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´╗┐Title: State of the Union Addresses
Author: Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "State of the Union Addresses" ***

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State of the Union Addresses of Lyndon B. Johnson

The addresses are separated by three asterisks: ***

Dates of addresses by Lyndon B. Johnson in this eBook:

  January 8, 1964
  January 4, 1965
  January 12, 1966
  January 10, 1967
  January 17, 1968
  January 14, 1969


State of the Union Address
Lyndon B. Johnson
January 8, 1964

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the House and Senate, my fellow

I will be brief, for our time is necessarily short and our agenda is
already long.

Last year's congressional session was the longest in peacetime history.
With that foundation, let us work together to make this year's session the
best in the Nation's history.

Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for
civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined; as the session which
enacted the most far-reaching tax cut of our time; as the session which
declared all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United
States; as the session which finally recognized the health needs of all our
older citizens; as the session which reformed our tangled transportation
and transit policies; as the session which achieved the most effective,
efficient foreign aid program ever; and as the session which helped to
build more homes, more schools, more libraries, and more hospitals than any
single session of Congress in the history of our Republic.

All this and more can and must be done. It can be done by this summer, and
it can be done without any increase in spending. In fact, under the budget
that I shall shortly submit, it can be done with an actual reduction in
Federal expenditures and Federal employment.

We have in 1964 a unique opportunity and obligation--to prove the success
of our system; to disprove those cynics and critics at home and abroad who
question our purpose and our competence.

If we fail, if we fritter and fumble away our opportunity in needless,
senseless quarrels between Democrats and Republicans, or between the House
and the Senate, or between the South and North, or between the Congress and
the administration, then history will rightfully judge us harshly. But if
we succeed, if we can achieve these goals by forging in this country a
greater sense of union, then, and only then, can we take full satisfaction
in the State of the Union. II.

Here in the Congress you can demonstrate effective legislative leadership
by discharging the public business with clarity and dispatch, voting each
important proposal up, or voting it down, but at least bringing it to a
fair and a final vote.

Let us carry forward the plans and programs of John Fitzgerald Kennedy--not
because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right.

In his memory today, I especially ask all members of my own political
faith, in this election year, to put your country ahead of your party, and
to always debate principles; never debate personalities.

For my part, I pledge a progressive administration which is efficient, and
honest and frugal. The budget to be submitted to the Congress shortly is in
full accord with this pledge.

It will cut our deficit in half--from $10 billion to $4,900 million. It
will be, in proportion to our national output, the smallest budget since

It will call for a substantial reduction in Federal employment, a feat
accomplished only once before in the last 10 years. While maintaining the
full strength of our combat defenses, it will call for the lowest number of
civilian personnel in the Department of Defense since 1950.

It will call for total expenditures of $97,900 million--compared to $98,400
million for the current year, a reduction of more than $500 million. It
will call for new obligational authority of $103,800 million--a reduction
of more than $4 billion below last year's request of $107,900 million.

But it is not a standstill budget, for America cannot afford to stand
still. Our population is growing. Our economy is more complex. Our people's
needs are expanding.

But by closing down obsolete installations, by curtailing less urgent
programs, by cutting back where cutting back seems to be wise, by insisting
on a dollar's worth for a dollar spent, I am able to recommend in this
reduced budget the most Federal support in history for education, for
health, for retraining the unemployed, and for helping the economically and
the physically handicapped.

This budget, and this year's legislative program, are designed to help each
and every American citizen fulfill his basic hopes--his hopes for a fair
chance to make good; his hopes for fair play from the law; his hopes for a
full-time job on full-time pay; his hopes for a decent home for his family
in a decent community; his hopes for a good school for his children with
good teachers; and his hopes for security when faced with sickness or
unemployment or old age. III.

Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope--some because
of their poverty, and some because of theft color, and all too many because
of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity.

This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on
poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me
in that effort.

It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will
suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won. The richest Nation on
earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it. One thousand
dollars invested in salvaging an unemployable youth today can return
$40,000 or more in his lifetime.

Poverty is a national problem, requiring improved national organization and
support. But this attack, to be effective, must also be organized at the
State and the local level and must be supported and directed by State and
local efforts.

For the war against poverty will not be won here in Washington. It must be
won in the field, in every private home, in every public office, from the
courthouse to the White House.

The program I shall propose will emphasize this cooperative approach to
help that one-fifth of all American families with incomes too small to even
meet their basic needs.

Our chief weapons in a more pinpointed attack will be better schools, and
better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job
opportunities to help more Americans, especially young Americans, escape
from squalor and misery and unemployment rolls where other citizens help to
carry them.

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the
symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow
citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of
education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of
decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

But whatever the cause, our joint Federal-local effort must pursue poverty,
pursue it wherever it exists--in city slums and small towns, in
sharecropper shacks or in migrant worker camps, on Indian Reservations,
among whites as well as Negroes, among the young as well as the aged, in
the boom towns and in the depressed areas.

Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and,
above all, to prevent it. No single piece of legislation, however, is going
to suffice.

We will launch a special effort in the chronically distressed areas of

We must expand our small but our successful area redevelopment program.

We must enact youth employment legislation to put jobless, aimless,
hopeless youngsters to work on useful projects.

We must distribute more food to the needy through a broader food stamp

We must create a National Service Corps to help the economically
handicapped of our own country as the Peace Corps now helps those abroad.

We must modernize our unemployment insurance and establish a high-level
commission on automation. If we have the brain power to invent these
machines, we have the brain power to make certain that they are a boon and
not a bane to humanity.

We must extend the coverage of our minimum wage laws to more than 2 million
workers now lacking this basic protection of purchasing power.

We must, by including special school aid funds as part of our education
program, improve the quality of teaching, training, and counseling in our
hardest hit areas.

We must build more libraries in every area and more hospitals and nursing
homes under the Hill-Burton Act, and train more nurses to staff them.

We must provide hospital insurance for our older citizens financed by every
worker and his employer under Social Security, contributing no more than $1
a month during the employee's working career to protect him in his old age
in a dignified manner without cost to the Treasury, against the devastating
hardship of prolonged or repeated illness.

We must, as a part of a revised housing and urban renewal program, give
more help to those displaced by slum clearance, provide more housing for
our poor and our elderly, and seek as our ultimate goal in our free
enterprise system a decent home for every American family.

We must help obtain more modern mass transit within our communities as well
as low-cost transportation between them.

Above all, we must release $11 billion of tax reduction into the private
spending stream to create new jobs and new markets in every area of this
land. IV.

These programs are obviously not for the poor or the underprivileged alone.
Every American will benefit by the extension of social security to cover
the hospital costs of their aged parents. Every American community will
benefit from the construction or modernization of schools, libraries,
hospitals, and nursing homes, from the training of more nurses and from the
improvement of urban renewal in public transit. And every individual
American taxpayer and every corporate taxpayer will benefit from the
earliest possible passage of the pending tax bill from both the new
investment it will bring and the new jobs that it will create.

That tax bill has been thoroughly discussed for a year. Now we need action.
The new budget clearly allows it. Our taxpayers surely deserve it. Our
economy strongly demands it. And every month of delay dilutes its benefits
in 1964 for consumption, for investment, and for employment.

For until the bill is signed, its investment incentives cannot be deemed
certain, and the withholding rate cannot be reduced--and the most damaging
and devastating thing you can do to any businessman in America is to keep
him in doubt and to keep him guessing on what our tax policy is. And I say
that we should now reduce to 14 percent instead of 15 percent our
withholding rate.

I therefore urge the Congress to take final action on this bill by the
first of February, if at all possible. For however proud we may be of the
unprecedented progress of our free enterprise economy over the last 3
years, we should not and we cannot permit it to pause.

In 1963, for the first time in history, we crossed the 70 million job mark,
but we will soon need more than 75 million jobs. In 1963 our gross national
product reached the $600 billion level--$100 billion higher than when we
took office. But it easily could and it should be still $30 billion higher
today than it is.

Wages and profits and family income are also at their highest levels in
history--but I would remind you that 4 million workers and 13 percent of
our industrial capacity are still idle today.

We need a tax cut now to keep this country moving. V.

For our goal is not merely to spread the work. Our goal is to create more
jobs. I believe the enactment of a 35-hour week would sharply increase
costs, would invite inflation, would impair our ability to compete, and
merely share instead of creating employment. But I am equally opposed to
the 45- or 50-hour week in those industries where consistently excessive
use of overtime causes increased unemployment.

So, therefore, I recommend legislation authorizing the creation of a
tripartite industry committee to determine on an industry-by-industry basis
as to where a higher penalty rate for overtime would increase job openings
without unduly increasing costs, and authorizing the establishment of such
higher rates. VI.

Let me make one principle of this administration abundantly clear: All of
these increased opportunities--in employment, in education, in housing, and
in every field--must be open to Americans of every color. As far as the writ
of Federal law will run, we must abolish not some, but all racial
discrimination. For this is not merely an economic issue, or a social,
political, or international issue. It is a moral issue, and it must be met
by the passage this session of the bill now pending in the House.

All members of the public should have equal access to facilities open to
the public. All members of the public should be equally eligible for
Federal benefits that are financed by the public. All members of the public
should have an equal chance to vote for public officials and to send their
children to good public schools and to contribute their talents to the
public good.

Today, Americans of all races stand side by side in Berlin and in Viet Nam.
They died side by side in Korea. Surely they can work and eat and travel
side by side in their own country. VII.

