Vital Speeches of the Day

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Vital Speeches of the Day
Editor David Murray
Former editors Thomas Daly III
Categories Politics
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Pro Rhetoric, LLC
First issue February, 1935
Country United States
Based in Chicago, IL
Language English
ISSN 0042-742X

Vital Speeches of the Day is a monthly magazine that presents speeches and addresses in full.


Vital Speeches was established in New York City in 1934 by Thomas Daly — whose grandson Thomas Daly III moved publication to South Carolina in 1986[1] — and is published by Pro Rhetoric, LLC The magazine first appeared in February, 1935. The first issue included speeches by then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nicholas Murray Butler, David Lawrence[disambiguation needed], legal expert Ferdinand Pecora, and economist and eugenicist Irving Fisher.[2] As of 1995 the magazine had published speeches by every president since Roosevelt, although the publication avoided campaign speeches; Editor, Thomas Daly IV said of such speeches, "A lot of that is hot air."[1]

According to their policy statement:

The publisher of Vital Speeches believes that the important addresses of the recognized leaders of public opinion constitute the best expression of contemporary thought in America, and that it is extremely important for the welfare of the nation that these speeches be permanently recorded and disseminated. The publisher has no axe to grind. Vital Speeches will be found authentic and constructive.[3]

The periodical is included in various guides to reference works. These guides typically describe Vital Speeches in politically neutral terms, as when Guide to Reference Materials offered this summary: "Each semimonthly issue contains the full text of some 12 to 15 addresses on public issues delivered by important figures. The editors attempt to select speeches pertaining to all sides of controversial issues."[4] However, descriptions of specialty collections of speeches often compare the collection favorably to the content of Vital Speeches.

In January 2009 the magazine launched Vital Speeches International which compiles English-language texts from outside the United States.


  1. ^ a b Bruce Smith. "In world of flux, magazine unswayed: publication ignores sound-bite trend," The State (Columbia, SC), October 28, 1995, page B8.
  2. ^ "In Current Magazines" (column), The Dallas Morning News, February 10, 1935, page 8.
  3. ^ "Policy of Vital Speeches". Vital Speeches of the Day. LXXII (14-15): 418. May 2006. ISSN 0042-742X. 
  4. ^ "1069. Vital Speeches of the Day," Guide to Reference Materials.

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