To remember a time when US presidents made speeches that moved and inspired people in a positive manner, Acast, a global podcasting and on-demand audio platform, has launched a collection of 10 of the most inspiring presidential speeches from the last 70 years.
This Presidents’ Day Collection was done by Acast and advised by Jeff Shesol, President Bill Clinton’s former speechwriter. Together, they delved into the historical archives to find the most memorable and inspiring speeches, including Obama’s landmark first inauguration, Reagan’s famous “Tear down this wall” speech, and Kennedy’s iconic “Ask not” instruction to the American people.
Shesol, a founding partner at West Wing Writers (www.westwingwriters.com), took a lead role on two of Bill Clinton’s State of the Union Addresses, as well as the president’s 2000 Democratic National Convention speech, and his Farewell Address.
"Even as these presidencies, and their respective eras, recede into the past, the presidents’ words have moral force and energy – if we can hear them,” said Shesol.
All 10 speeches are available on a special Acast Presidents’ Day Collection webpage.
- Barack Obama – First inauguration speech
- George W. Bush – Speech about DC Islamic center post-9/11
- Bill Clinton – First inauguration
- George H.W. Bush – Inauguration
- Ronald Reagan – “Tear down this wall” speech
- Jimmy Carter – Inauguration
- Gerald Ford – Inauguration
- Richard Nixon – First inauguration
- Lyndon B. Johnson – Voting rights speech
- John F. Kennedy – “Ask not…” speech
“Decades ago, important presidential speeches like these would be studied and even committed to memory as an exercise in the study of history or rhetoric; today, they are rarely taught and little known – even the landmark speeches,” Shesol continued. “Anything we can do to make these speeches accessible – to put them on the platforms where people live – gives them a chance to re-enter the political bloodstream. Kennedy talking about the burdens of global leadership, Johnson’s appeal to the revolutionary ideal of equality and his assurance that 'we shall overcome', Reagan’s clarion call for individual freedom – these speeches still crackle with energy, and they deserve to be heard."
Caitlin Thompson, US Director of Content at Acast, said: “It’s an extremely tense time for the world at the moment, and it’s easy for people to feel disconnected. Audio is a fantastic way to connect you to the content that inspires, motivates and drives you, and this collection of speeches serves to add to the varied and diverse audio content that is available through Acast.”
The project signals a move away from only hosting podcast content by the company, branching out with other audio formats.