We must also lift by legislation the bars of discrimination against those
who seek entry into our country, particularly those who have much needed
skills and those joining their families.

In establishing preferences, a nation that was built by the immigrants of
all lands can ask those who now seek admission: "What can you do for our
country?" But we should not be asking: "In what country were you born?"

For our ultimate goal is a world without war, a world made safe for
diversity, in which all men, goods, and ideas can freely move across every
border and every boundary.

We must advance toward this goal in 1964 in at least 10 different ways, not
as partisans, but as patriots.

First, we must maintain--and our reduced defense budget will maintain--that
margin of military safety and superiority obtained through 3 years of
steadily increasing both the quality and the quantity of our strategic, our
conventional, and our antiguerilla forces. In 1964 we will be better
prepared than ever before to defend the cause of freedom, whether it is
threatened by outright aggression or by the infiltration practiced by those
in Hanoi and Havana, who ship arms and men across international borders to
foment insurrection. And we must continue to use that strength as John
Kennedy used it in the Cuban crisis and for the test ban treaty--to
demonstrate both the futility of nuclear war and the possibilities of
lasting peace.

Second, we must take new steps--and we shall make new proposals at
Geneva--toward the control and the eventual abolition of arms. Even in the
absence of agreement, we must not stockpile arms beyond our needs or seek
an excess of military power that could be provocative as well as wasteful.

It is in this spirit that in this fiscal year we are cutting back our
production of enriched uranium by 25 percent. We are shutting down four
plutonium piles. We are closing many nonessential military installations.
And it is in this spirit that we today call on our adversaries to do the

Third, we must make increased use of our food as an instrument of
peace--making it available by sale or trade or loan or donation--to hungry
people in all nations which tell us of their needs and accept proper
conditions of distribution.

Fourth, we must assure our pre-eminence in the peaceful exploration of
outer space, focusing on an expedition to the moon in this decade--in
cooperation with other powers if possible, alone if necessary.

Fifth, we must expand world trade. Having recognized in the Act of 1962
that we must buy as well as sell, we now expect our trading partners to
recognize that we must sell as well as buy. We are willing to give them
competitive access to our market, asking only that they do the same for

Sixth, we must continue, through such measures as the interest equalization
tax, as well as the cooperation of other nations, our recent progress
toward balancing our international accounts.

This administration must and will preserve the present gold value of the

Seventh, we must become better neighbors with the free states of the
Americas, working with the councils of the OAS, with a stronger Alliance
for Progress, and with all the men and women of this hemisphere who really
believe in liberty and justice for all.

Eighth, we must strengthen the ability of free nations everywhere to
develop their independence and raise their standard of living, and thereby
frustrate those who prey on poverty and chaos. To do this, the rich must
help the poor--and we must do our part. We must achieve a more rigorous
administration of our development assistance, with larger roles for private
investors, for other industrialized nations, and for international agencies
and for the recipient nations themselves.

Ninth, we must strengthen our Atlantic and Pacific partnerships, maintain
our alliances and make the United Nations a more effective instrument for
national independence and international order.

Tenth, and finally, we must develop with our allies new means of bridging
the gap between the East and the West, facing danger boldly wherever danger
exists, but being equally bold in our search for new agreements which can
enlarge the hopes of all, while violating the interests of none.

In short, I would say to the Congress that we must be constantly prepared
for the worst, and constantly acting for the best. We must be strong enough
to win any war, and we must be wise enough to prevent one.

We shall neither act as aggressors nor tolerate acts of aggression. We
intend to bury no one, and we do not intend to be buried.

We can fight, if we must, as we have fought before, but we pray that we
will never have to fight again. IX.

My good friends and my fellow Americans: In these last 7 sorrowful weeks,
we have learned anew that nothing is so enduring as faith, and nothing is
so degrading as hate.

John Kennedy was a victim of hate, but he was also a great builder of
faith--faith in our fellow Americans, whatever their creed or their color
or their station in life; faith in the future of man, whatever his
divisions and differences.

This faith was echoed in all parts of the world. On every continent and in
every land to which Mrs. Johnson and I traveled, we found faith and hope
and love toward this land of America and toward our people.

So I ask you now in the Congress and in the country to join with me in
expressing and fulfilling that faith in working for a nation, a nation that
is free from want and a world that is free from hate--a world of peace and
justice, and freedom and abundance, for our time and for all time to come.


State of the Union Address
Lyndon B. Johnson
January 4, 1965

On this Hill which was my home, I am stirred by old friendships.

Though total agreement between the Executive and the Congress is
impossible, total respect is important.

I am proud to be among my colleagues of the Congress whose legacy to their
trust is their loyalty to their Nation.

I am not unaware of the inner emotions of the new Members of this body

Twenty-eight years ago, I felt as you do now. You will soon learn that you
are among men whose first love is their country, men who try each day to do
as best they can what they believe is right.

We are entering the third century of the pursuit of American union.

Two hundred years ago, in 1765, nine assembled colonies first joined
together to demand freedom from arbitrary power.

For the first century we struggled to hold together the first continental
union of democracy in the history of man. One hundred years ago, in 1865,
following a terrible test of blood and fire, the compact of union was
finally sealed.

For a second century we labored to establish a unity of purpose and
interest among the many groups which make up the American community.

That struggle has often brought pain and violence. It is not yet over. But
we have achieved a unity of interest among our people that is unmatched in
the history of freedom.

And so tonight, now, in 1965, we begin a new quest for union. We seek the
unity of man with the world that he has built--with the knowledge that can
save or destroy him--with the cities which can stimulate or stifle
him--with the wealth and the machines which can enrich or menace his

We seek to establish a harmony between man and society which will allow
each of us to enlarge the meaning of his life and all of us to elevate the
quality of our civilization. This is the search that we begin tonight.


But the unity we seek cannot realize its full promise in
isolation. For today the state of the Union depends, in large measure, upon
the state of the world.

Our concern and interest, compassion and vigilance, extend to every corner
of a dwindling planet.

Yet, it is not merely our concern but the concern of all free men. We will
not, and we should not, assume that it is the task of Americans alone to
settle all the conflicts of a torn and troubled world.

Let the foes of freedom take no comfort from this. For in concert with
other nations, we shall help men defend their freedom.

Our first aim remains the safety and the well-being of our own country.

We are prepared to live as good neighbors with all, but we cannot be
indifferent to acts designed to injure our interests, or our citizens, or
our establishments abroad. The community of nations requires mutual
respect. We shall extend it--and we shall expect it.

In our relations with the world we shall follow the example of Andrew
Jackson who said: "I intend to ask for nothing that is not clearly right
and to submit to nothing that is wrong." And he promised, that "the honor
of my country shall never be stained by an apology from me for the
statement of truth or for the performance of duty." That was this Nation's
policy in the 1830's and that is this Nation's policy in the 1960's.

Our own freedom and growth have never been the final goal of the American

We were never meant to be an oasis of liberty and abundance in a worldwide
desert of disappointed dreams. Our Nation was created to help strike away
the chains of ignorance and misery and tyranny wherever they keep man less
than God means him to be.

We are moving toward that destiny, never more rapidly than we have moved in
the last 4 years.

In this period we have built a military power strong enough to meet any
threat and destroy any adversary. And that superiority will continue to
grow so long as this office is mine--and you sit on Capitol Hill.

In this period no new nation has become Communist, and the unity of the
Communist empire has begun to crumble.

In this period we have resolved in friendship our disputes with our
neighbors of the hemisphere, and joined in an Alliance for Progress toward
economic growth and political democracy.

In this period we have taken more steps toward peace--including the test
ban treaty--than at any time since the cold war began.

In this period we have relentlessly pursued our advances toward the
conquest of space.

Most important of all, in this period, the United States has reemerged into
the fullness of its self-confidence and purpose. No longer are we called
upon to get America moving. We are moving. No longer do we doubt our
strength or resolution. We are strong and we have proven our resolve.

No longer can anyone wonder whether we are in the grip of historical decay.
We know that history is ours to make. And if there is great danger, there
is now also the excitement of great expectations.


Yet we still live in a troubled and
perilous world. There is no longer a single threat. There are many. They
differ in intensity and in danger. They require different attitudes and
different answers.

With the Soviet Union we seek peaceful understandings that can lessen the
danger to freedom.

Last fall I asked the American people to choose that course. I will carry
forward their command.

If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other

I am sure that the American people would welcome a chance to listen to the
Soviet leaders on our television--as I would like the Soviet people to hear
our leaders on theirs.

I hope the new Soviet leaders can visit America so they can learn about our
country at firsthand.

In Eastern Europe restless nations are slowly beginning to assert their
identity. Your Government, assisted by the leaders in American labor and
business, is now exploring ways to increase peaceful trade with these
countries and with the Soviet Union. I will report our conclusions to the

In Asia, communism wears a more aggressive face. We see that in Viet-Nam.
Why are we there?

We are there, first, because a friendly nation has asked us for help
against the Communist aggression. Ten years ago our President pledged our
help. Three Presidents have supported that pledge. We will not break it

Second, our own security is tied to the peace of Asia. Twice in one
generation we have had to fight against aggression in the Far East. To
ignore aggression now would only increase the danger of a much larger war.

Our goal is peace in southeast Asia. That will come only when aggressors
leave their neighbors in peace.

What is at stake is the cause of freedom and in that cause America will
never be found wanting.


