Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Kennedy's speech 1963: "Ich bin ein Berliner"
Many remember the late June scene in front of Brandenburg Gate. Footage link embedded in the following article by Snopes.com
THE HOLE TRUTH
Claim: President Kennedy called himself a jelly donut in his famous 1963 speech in Berlin, Germany.
----> --> FALSE!
Article didn't copy so: Here's the link: http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/berliner.asp
Embedded also is the following (very short) New York Times article from April 30, 1988, by chief editorial writer, William J. Miller, which fueled the fires of this RUMOR.
'I Am a Jelly-Filled Doughnut'
Putting words into a President's mouth, or attributing fabricated quotes, as former White House spokesman Larry Speakes admitted he did for President Reagan, may on occasion be preferable to having a President utter clever words dreamed up by his speech writers.
It's worth recalling, again, President John F. Kennedy's use of a German phrase while standing before the Berlin Wall. It would be great, his wordsmiths thought, for him to declare himself a symbolic citizen of Berlin. Hence, ''Ich bin ein Berliner.''
What they did not know, but could easily have found out, was that such citizens never refer to themselves as ''Berliners.'' They reserve that term for a favorite confection often munched at breakfast. So, while they understood and appreciated the sentiments behind the President's impassioned declaration, the residents tittered among themselves when he exclaimed, literally, ''I am a jelly-filled doughnut.''
Ronald Reagan is not the first President to be quoted saying words he never said. In the case of Mr. Speakes, the ventriloquist act would have gone undiscovered but for Mr. Speakes's own admission.