About Vital Speeches

Vital Speeches of the Day is a monthly collection of the best speeches in the world. It’s also a lot more than that.

The magazine debuted on October 8, 1934. It was founded on the old-fashioned premise that “it is indeed vital to the welfare of the nation that important, constructive addresses by recognized leaders in both the public and private sectors be permanently recorded and disseminated—both to ensure that readers gain a sound knowledge of public questions and to provide models of excellence in contemporary oratory.”

So why do Vital Speeches and its sister publication Vital Speeches International thrive well into the 21st century, at the beloved center of a lively community of speechwriters, rhetoric scholars, policy makers and world leaders?

Because we still believe in founder Thomas Daly’s belief that “it is only in the unedited and unexpurgated speech that the view of the speaker is truly communicated to the reader,” which is why we print all speeches in full. And we continue to follow the mission to “represent the best thoughts of the best minds on current national and international issues.”

From Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, from Mahatma Gandhi to Greta Thunberg, we’ve published every thoughtful, useful, inspiring or provocative speech we’ve gotten our hands on for nine decades. And down through those volumes, Vital Speeches has also become a rhetorical time capsule, which serves as resource for historians and other social researchers seeking the original context of important men and women, moments and movements over the last nine decades. Our back issues and archives are available for search at most major libraries.

Though the publishers of Vital Speeches have expanded our organization to offer leadership communication conferences, an annual Cicero Speechwriting Awards competition, and a Professional Speechwriters Association, we continue to publish the magazine with the same sense of earnest, civic-minded, even-handed optimism that motivated our founding so many years ago.

“I am a long-time admirer of Vital Speeches, which was founded the year of my birth,” wrote the American political journalist Bill Moyers, in a 2018 letter to publisher David Murray. “You’ve done admirable and important work over all this time. Despite (perhaps because of) the tsunamis of information that daily deluge us, and the rise of soundbytes and tweeting, your work remains as important as ever to many of us who still believe carefully crafted rhetoric to be essential to civilization and democracy.”