But communism is not the only source of trouble and
unrest. There are older and deeper sources--in the misery of nations and in
man's irrepressible ambition for liberty and a better life.

With the free Republics of Latin America I have always felt--and my country
has always felt--very special ties of interest and affection. It will be
the purpose of my administration to strengthen these ties. Together we
share and shape the destiny of the new world. In the coming year I hope to
pay a visit to Latin America. And I will steadily enlarge our commitment to
the Alliance for Progress as the instrument of our war against poverty and
injustice in this hemisphere.

In the Atlantic community we continue to pursue our goal of 20 years--a
Europe that is growing in strength, unity, and cooperation with America. A
great unfinished task is the reunification of Germany through

This European policy is not based on any abstract design. It is based on
the realities of common interests and common values, common dangers and
common expectations. These realities will continue to have their
way--especially, I think, in our expanding trade and especially in our
common defense.

Free Americans have shaped the policies of the United States. And because
we know these realities, those policies have been, and will be, in the
interest of Europe.

Free Europeans must shape the course of Europe. And, for the same reasons,
that course has been, and will be, in our interest and in the interest of

I found this truth confirmed in my talks with European leaders in the last
year. I hope to repay these visits to some of our friends in Europe this

In Africa and Asia we are witnessing the turbulent unfolding of new nations
and continents.

We welcome them to the society of nations.

We are committed to help those seeking to strengthen their own
independence, and to work most closely with those governments dedicated to
the welfare of all of their people.

We seek not fidelity to an iron faith, but a diversity of belief as varied
as man himself. We seek not to extend the power of America but the progress
of humanity. We seek not to dominate others but to strengthen the freedom
of all people.

I will seek new ways to use our knowledge to help deal with the explosion
in world population and the growing scarcity in world resources.

Finally, we renew our commitment to the continued growth and the
effectiveness of the United Nations. The frustrations of the United Nations
are a product of the world that we live in, and not of the institution
which gives them voice. It is far better to throw these differences open to
the assembly of nations than to permit them to fester in silent danger.

These are some of the goals of the American Nation in the world in which we

For ourselves we seek neither praise nor blame, neither gratitude nor

We seek peace.

We seek freedom.

We seek to enrich the life of man.

For that is the world in which we will flourish and that is the world that
we mean for all men to ultimately have.


World affairs will continue to call upon our energy
and our courage.

But today we can turn increased attention to the character of American

We are in the midst of the greatest upward surge of economic well-being in
the history of any nation.

Our flourishing progress has been marked by price stability that is
unequalled in the world. Our balance of payments deficit has declined and
the soundness of our dollar is unquestioned. I pledge to keep it that way
and I urge business and labor to cooperate to that end.

We worked for two centuries to climb this peak of prosperity. But we are
only at the beginning of the road to the Great Society. Ahead now is a
summit where freedom from the wants of the body can help fulfill the needs
of the spirit.

We built this Nation to serve its people.

We want to grow and build and create, but we want progress to be the
servant and not the master of man.

We do not intend to live in the midst of abundance, isolated from neighbors
and nature, confined by blighted cities and bleak suburbs, stunted by a
poverty of learning and an emptiness of leisure.

The Great Society asks not how much, but how good; not only how to create
wealth but how to use it; not only how fast we are going, but where we are

It proposes as the first test for a nation: the quality of its people.

This kind of society will not flower spontaneously from swelling riches and
surging power.

It will not be the gift of government or the creation of presidents. It
will require of every American, for many generations, both faith in the
destination and the fortitude to make the journey.

And like freedom itself, it will always be challenge and not fulfillment.
And tonight we accept that challenge.


I propose that we begin a program in education to ensure
every American child the fullest development of his mind and skills.

I propose that we begin a massive attack on crippling and killing

I propose that we launch a national effort to make the American city a
better and a more stimulating place to live.

I propose that we increase the beauty of America and end the poisoning of
our rivers and the air that we breathe.

I propose that we carry out a new program to develop regions of our country
that are now suffering from distress and depression.

I propose that we make new efforts to control and prevent crime and

I propose that we eliminate every remaining obstacle to the right and the
opportunity to vote.

I propose that we honor and support the achievements of thought and the
creations of art.

I propose that we make an all-out campaign against waste and inefficiency.


Our basic task is threefold:

First, to keep our economy growing;

--to open for all Americans the opportunity that is now enjoyed by most

--and to improve the quality of life for all.

In the next 6 weeks I will submit special messages with detailed proposals
for national action in each of these areas.

Tonight I would like just briefly to explain some of my major
recommendations in the three main areas of national need.



First, we must keep our Nation prosperous. We seek full
employment opportunity for every American citizen. I will present a budget
designed to move the economy forward. More money will be left in the hands
of the consumer by a substantial cut in excise taxes. We will continue
along the path toward a balanced budget in a balanced economy.

I confidently predict--what every economic sign tells us tonight--the
continued flourishing of the American economy.

But we must remember that fear of a recession can contribute to the fact of
a recession. The knowledge that our Government will, and can, move swiftly
will strengthen the confidence of investors and business.

Congress can reinforce this confidence by insuring that its procedures
permit rapid action on temporary income tax cuts. And special funds for
job-creating public programs should be made available for immediate use if
recession threatens.

Our continued prosperity demands continued price stability. Business,
labor, and the consumer all have a high stake in keeping wages and prices
within the framework of the guideposts that have already served the Nation
so well.

Finding new markets abroad for our goods depends on the initiative of
American business. But we stand ready--with credit and other help--to
assist the flow of trade which will benefit the entire Nation.


Our economy owes much to the efficiency of our farmers. We must
continue to assure them the opportunity to earn a fair reward. I have
instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to lead a major effort to find new
approaches to reduce the heavy cost of our farm programs and to direct more
of our effort to the small farmer who needs the help the most.


We can help insure continued prosperity through:

--a regional recovery program to assist the development of stricken areas
left behind by our national progress;

--further efforts to provide our workers with the skills demanded by modern
technology, for the laboring-man is an indispensable force in the American

--the extension of the minimum wage to more than 2 million unprotected

--the improvement and the modernization of the unemployment compensation

And as pledged in our 1960 and 1964 Democratic platforms, I will propose to
Congress changes in the Taft-Hartley Act including section 14(b). I will do
so hoping to reduce the conflicts that for several years have divided
Americans in various States of our Union.

In a country that spans a continent modern transportation is vital to
continued growth.


I will recommend heavier reliance on competition
in transportation and a new policy for our merchant marine.

I will ask for funds to study high-speed rail transportation between urban
centers. We will begin with test projects between Washington and Boston. On
high-speed trains, passengers could travel this distance in less than 4


Second, we must open opportunity to all our people.

Most Americans enjoy a good life. But far too many are still trapped in
poverty and idleness and fear.

Let a just nation throw open to them the city of promise:

--to the elderly, by providing hospital care under social security and by
raising benefit payments to those struggling to maintain the dignity of
their later years;

--to the poor and the unfortunate, through doubling the war against poverty
this year;

--to Negro Americans, through enforcement of the civil rights law and
elimination of barriers to the right to vote;

--to those in other lands that are seeking the promise of America, through
an immigration law based on the work a man can do and not where he was born
or how he spells his name.


Our third goal is to improve the quality of
American life.


We begin with learning.

Every child must have the best education that this Nation can provide.

Thomas Jefferson said that no nation can be both ignorant and free. Today
no nation can be both ignorant and great.

In addition to our existing programs, I will recommend a new program for
schools and students with a first year authorization of $1,500 million.

It will help at every stage along the road to learning.

For the preschool years we will help needy children become aware of the
excitement of learning.

For the primary and secondary school years we will aid public schools
serving low-income families and assist students in both public and private

For the college years we will provide scholarships to high school students
of the greatest promise and the greatest need and we will guarantee
low-interest loans to students continuing their college studies.

New laboratories and centers will help our schools--help them lift their
standards of excellence and explore new methods of teaching. These centers
will provide special training for those who need and those who deserve
special treatment.


Greatness requires not only an educated people but a
healthy people.

Our goal is to match the achievements of our medicine to the afflictions of
our people.

We already carry on a large program in this country for research and

In addition, regional medical centers can provide the most advanced
diagnosis and treatment for heart disease and cancer and stroke and other
major diseases.

New support for medical and dental education will provide the trained
people to apply our knowledge.

Community centers can help the mentally ill and improve health care for
school-age children from poor families, including services for the mentally


The City

An educated and healthy people require surroundings in harmony with
their hopes. In our urban areas the central problem today is to protect and
restore man's satisfaction in belonging to a community where he can find
security and significance.

The first step is to break old patterns--to begin to think and work and
plan for the development of the entire metropolitan areas. We will take
this step with new programs of help for the basic community facilities and
for neighborhood centers of health and recreation.

New and existing programs will be open to those cities which work together
to develop unified long-range policies for metropolitan areas.

We must also make some very important changes in our housing programs if we
are to pursue these same basic goals.

So a Department of Housing and Urban Development will be needed to
spearhead this effort in our cities.

Every citizen has the right to feel secure in his home and on the streets
of his community.

To help control crime, we will recommend programs:

--to train local law enforcement officers;

--to put the best techniques of modern science at their disposal;

--to discover the causes of crime and better ways to prevent it.

