradual improvement or growth or development
Your imagination and your initiative and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where
progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth.
a formal association of people with similar interests
For in your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich
society and the powerful
society, but upward to the Great
the property of a more than adequate quantity or supply
The Great Society rests on
abundance and liberty for all.
the practice of being unjust or unfair
It demands an end to poverty and racial
injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.
make better or improve in quality
The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to
enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents.
a degree or grade of excellence or worth
It is a place where men are more concerned with the
quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.
a course of events that will inevitably happen in the future
It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a
destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.
an inferior state resulting from deterioration
It is harder and harder to live the good life in American cities today. The catalog of ills is long: there is the
decay of the centers and the despoiling of the suburbs.
become ground down or deteriorate
Worst of all expansion is
eroding these precious and time honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature.
the creation of something in the mind
And our society will never be great until our cities are great. Today the frontier of imagination and
innovation is inside those cities and not beyond their borders.
a specific piece of work required to be done
It will be the
task of your generation to make the American city a place where future generations will come, not only to live, but to live the good life.
stop from doing something or being in a certain state
A few years ago we were greatly concerned about the "Ugly American." Today we must act to
prevent an ugly America.
the quality of being magnificent or grand
For once the battle is lost, once our natural
splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured.
a source of materials to nourish the body
And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature his spirit will wither and his
sustenance be wasted.
the ability to form mental images of things or events
Our society will not be great until every young mind is set free to scan the farthest reaches of thought and
the state of having little or no money and possessions
Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from
capability to perform or produce
It means exploring new techniques of teaching, to find new ways to stimulate the love of learning and the
capacity for creation.
collect in one place
We are going to
assemble the best thought and the broadest knowledge from all over the world to find those answers for America.
the practice of working together on a common enterprise
They require us to create new concepts of
cooperation, a creative federalism, between the National Capital and the leaders of local communities.
a domain in which something is dominant
Within your lifetime powerful forces, already loosed, will take us toward a way of life beyond the
realm of our experience, almost beyond the bounds of our imagination.
assign a duty, responsibility or obligation to
For better or for worse, your generation has been
appointed by history to deal with those problems and to lead America toward a new age.
the quality of being in accord with right or good conduct
You can help build a society where the demands of
morality, and the needs of the spirit, can be realized in the life of the Nation.
give instructions to or direct somebody to do something
So, will you join in the battle to give every citizen the full equality which God
enjoins and the law requires, whatever his belief, or race, or the color of his skin?
Will you join in the battle to make it possible for all nations to live in
enduring peace—as neighbors and not as mortal enemies?
the basis on which something is grounded
Will you join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the
foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit?
showing fear and lack of confidence
There are those
timid souls that say this battle cannot be won; that we are condemned to a soulless wealth.
a society in an advanced state of social development
We have the power to shape the
civilization that we want.
any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted
But we need your will and your
labor and your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society.
a notable achievement
So let us from this moment begin our work so that in the future men will look back and say: It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the
exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life.