List of Lessons | Subjects

Studying Historical Speeches

by Ron Kurtus (updated 17 March 2023)

Successful people often present their ideas through giving speeches. Some write their thoughts and beliefs, while others use professional speech writers to reflect their concepts. Some are also eloquent speakers, who can arouse or move an audience. What these people have to say is also of significance for historical or business theory studies.

There is need for people who can effectively write such speeches, either for themselves or for others. There is also a need for those who can make presentations and speak to others. Your knowledge and skills in this area can help advance your career or improve your business.

The purpose of these free online lessons is to give you a start at improving your writing, speaking, historical or business skills.

Speeches Contents


Reasons to Study Historic Speeches

Presidential inaugural addresses

The following speeches are good resources to study. (There are no political implications in their selection.)

Harry S Truman's Inaugural Address in 1949

John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address in 1961 - audio

Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address in 1981 - audio

Bill Clinton's Second Inaugural Address in 1997 - audio

George W. Bush's First Inaugural Address in 2001 - audio

Donald Trump's Inaugural Address in 2017

Other speeches of note

Speeches listed according to date given.


Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in 1863 - audio

Mark Twain's "Our Fellow Savages" Humorous Speech in 1866 - audio

Oliver Wendell Holmes' "The Soldier's Faith" Speech of 1895 - audio


Winston Churchill's First Speech as Prime Minister: "Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat" in 1940 - audio

Winston Churchill's "Never Give In" Speech of 1941 - audio


Fidel Castro's 1960 Address to the U.N. General Assembly: "The Problem of Cuba and its Revolutionary Policy" (divided into four parts) - audio

Castro speech - Part 2 - audio

Castro speech - Part 3 - audio

Castro speech - Part 3 - audio

Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech in 1963 - audio

Excerpts from Martin Luther King's Speeches - audio

Martin Luther King's Last Speech: 3 April 1968


Ronald Reagan's Announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983 - audio

Jesse Jackson's Address before the 1984 Democratic Convention - audio

Ronald Reagan's Speech at Moscow State University in 1988 - audio


Teaching the Virtues by William J. Bennett - In Education section


George W. Bush's Address to Congress on 9/11/2001 Terrorist Attack - audio

Barack Obama's Address before the 2004 Democratic Convention - audio


Resources for Studying Great Speeches

Succeed in Speech Writing

Succeed in Public Speaking

Succeed in Writing

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