I will soon assemble a panel of outstanding experts of this Nation to
search out answers to the national problem of crime and delinquency, and I
welcome the recommendations and the constructive efforts of the Congress.
The Beauty of America

For over three centuries the beauty of America has sustained our spirit and
has enlarged our vision. We must act now to protect this heritage. In a
fruitful new partnership with the States and the cities the next decade
should be a conservation milestone. We must make a massive effort to save
the countryside and to establish--as a green legacy for tomorrow--more
large and small parks, more seashores and open spaces than have been
created during any other period in our national history.

A new and substantial effort must be made to landscape highways to provide
places of relaxation and recreation wherever our roads run,

Within our cities imaginative programs are needed to landscape streets and
to transform open areas into places of beauty and recreation.

We will seek legal power to prevent pollution of our air and water before
it happens. We will step up our effort to control harmful wastes, giving
first priority to the cleanup of our most contaminated rivers. We will
increase research to learn much more about the control of pollution.

We hope to make the Potomac a model of beauty here in the Capital, and
preserve unspoiled stretches of some of our waterways with a Wild Rivers

More ideas for a beautiful America will emerge from a White House
Conference on Natural Beauty which I will soon call.

Art and Science

We must also recognize and encourage those who can be
pathfinders for the Nation's imagination and understanding.

To help promote and honor creative achievements, I will propose a National
Foundation on the Arts.

To develop knowledge which will enrich our lives and ensure our progress, I
will recommend programs to encourage basic science, particularly in the
universities--and to bring closer the day when the oceans will supply our
growing need for fresh water.

For government to serve these goals it must be modern in structure,
efficient in action, and ready for any emergency.

I am busy, currently, reviewing the structure of the entire executive
branch of this Government. I hope to reshape it and to reorganize it to
meet more effectively the tasks of the 20th century.

Wherever waste is found, I will eliminate it.

Last year we saved almost $3,500 million by eliminating waste in the
National Government.

And I intend to do better this year.

And very soon I will report to you on our progress and on new economies
that your Government plans to make.

Even the best of government is subject to the worst of hazards.

I will propose laws to insure the necessary continuity of leadership should
the President become disabled or die.

In addition, I will propose reforms in the electoral college--leaving
undisturbed the vote by States--but making sure that no elector can
substitute his will for that of the people.

Last year, in a sad moment, I came here and I spoke to you after 33 years
of public service, practically all of them here on this Hill.

This year I speak after 1 year as President of the United States.

Many of you in this Chamber are among my oldest friends. We have shared
many happy moments and many hours of work, and we have watched many
Presidents together. Yet, only in the White House can you finally know the
full weight of this Office.

The greatest burden is not running the huge operations of government--or
meeting daily troubles, large and small--or even working with the

A President's hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is

Yet the Presidency brings no special gift of prophecy or foresight. You
take an oath, you step into an office, and you must then help guide a great

The answer was waiting for me in the land where I was born.

It was once barren land. The angular hills were covered with scrub cedar
and a few large live oaks. Little would grow in that harsh caliche soil of
my country. And each spring the Pedernales River would flood our valley.

But men came and they worked and they endured and they built.

And tonight that country is abundant; abundant with fruit and cattle and
goats and sheep, and there are pleasant homes and lakes and the floods are

Why did men come to that once forbidding land?

Well, they were restless, of course, and they had to be moving on. But
there was more than that. There was a dream--a dream of a place where a
free man could build for himself, and raise his children to a better
life--a dream of a continent to be conquered, a world to be won, a nation
to be made.

Remembering this, I knew the answer.

A President does not shape a new and personal vision of America.

He collects it from the scattered hopes of the American past.

It existed when the first settlers saw the coast of a new world, and when
the first pioneers moved westward.

It has guided us every step of the way.

It sustains every President. But it is also your inheritance and it belongs
equally to all the people that we all serve.

It must be interpreted anew by each generation for its own needs; as I have
tried, in part, to do tonight.

It shall lead us as we enter the third century of the search for a more
perfect union?

This, then, is the state of the Union: Free and restless, growing and full
of hope.

So it was in the beginning.

So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to
keep the faith.


State of the Union Address
Lyndon B. Johnson
January 12, 1966

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the House and the Senate, my fellow

I come before you tonight to report on the State of the Union for the third

I come here to thank you and to add my tribute, once more, to the Nation's
gratitude for this, the 89th Congress. This Congress has already reserved
for itself an honored chapter in the history of America.

Our Nation tonight is engaged in a brutal and bitter conflict in Vietnam.
Later on I want to discuss that struggle in some detail with you. It just
must be the center of our concerns.

But we will not permit those who fire upon us in Vietnam to win a victory
over the desires and the intentions of all the American people. This Nation
is mighty enough, its society is healthy enough, its people are strong
enough, to pursue our goals in the rest of the world while still building a
Great Society here at home.

And that is what I have come here to ask of you tonight.

I recommend that you provide the resources to carry forward, with full
vigor, the great health and education programs that you enacted into law
last year.

I recommend that we prosecute with vigor and determination our war on

I recommend that you give a new and daring direction to our foreign aid
program, designed to make a maximum attack on hunger and disease and
ignorance in those countries that are determined to help themselves, and to
help those nations that are trying to control population growth.

I recommend that you make it possible to expand trade between the United
States and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

I recommend to you a program to rebuild completely, on a scale never before
attempted, entire central and slum areas of several of our cities in

I recommend that you attack the wasteful and degrading poisoning of our
rivers, and, as the cornerstone of this effort, clean completely entire
large river basins.

I recommend that you meet the growing menace of crime in the streets by
building up law enforcement and by revitalizing the entire Federal system
from prevention to probation.

I recommend that you take additional steps to insure equal justice to all
of our people by effectively enforcing nondiscrimination in Federal and
State jury selection, by making it a serious Federal crime to obstruct
public and private efforts to secure civil rights, and by outlawing
discrimination in the sale and rental of housing.

I recommend that you help me modernize and streamline the Federal
Government by creating a new Cabinet level Department of Transportation and
reorganizing several existing agencies. In turn, I will restructure our
civil service in the top grades so that men and women can easily be
assigned to jobs where they are most needed, and ability will be both
required as well as rewarded.

I will ask you to make it possible for Members of the House of
Representatives to work more effectively in the service of the Nation
through a constitutional amendment extending the term of a Congressman to 4
years, concurrent with that of the President. II.

Because of Vietnam we cannot do all that we should, or all that we would
like to do. We will ruthlessly attack waste and inefficiency. We will make
sure that every dollar is spent with the thrift and with the commonsense
which recognizes how hard the taxpayer worked in order to earn it.

We will continue to meet the needs of our people by continuing to develop
the Great Society.

Last year alone the wealth that we produced increased $47 billion, and it
will soar again this year to a total over $720 billion.

Because our economic policies have produced rising revenues, if you approve
every program that I recommend tonight, our total budget deficit will be
one of the lowest in many years. It will be only $1.8 billion next year.
Total spending in the administrative budget will be $112.8 billion.
Revenues next year will be $111 billion.

On a cash basis--which is the way that you and I keep our family
budget--the Federal budget next year will actually show a surplus. That is
to say, if we include all the money that your Government will take in and
all the money that your Government will spend, your Government next year
will collect one-half billion dollars more than it will spend in the year

I have not come here tonight to ask for pleasant luxuries or for idle
pleasures. I have come here to recommend that you, the representatives of
the richest Nation on earth, you, the elected servants of a people who live
in abundance unmatched on this globe, you bring the most urgent decencies
of life to all of your fellow Americans.

There are men who cry out: We must sacrifice. Well, let us rather ask them:
Who will they sacrifice? Are they going to sacrifice the children who seek
the learning, or the sick who need medical care, or the families who dwell
in squalor now brightened by the hope of home? Will they sacrifice
opportunity for the distressed, the beauty of our land, the hope of our

Time may require further sacrifices. And if it does, then we will make

But we will not heed those who wring it from the hopes of the unfortunate
here in a land of plenty.

I believe that we can continue the Great Society while we fight in Vietnam.
But if there are some who do not believe this, then, in the name of
justice, let them call for the contribution of those who live in the
fullness of our blessing, rather than try to strip it from the hands of
those that are most in need.

And let no one think that the unfortunate and the oppressed of this land
sit stifled and alone in their hope tonight. Hundreds of their servants and
their protectors sit before me tonight here in this great Chamber. III.

The Great Society leads us along three roads--growth and justice and

I can report to you tonight what you have seen for yourselves already--in
every city and countryside. This Nation is flourishing.

Workers are making more money than ever--with after-tax income in the past
5 years up 33 percent; in the last year alone, up 8 percent.

More people are working than ever before in our history--an increase last
year of 2 1/2 million jobs.

Corporations have greater after-tax earnings than ever in history. For the
past 5 years those earnings have been up over 65 percent, and last year
alone they had a rise of 20 percent.

Average farm income is higher than ever. Over the past 5 years it is up 40
percent, and over the past year it is up 22 percent alone.

I was informed this afternoon by the distinguished Secretary of the
Treasury that his preliminary estimates indicate that our balance of
payments deficit has been reduced from $2.8 billion in 1964 to $1.3
billion, or less, in 1965. This achievement has been made possible by the
patriotic voluntary cooperation of businessmen and bankers working with
your Government.

We must now work together with increased urgency to wipe out this balance
of payments deficit altogether in the next year.

And as our economy surges toward new heights we must increase our vigilance
against the inflation which raises the cost of living and which lowers the
savings of every family in this land. It is essential, to prevent
inflation, that we ask both labor and business to exercise price and wage
restraint, and I do so again tonight.

