Many of these famous speeches are remembered for the impact they made on the world, be it reacting to a historical or political situation, like Roosevelt's speech after the bombing of Pearl Harbor; saying farewell to a career, like the notable sports speech Loui Gherig gave to say goodbye to baseball; or discussing the end of an era, like Napoleon Bonapart's Farewell to the Old Guard Speech. Some of the shortest speeches ever given were also the most memorable.
What are the most famous short speeches? Are you looking for a few-minute-long easy speech to memorize and recite? Whatever the reason for the speech, these words of wisdom remain notable decades after the fact and will continue to be notable for decades to come.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Infamy Speech
United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the Joint Session of Congress on December 8, 1941, just one day after Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. The short speech was later dubbed the "Infamy Speech" due to Roosevelt describing the attack as "a date which will live in infamy."
Ronald Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech
Addressing the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger tragically exploded 73 seconds after launch on January 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan attempted to console a shaken nation with this speech.
John F. Kennedy's Ich Ben Ein Berliner Speech
Considered one of the best from President John F. Kennedy, the Ich bin ein Berliner speech was given on June 26, 1963, in West Berlin, Germany, during the Cold War. Though the Soviet Union, which he denounced in the speech, didn't fall for another 30 years, Kennedy's words remain a uniting force to this day.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech
Empowering a generation and beyond, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his legendary I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963.