3. Editorial Note

In late January 1961 President Kennedy identified the need for a major Presidential address on Latin America and the Alliance for Progress. Assistant Special Counsel to the President Richard Goodwin was charged with drafting the speech, which was to be a distillation of the recommendations being made by the Task Force on Latin America. Following a series of informal meetings in the White House “fish room” (so-called because Franklin Roosevelt had kept his aquariums there) with members of the Task Force and representatives of other agencies associated with the administration’s Latin America policy, and after numerous suggestions, both substantive and stylistic, by other members of the White House staff and Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Goodwin drafted the speech at his Washington home between March 7 and 10. Editorial [Page 5] revisions were made by the President on March 11. (See Goodwin, Remembering America, pages 146-159, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, Boston, 1965, pages 202-205.)