I believe it desirable, because of increased military expenditures, that
you temporarily restore the automobile and certain telephone excise tax
reductions made effective only 12 days ago. Without raising taxes--or even
increasing the total tax bill paid--we should move to improve our
withholding system so that Americans can more realistically pay as they go,
speed up the collection of corporate taxes, and make other necessary
simplifications of the tax structure at an early date.

I hope these measures will be adequate. But if the necessities of Vietnam
require it, I will not hesitate to return to the Congress for additional
appropriations, or additional revenues if they are needed.

I propose legislation to establish unavoidable requirements for
nondiscriminatory jury selection in Federal and State courts--and to give
the Attorney General the power necessary to enforce those requirements.

I propose legislation to strengthen authority of Federal courts to try
those who murder, attack, or intimidate either civil rights workers or
others exercising their constitutional rights--and to increase penalties to
a level equal to the nature of the crime.

Legislation, resting on the fullest constitutional authority of the Federal
Government, to prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of

For that other nation within a Nation--the poor--whose distress has now
captured the conscience of America, I will ask the Congress not only to
continue, but to speed up the war on poverty. And in so doing, we will
provide the added energy of achievement with the increased efficiency of

To improve the life of our rural Americans and our farm population, we will
plan for the future through the establishment of several new Community
Development Districts, improved education through the use of Teacher Corps
teams, better health measures, physical examinations, and adequate and
available medical resources.

For those who labor, I propose to improve unemployment insurance, to expand
minimum wage benefits, and by the repeal of section 14(b) of the
Taft-Hartley Act to make the labor laws in all our States equal to the laws
of the 31 States which do not have tonight right-to-work measures.

And I also intend to ask the Congress to consider measures which, without
improperly invading State and local authority, will enable us effectively
to deal with strikes which threaten irreparable damage to the national

Yet, slowly, painfully, on the edge of victory, has come the knowledge that
shared prosperity is not enough. In the midst of abundance modern man walks
oppressed by forces which menace and confine the quality of his life, and
which individual abundance alone will not overcome.

We can subdue and we can master these forces--bring increased meaning to
our lives--if all of us, Government and citizens, are bold enough to change
old ways, daring enough to assault new dangers, and if the dream is dear
enough to call forth the limitless capacities of this great people.

This year we must continue to improve the quality of American life.

Let us fulfill and improve the great health and education programs of last
year, extending special opportunities to those who risk their lives in our
Armed Forces.

I urge the House of Representatives to complete action on three programs
already passed by the Senate--the Teacher Corps, rent assistance, and home
rule for the District of Columbia.

In some of our urban areas we must help rebuild entire sections and
neighborhoods containing, in some cases, as many as 100,000 people. Working
together, private enterprise and government must press forward with the
task of providing homes and shops, parks and hospitals, and all the other
necessary parts of a flourishing community where our people can come to
live the good life.

I will offer other proposals to stimulate and to reward planning for the
growth of entire metropolitan areas.

Of all the reckless devastations of our national heritage, none is really
more shameful than the continued poisoning of our rivers and our air.

We must undertake a cooperative effort to end pollution in several river
basins, making additional funds available to help draw the plans and
construct the plants that are necessary to make the waters of our entire
river systems clean, and make them a source of pleasure and beauty for all
of our people.

To attack and to overcome growing crime and lawlessness, I think we must
have a stepped-up program to help modernize and strengthen our local police

Our people have a right to feel secure in their homes and on their
streets--and that right just must be secured.

Nor can we fail to arrest the destruction of life and property on our

I will propose a Highway Safety Act of 1966 to seek an end to this mounting

We must also act to prevent the deception of the American
consumer--requiring all packages to state clearly and truthfully their
contents--all interest and credit charges to be fully revealed--and keeping
harmful drugs and cosmetics away from our stores.

It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring
institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich
fertility of American political invention. We must change to master

I propose to take steps to modernize and streamline the executive branch,
to modernize the relations between city and State and Nation.

A new Department of Transportation is needed to bring together our
transportation activities. The present structure--35 Government agencies,
spending $5 billion yearly--makes it almost impossible to serve either the
growing demands of this great Nation or the needs of the industry, or the
right of the taxpayer to full efficiency and real frugality.

I will propose in addition a program to construct and to flight-test a new
supersonic transport airplane that will fly three times the speed of
sound--in excess of 2,000 miles per hour.

I propose to examine our Federal system--the relation between city, State,
Nation, and the citizens themselves. We need a commission of the most
distinguished scholars and men of public affairs to do this job. I will ask
them to move on to develop a creative federalism to best use the wonderful
diversity of our institutions and our people to solve the problems and to
fulfill the dreams of the American people.

As the process of election becomes more complex and more costly, we must
make it possible for those without personal wealth to enter public life
without being obligated to a few large contributors.

Therefore, I will submit legislation to revise the present unrealistic
restriction on contributions--to prohibit the endless proliferation of
committees, bringing local and State committees under the act--to attach
strong teeth and severe penalties to the requirement of full disclosure of
contributions--and to broaden the participation of the people, through added
tax incentives, to stimulate small contributions to the party and to the
candidate of their choice.

To strengthen the work of Congress I strongly urge an amendment to provide
a 4-year term for Members of the House of Representatives--which should not
begin before 1972.

The present 2-year term requires most Members of Congress to divert
enormous energies to an almost constant process of campaigning--depriving
this Nation of the fullest measure of both their skill and their wisdom.
Today, too, the work of government is far more complex than in our early
years, requiring more time to learn and more time to master the technical
tasks of legislating. And a longer term will serve to attract more men of
the highest quality to political life. The Nation, the principle of
democracy, and, I think, each congressional district, will all be better
served by a 4-year term for Members of the House. And I urge your swift
action. IV.

Tonight the cup of peril is full in Vietnam. That conflict is not an
isolated episode, but another great event in the policy that we have
followed with strong consistency since World War II.

The touchstone of that policy is the interest of the United States--the
welfare and the freedom of the people of the United States. But nations
sink when they see that interest only through a narrow glass.

In a world that has grown small and dangerous, pursuit of narrow aims could
bring decay and even disaster.

An America that is mighty beyond description--yet living in a hostile or
despairing world--would be neither safe nor free to build a civilization to
liberate the spirit of man.

In this pursuit we helped rebuild Western Europe. We gave our aid to Greece
and Turkey, and we defended the freedom of Berlin.

In this pursuit we have helped new nations toward independence. We have
extended the helping hand of the Peace Corps and carried forward the
largest program of economic assistance in the world.

And in this pursuit we work to build a hemisphere of democracy and of
social justice.

In this pursuit we have defended against Communist aggression--in Korea
under President Truman--in the Formosa Straits under President
Eisenhower--in Cuba under President Kennedy--and again in Vietnam.

Tonight Vietnam must hold the center of our attention, but across the world
problems and opportunities crowd in on the American Nation. I will discuss
them fully in the months to come, and I will follow the five continuing
lines of policy that America has followed under its last four Presidents.

While special Vietnam expenditures for the next fiscal year are estimated
to increase by $5.8 billion, I can tell you that all the other expenditures
put together in the entire Federal budget will rise this coming year by
only $.6 billion. This is true because of the stringent cost-conscious
economy program inaugurated in the Defense Department, and followed by the
other departments of Government.

We will vigorously pursue existing proposals--and seek new ones--to control
arms and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

By strengthening the common defense, by stimulating world commerce, by
meeting new hopes, these associations serve the cause of a flourishing

We will take new steps this year to help strengthen the Alliance for
Progress, the unity of Europe, the community of the Atlantic, the regional
organizations of developing continents, and that supreme association--the
United Nations.

We will work to strengthen economic cooperation, to reduce barriers to
trade, and to improve international finance.

From the Marshall plan to this very moment tonight, that policy has rested
on the claims of compassion, and the certain knowledge that only a people
advancing in expectation will build secure and peaceful lands.

This year I propose major new directions in our program of foreign
assistance to help those countries who will help themselves.

We will conduct a worldwide attack on the problems of hunger and disease
and ignorance.

We will place the matchless skill and the resources of our own great
America, in farming and in fertilizers, at the service of those countries
committed to develop a modern agriculture.

We will aid those who educate the young in other lands, and we will give
children in other continents the same head start that we are trying to give
our own children. To advance these ends I will propose the International
Education Act of 1966.

I will also propose the International Health Act of 1966 to strike at
disease by a new effort to bring modern skills and knowledge to the
uncared-for, those suffering in the world, and by trying to wipe out
smallpox and malaria and control yellow fever over most of the world during
this next decade; to help countries trying to control population growth, by
increasing our research--and we will earmark funds to help their efforts.

In the next year, from our foreign aid sources, we propose to dedicate $1
billion to these efforts, and we call on all who have the means to join us
in this work in the world.

For a peaceful world order will be possible only when each country walks
the way that it has chosen to walk for itself.

We follow this principle by encouraging the end of colonial rule.

We follow this principle, abroad as well as at home, by continued hostility
to the rule of the many by the few--or the oppression of one race by

We follow this principle by building bridges to Eastern Europe. And I will
ask the Congress for authority to remove the special tariff restrictions
which are a barrier to increasing trade between the East and the West.

The insistent urge toward national independence is the strongest force of
today's world in which we live.

In Africa and Asia and Latin America it is shattering the designs of those
who would subdue others to their ideas or their will.

It is eroding the unity of what was once a Stalinist empire.

In recent months a number of nations have east out those who would subject
them to the ambitions of mainland China.

History is on the side of freedom and is on the side of societies shaped
from the genius of each people. History does not favor a single system or
belief--unless force is used to make it so.

That is why it has been necessary for us to defend this basic principle of
our policy, to defend it in Berlin, in Korea, in Cuba--and tonight in

For tonight, as so many nights before, young Americans struggle and young
Americans die in a distant land.

Tonight, as so many nights before, the American Nation is asked to
sacrifice the blood of its children and the fruits of its labor for the
love of its freedom.

How many times--in my lifetime and in yours--have the American people
gathered, as they do now, to hear their President tell them of conflict and
tell them of danger?

Each time they have answered. They have answered with all the effort that
the security and the freedom of this Nation required.

And they do again tonight in Vietnam. Not too many years ago Vietnam was a
peaceful, if troubled, land. In the North was an independent Communist
government. In the South a people struggled to build a nation, with the
friendly help of the United States.

There were some in South Vietnam who wished to force Communist rule on
their own people. But their progress was slight. Their hope of success was
dim. Then, little more than 6 years ago, North Vietnam decided on conquest.
And from that day to this, soldiers and supplies have moved from North to
South in a swelling stream that is swallowing the remnants of revolution in

As the assault mounted, our choice gradually became clear. We could leave,
abandoning South Vietnam to its attackers and to certain conquest, or we
could stay and fight beside the people of South Vietnam. We stayed.

And we will stay until aggression has stopped.

We will stay because a just nation cannot leave to the cruelties of its
enemies a people who have staked their lives and independence on America's
solemn pledge--a pledge which has grown through the commitments of three
American Presidents.

We will stay because in Asia and around the world are countries whose
independence rests, in large measure, on confidence in America's word and
in America's protection. To yield to force in Vietnam would weaken that
confidence, would undermine the independence of many lands, and would whet
the appetite of aggression. We would have to fight in one land, and then we
would have to fight in another--or abandon much of Asia to the domination
of Communists.

And we do not intend to abandon Asia to conquest.

Last year the nature of the war in Vietnam changed again. Swiftly
increasing numbers of armed men from the North crossed the borders to join
forces that were already in the South. Attack and terror increased, spurred
and encouraged by the belief that the United States lacked the will to
continue and that their victory was near.

Despite our desire to limit conflict, it was necessary to act: to hold back
the mounting aggression, to give courage to the people of the South, and to
make our firmness clear to the North. Thus. we began limited air action
against military targets in North Vietnam. We increased our fighting force
to its present strength tonight of 190,000 men.

These moves have not ended the aggression but they have prevented its
success. The aims of the enemy have been put out of reach by the skill and
the bravery of Americans and their allies--and by the enduring courage of
the South Vietnamese who, I can tell you, have lost eight men last year for
every one of ours.

The enemy is no longer close to victory. Time is no longer on his side.
There is no cause to doubt the American commitment.

Our decision to stand firm has been matched by our desire for peace.

In 1965 alone we had 300 private talks for peace in Vietnam, with friends
and adversaries throughout the world.

Since Christmas your Government has labored again, with imagination and
endurance, to remove any barrier to peaceful settlement. For 20 days now we
and our Vietnamese allies have dropped no bombs in North Vietnam.

Able and experienced spokesmen have visited, in behalf of America, more
than 40 countries. We have talked to more than a hundred governments, all
113 that we have relations with, and some that we don't. We have talked to
the United Nations and we have called upon all of its members to make any
contribution that they can toward helping obtain peace.

In public statements and in private communications, to adversaries and to
friends, in Rome and Warsaw, in Paris and Tokyo, in Africa and throughout
this hemisphere, America has made her position abundantly clear.

We seek neither territory nor bases, economic domination or military
alliance in Vietnam. We fight for the principle of self-determination--that
the people of South Vietnam should be able to choose their own course,
choose it in free elections without violence, without terror, and without

The people of all Vietnam should make a free decision on the great question
of reunification.

This is all we want for South Vietnam. It is all the people of South
Vietnam want. And if there is a single nation on this earth that desires
less than this for its own people, then let its voice be heard.

We have also made it clear--from Hanoi to New York--that there are no
arbitrary limits to our search for peace. We stand by the Geneva Agreements
of 1954 and 1962. We will meet at any conference table, we will discuss any
proposals--four points or fourteen or forty--and we will consider the views
of any group. We will work for a cease-fire now or once discussions have
begun. We will respond if others reduce their use of force, and we will
withdraw our soldiers once South Vietnam is securely guaranteed the right
to shape its own future.

We have said all this, and we have asked--and hoped--and we have waited for
a response.

So far we have received no response to prove either success or failure.

We have carried our quest for peace to many nations and peoples because we
share this planet with others whose future, in large measure, is tied to
our own action, and whose counsel is necessary to our own hopes.

We have found understanding and support. And we know they wait with us
tonight for some response that could lead to peace.

I wish tonight that I could give you a blueprint for the course of this
conflict over the coming months, but we just cannot know what the future
may require. We may have to face long, hard combat or a long, hard
conference, or even both at once.

Until peace comes, or if it does not come, our course is clear. We will act
as we must to help protect the independence of the valiant people of South
Vietnam. We will strive to limit the conflict, for we wish neither
increased destruction nor do we want to invite increased danger.

But we will give our fighting men what they must have: every gun, and every
dollar, and every decision--whatever the cost or whatever the challenge.

And we will continue to help the people of South Vietnam care for those
that are ravaged by battle, create progress in the villages, and carry
forward the healing hopes of peace as best they can amidst the uncertain
terrors of war.

And let me be absolutely clear: The days may become months, and the months
may become years, but we will stay as long as aggression commands us to

There may be some who do not want peace, whose ambitions stretch so far
that war in Vietnam is but a welcome and convenient episode in an immense
design to subdue history to their will. But for others it must now be
clear--the choice is not between peace and victory, it lies between peace
and the ravages of a conflict from which they can only lose.

The people of Vietnam, North and South, seek the same things: the shared
needs of man, the needs for food and shelter and education--the chance to
build and work and till the soil, free from the arbitrary horrors of
battle--the desire to walk in the dignity of those who master their own
destiny. For many painful years, in war and revolution and infrequent
peace, they have struggled to fulfill those needs.

It is a crime against mankind that so much courage, and so much will, and
so many dreams, must be flung on the fires of war and death.

To all of those caught up in this conflict we therefore say again tonight:
Let us choose peace, and with it the wondrous works of peace, and beyond
that, the time when hope reaches toward consummation, and life is the
servant of life.

In this work, we plan to discharge our duty to the people whom we serve.

This is the State of the Union.

But over it all--wealth, and promise, and expectation--lies our troubling
awareness of American men at war tonight.

How many men who listen to me tonight have served their Nation in other
wars? How very many are not here to listen?

The war in Vietnam is not like these other wars. Yet, finally, war is
always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their promise. It
is trying to kill a man that you do not even know well enough to hate.

Therefore, to know war is to know that there is still madness in this

Many of you share the burden of this knowledge tonight with me. But there
is a difference. For finally I must be the one to order our guns to fire,
against all the most inward pulls of my desire. For we have children to
teach, and we have sick to be cured, and we have men to be freed. There are
poor to be lifted up, and there are cities to be built, and there is a
world to be helped.

Yet we do what we must.

I am hopeful, and I will try as best I can, with everything I have got, to
end this battle and to return our sons to their desires.

Yet as long as others will challenge America's security and test the
clearness of our beliefs with fire and steel, then we must stand or see the
promise of two centuries tremble. I believe tonight that you do not want me
to try that risk. And from that belief your President summons his strength
for the trials that lie ahead in the days to come.

The work must be our work now. Scarred by the weaknesses of man, with
whatever guidance God may offer us, we must nevertheless and alone with our
mortality, strive to ennoble the life of man on earth.

Thank you, and goodnight.


State of the Union Address
Lyndon B. Johnson
January 10, 1967

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, distinguished Members of the Congress:

I share with all of you the grief that you feel at the death today of one
of the most beloved, respected, and effective Members of this body, the
distinguished Representative from Rhode Island, Mr. Fogarty.

I have come here tonight to report to you that this is a time of testing
for our Nation.

At home, the question is whether we will continue working for better
opportunities for all Americans, when most Americans are already living
better than any people in history.

Abroad, the question is whether we have the staying power to fight a very
costly war, when the objective is limited and the danger to us is seemingly

So our test is not whether we shrink from our country's cause when the
dangers to us are obvious and dose at hand, but, rather, whether we carry
on when they seem obscure and distant--and some think that it is safe to
lay down our burdens.

I have come tonight to ask this Congress and this Nation to resolve that
issue: to meet our commitments at home and abroad--to continue to build a
better America--and to reaffirm this Nation's allegiance to freedom.

As President Abraham Lincoln said, "We must ask where we are, and whither
we are tending." I.

The last 3 years bear witness to our determination to make this a better

We have struck down legal barriers to equality.

We have improved the education of 7 million deprived children and this year
alone we have enabled almost 1 million students to go to college.

We have brought medical care to older people who were unable to afford it.
Three and one-half million Americans have already received treatment under
Medicare since July.

We have built a strong economy that has put almost 3 million more Americans
on the payrolls in the last year alone.

We have included more than 9 million new workers under a higher minimum

We have launched new training programs to provide job skills for almost 1
million Americans.

We have helped more than a thousand local communities to attack poverty in
the neighborhoods of the poor. We have set out to rebuild our cities on a
scale that has never been attempted before. We have begun to rescue our
waters from the menace of pollution and to restore the beauty of our land
and our countryside, our cities and our towns.

We have given 1 million young Americans a chance to earn through the
Neighborhood Youth Corps--or through Head Start, a chance to learn.

So together we have tried to meet the needs of our people. And, we have
succeeded in creating a better life for the many as well as the few. Now we
must answer whether our gains shall be the foundations of further progress,
or whether they shall be only monuments to what might have been--abandoned
now by a people who lacked the will to see their great work through.

I believe that our people do not want to quit--though the task is great,
the work hard, often frustrating, and success is a matter not of days or
months, but of years--and sometimes it may be even decades. II.

I have come here tonight to discuss with you five ways of carrying forward
the progress of these last 3 years. These five ways concern programs,
partnerships, priorities, prosperity, and peace.

First, programs. We must see to it, I think, that these new programs that
we have passed work effectively and are administered in the best possible

Three years ago we set out to create these new instruments of social
progress. This required trial and error--and it has produced both. But as
we learn, through success and failure, we are changing our strategy and we
are trying to improve our tactics. In the long run, these starts--some
rewarding, others inadequate and disappointing--are crucial to SUCCESS.

One example is the struggle to make life better for the less fortunate
among us.

On a similar occasion, at this rostrum in 1949, I heard a great American
President, Harry S. Truman, declare this: "The American people have decided
that poverty is just as wasteful and just as unnecessary as preventable

Many listened to President Truman that day here in this Chamber, but few
understood what was required and did anything about it. The executive
branch and the Congress waited 15 long years before ever taking any action
on that challenge, as it did on many other challenges that great President
presented. And when, 3 years ago, you here in the Congress joined with me
in a declaration of war on poverty, then I warned, "It will not be a short
or easy struggle--no single weapon... will suffice--but we shall not rest
until that war is won."

And I have come here to renew that pledge tonight.

I recommend that we intensify our efforts to give the poor a chance to
enjoy and to join in this Nation's progress.

I shall propose certain administrative changes suggested by the
Congress--as well as some that we have learned from our own trial and

I shall urge special methods and special funds to reach the hundreds of
thousands of Americans that are now trapped in the ghettos of our big
cities and, through Head Start, to try to reach out to our very young,
little children. The chance to learn is their brightest hope and must
command our full determination. For learning brings skills; and skills
bring jobs; and jobs bring responsibility and dignity, as well as taxes.

This war--like the war in Vietnam--is not a simple one. There is no single
battle-line which you can plot each day on a chart. The enemy is not easy to
perceive, or to isolate, or to destroy. There are mistakes and there are
setbacks. But we are moving, and our direction is forward.

This is true with other programs that are making and breaking new ground.
Some do not yet have the capacity to absorb well or wisely all the money
that could be put into them. Administrative skills and trained manpower are
just as vital to their success as dollars. And I believe those skills will
come. But it will take time and patience and hard work. Success cannot be
forced at a single stroke. So we must continue to strengthen the
administration of every program if that success is to come--as we know it

We have done much in the space of 2 short years, working together.

I have recommended, and you, the Congress, have approved, 10 different
reorganization plans, combining and consolidating many bureaus of this
Government, and creating two entirely new Cabinet departments.

I have come tonight to propose that we establish a new department--a
Department of Business and Labor.

By combining the Department of Commerce with the Department of Labor and
other related agencies, I think we can create a more economical, efficient,
and streamlined instrument that will better serve a growing nation.

This is our goal throughout the entire Federal Government. Every program
will be thoroughly evaluated. Grant-in-aid programs will be improved and
simplified as desired by many of our local administrators and our

Where there have been mistakes, we will try very hard to correct them.

Where there has been progress, we will try to build upon it.

Our second objective is partnership--to create an effective partnership at
all levels of government. And I should treasure nothing more than to have
that partnership begin between the executive and the Congress.

The 88th and the 89th Congresses passed more social and economic
legislation than any two single Congresses in American history. Most of you
who were Members of those Congresses voted to pass most of those measures.
But your efforts will come to nothing unless it reaches the people.

Federal energy is essential. But it is not enough. Only a total working
partnership among Federal, State, and local governments can succeed. The
test of that partnership will be the concern of each public organization,
each private institution, and each responsible citizen.

Each State, county, and city needs to examine its capacity for government
in today's world, as we are examining ours in the executive department, and
as I see you are examining yours. Some will need to reorganize and reshape
their methods of administration--as we are doing. Others will need to revise
their constitutions and their laws to bring them up to date--as we are
doing. Above all, I think we must work together and find ways in which the
multitudes of small jurisdictions can be brought together more

During the past 3 years we have returned to State and local governments
about $40 billion in grants-in-aid. This year alone, 70 percent of our
Federal expenditures for domestic programs will be distributed through the
State and local governments. With Federal assistance, State and local
governments by 1970 will be spending close to $110 billion annually. These
enormous sums must be used wisely, honestly, and effectively. We intend to
work closely with the States and the localities to do exactly that.

Our third objective is priorities, to move ahead on the priorities that we
have established within the resources that are available.

I wish, of course, that we could do all that should be done--and that we
could do it now. But the Nation has many commitments and responsibilities
which make heavy demands upon our total resources. No administration would
more eagerly utilize for these programs all the resources they require than
the administration that started them.

So let us resolve, now, to do all that we can, with what we have--knowing
that it is far, far more than we have ever done before, and far, far less
than our problems will ultimately require.

Let us create new opportunities for our children and our young Americans
who need special help.

We should strengthen the Head Start program, begin it for children 3 years
old, and maintain its educational momentum by following through in the
early years.

We should try new methods of child development and care from the earliest
years, before it is too late to correct.

And I will propose these measures to the 90th Congress.

Let us insure that older Americans, and neglected Americans, share in their
Nation's progress.

We should raise social security payments by an overall average of 20
percent. That will add $4 billion 100 million to social security payments
in the first year. I will recommend that each of the 23 million Americans
now receiving payments get an increase of at least 15 percent.

I will ask that you raise the minimum payments by 59 percent--from $44 to
$70 a month, and to guarantee a minimum benefit of $100 a month for those
with a total of 25 years of coverage. We must raise the limits that retired
workers can earn without losing social security income.

We must eliminate by law unjust discrimination in employment because of

We should embark upon a major effort to provide self-help assistance to the
forgotten in our midst--the American Indians and the migratory farm
workers. And we should reach with the hand of understanding to help those
who live in rural poverty.

And I will propose these measures to the 90th Congress.

So let us keep on improving the quality of life and enlarging the meaning
of justice for all of our fellow Americans.

We should transform our decaying slums into places of decency through the
landmark Model Cities program. I intend to seek for this effort, this year,
the full amount that you in Congress authorized last year.

We should call upon the genius of private industry and the most advanced
technology to help rebuild our great cities.

We should vastly expand the fight for dean air with a total attack on
pollution at its sources, and--because air, like water, does not respect
manmade boundaries--we should set up "regional airsheds" throughout this
great land.

We should continue to carry to every corner of the Nation our campaign for
a beautiful America--to dean up our towns, to make them more beautiful, our
cities, our countryside, by creating more parks, and more seashores, and
more open spaces for our children to play in, and for the generations that
come after us to enjoy.

We should continue to seek equality and justice for each citizen--before a
jury, in seeking a job, in exercising his civil rights. We should find a
solution to fair housing, so that every American, regardless of color, has
a decent home of his choice.

We should modernize our Selective Service System. The National Commission
on Selective Service will shortly submit its report. I will send you new
recommendations to meet our military manpower needs. But let us resolve
that this is to be the Congress that made our draft laws as fair and as
effective as possible.

We should protect what Justice Brandeis called the "right most valued by
civilized men"--the right to privacy. We should outlaw all
wiretapping--public and private--wherever and whenever it occurs, except
when the security of this Nation itself is at stake--and only then with the
strictest governmental safeguards. And we should exercise the full reach of
our constitutional powers to outlaw electronic "bugging" and "snooping."

I hope this Congress will try to help me do more for the consumer. We
should demand that the cost of credit be clearly and honestly expressed
where average citizens can understand it. We should immediately take steps
to prevent massive power failures, to safeguard the home against hazardous
household products, and to assure safety in the pipelines that carry
natural gas across our Nation.

We should extend Medicare benefits that are now denied to 1,300,000
permanently and totally disabled Americans under 65 years of age.

We should improve the process of democracy by passing our election reform
and financing proposals, by tightening our laws regulating lobbying, and by
restoring a reasonable franchise to Americans who move their residences.

We should develop educational television into a vital public resource to
enrich our homes, educate our families, and to provide assistance in our
classrooms. We should insist that the public interest be fully served
through the public's airwaves.

And I will propose these measures to the 90th Congress.

Now we come to a question that weighs very heavily on all our minds--on
yours and mine. This Nation must make an all-out effort to combat crime.

The 89th Congress gave us a new start in the attack on crime by passing the
Law Enforcement Assistance Act that I recommended. We appointed the
National Crime Commission to study crime in America and to recommend the
best ways to carry that attack forward.

And while we do not have all the answers, on the basis of its preliminary
recommendations we are ready to move.

This is not a war that Washington alone can win. The idea of a national
police force is repugnant to the American people. Crime must be rooted out
in local communities by local authorities. Our policemen must be better
trained, must be better paid, and must be better supported by the local
citizens that they try to serve and to protect.

The National Government can and expects to help.

And so I will recommend to the 90th Congress the Safe Streets and Crime
Control Act of 1967. It will enable us to assist those States and cities
that try to make their streets and homes safer, their police forces better,
their corrections systems more effective, and their courts more efficient.

When the Congress approves, the Federal Government will be able to provide
a substantial percentage of the cost:

--90 percent of the cost of developing the State and local plans, master
plans, to combat crime in their area;

--60 percent of the cost of training new tactical units, developing instant
communications and special alarm systems, and introducing the latest
equipment and techniques so that they can become weapons in the war on

--50 percent of the cost of building crime laboratories and police
academy-type centers so that our citizens can be protected by the best
trained and served by the best equipped police to be found anywhere. We
will also recommend new methods to prevent juvenile delinquents from
becoming adult delinquents. We will seek new partnerships with States and
cities in order to deal with this hideous narcotics problem. And we will
recommend strict controls on the sale of firearms.

At the heart of this attack on crime must be the conviction that a free
America--as Abraham Lincoln once said--must "let reverence for the
laws . . . become the political religion of the Nation."

Our country's laws must be respected. Order must be maintained. And I will
support--with all the constitutional powers the President possesses--our
Nation's law enforcement officials in their attempt to control the crime
and the violence that tear the fabric of our communities.

Many of these priority proposals will be built on foundations that have
already been laid. Some will necessarily be small at first, but "every
beginning is a consequence." If we postpone this urgent work now, it will
simply have to be done later, and later we will pay a much higher price.

Our fourth objective is prosperity, to keep our economy moving ahead,
moving ahead steadily and safely.

We have now enjoyed 6 years of unprecedented and rewarding prosperity. Last
year, in 1966:

--Wages were the highest in history--and the unemployment rate, announced
yesterday, reached the lowest point in 13 years;

--Total after-tax income of American families rose nearly 5 percent;

--Corporate profits after taxes rose a little more than 5 percent;

--Our gross national product advanced 5.5 percent, to about $740 billion;

--Income per farm went up 6 percent.

Now we have been greatly concerned because consumer prices rose 4.5 percent
over the 18 months since we decided to send troops to Vietnam. This was
more than we had expected--and the Government tried to do everything that
we knew how to do to hold it down. Yet we were not as successful as we
wished to be. In the 18 months after we entered World War II, prices rose
not 4.5 percent, but 13.5 percent. In the first 18 months after Korea,
after the conflict broke out there, prices rose not 4.5 percent, but 11
percent. During those two periods we had OPA price control that the
Congress gave us and War Labor Board wage controls.

Since Vietnam we have not asked for those controls and we have tried to
avoid imposing them. We believe that we have done better, but we make no
pretense of having been successful or doing as well as we wished.

Our greatest disappointment in the economy during 1966 was the excessive
rise in interest rates and the tightening of credit. They imposed very
severe and very unfair burdens on our home buyers and on our home builders,
and all those associated with the home industry.

Last January, and again last September, I recommended fiscal and moderate
tax measures to try to restrain the unbalanced pace of economic expansion.
Legislatively and administratively we took several billions out of the
economy. With these measures, in both instances, the Congress approved most
of the recommendations rather promptly.

As 1966 ended, price stability was seemingly being restored. Wholesale
prices are lower tonight than they were in August. So are retail food
prices. Monetary conditions are also easing. Most interest rates have
retreated from their earlier peaks. More money now seems to be available.

Given the cooperation of the Federal Reserve System, which I so earnestly
seek, I am confident that this movement can continue. I pledge the American
people that I will do everything in a President's power to lower interest
rates and to ease money in this country. The Federal Home Loan Bank Board
tomorrow morning will announce that it will make immediately available to
savings and loan associations an additional $1 billion, and will lower from
6 percent to 5 3/4 percent the interest rate charged on those loans.

We shall continue on a sensible course of fiscal and budgetary policy that
we believe will keep our economy growing without new inflationary spirals;
that will finance responsibly the needs of our men in Vietnam and the
progress of our people at home; that will support a significant improvement
in our export surplus, and will press forward toward easier credit and
toward lower interest rates.

I recommend to the Congress a surcharge of 6 percent on both corporate and
individual income taxes--to last for 2 years or for so long as the unusual
expenditures associated with our efforts in Vietnam continue. I will
promptly recommend an earlier termination date if a reduction in these
expenditures permits it. This surcharge will raise revenues by some $4.5
billion in the first year. For example, a person whose tax payment, the tax
he owes, is $1,000, will pay, under this proposal, an extra $60 over the
12-month period, or $5 a month. The overwhelming majority of Americans who
pay taxes today are below that figure and they will pay substantially less
than $5 a month. Married couples with two children, with incomes up to
$5,000 per year, will be exempt from this tax--as will single people with
an income of up to $1,900 a year.

Now if Americans today still paid the income and excise tax rates in effect
when I came into the Presidency, in the year 1964, their annual taxes would
have been over $20 billion more than at present tax rates. So this proposal
is that while we have this problem and this emergency in Vietnam, while we
are trying to meet the needs of our people at home, your Government asks
for slightly more than one-fourth of that tax cut each year in order to try
to hold our budget deficit in fiscal 1968 within prudent limits and to give
our country and to give our fighting men the help they need in this hour of

For fiscal 1967, we estimate the budget expenditures to be $126.7 billion
and revenues of $117 billion. That will leave us a deficit this year of
$9.7 billion.

For fiscal 1968, we estimate budget expenditures of $135 billion. And with
the tax measures recommended, and a continuing strong economy, we estimate
revenues will be $126.9 billion. The deficit then will be $8.1 billion.

I will very soon forward all of my recommendations to the Congress. Yours
is the responsibility to discuss and to debate them--to approve or modify or
reject them.

I welcome your views, as I have welcomed working with you for 30 years as a
colleague and as Vice President and President.

I should like to say to the Members of the opposition--whose numbers, if I
am not mistaken, seem to have increased somewhat--that the genius of the
American political system has always been best expressed through creative
debate that offers choices and reasonable alternatives. Throughout our
history, great Republicans and Democrats have seemed to understand this. So
let there be light and reason in our relations. That is the way to a
responsible session and a responsive government.

Let us be remembered as a President and a Congress who tried to improve the
quality of life for every American--not just the rich, not just the poor,
but every man, woman, and child in this great Nation of ours.

We all go to school--to good schools or bad schools. We all take air into
our lungs--clean air or polluted air. We all drink water--pure water or
polluted water. We all face sickness someday, and some more often than we
wish, and old age as well. We all have a stake in this Great Society--in
its economic growth, in reduction of civil strife--a great stake in good

We just must not arrest the pace of progress we have established in this
country in these years. Our children's children will pay the price if we
are not wise enough, and courageous enough, and determined enough to stand
up and meet the Nation's needs as well as we can in the time allotted us.

Abroad, as at home, there is also risk in change. But abroad, as at home,
there is a greater risk in standing still. No part of our foreign policy is
so sacred that it ever remains beyond review. We shall be flexible where
conditions in the world change--and where man's efforts can change them for
the better.

We are in the midst of a great transition--a transition from narrow
nationalism to international partnership; from the harsh spirit of the cold
war to the hopeful spirit of common humanity on a troubled and a threatened

In Latin America, the American chiefs of state will be meeting very shortly
to give our hemispheric policies new direction.

We have come a long way in this hemisphere since the inter-American effort
in economic and social development was launched by the conference at Bogota
in 1960 under the leadership of President Eisenhower. The Alliance for
Progress moved dramatically forward under President Kennedy. There is new
confidence that the voice of the people is being heard; that the dignity of
the individual is stronger than ever in this hemisphere, and we are facing
up to and meeting many of the hemispheric problems together. In this
hemisphere that reform under democracy can be made to happen--because it
has happened. So together, I think, we must now move to strike down the
barriers to full cooperation among the American nations, and to free the
energies and the resources of two great continents on behalf of all of our

Africa stands at an earlier stage of development than Latin America. It has
yet to develop the transportation, communications, agriculture, and, above
all, the trained men and women without which growth is impossible. There,
too, the job will best be done if the nations and peoples of Africa
cooperate on a regional basis. More and more our programs for Africa are
going to be directed toward self-help.

The future of Africa is shadowed by unsolved racial conflicts. Our policy
will continue to reflect our basic commitments as a people to support those
who are prepared to work towards cooperation and harmony between races, and
to help those who demand change but reject the fool's gold of violence.

In the Middle East the spirit of good will toward all, unfortunately, has
not yet taken hold. An already tortured peace seems to be constantly
threatened. We shall try to use our influence to increase the possibilities
of improved relations among the nations of that region. We are working hard
at that task.

In the great subcontinent of South Asia live more than a sixth of the
earth's population. Over the years we--and others--have invested very
heavily in capital and food for the economic development of India and

We are not prepared to see our assistance wasted, however, in conflict. It
must strengthen their capacity to help themselves. It must help these two
nations--both our friends--to overcome poverty, to emerge as self-reliant
leaders, and find terms for reconciliation and cooperation.

In Western Europe we shall maintain in NATO an integrated common defense.
But we also look forward to the time when greater security can be achieved
through measures of arms control and disarmament, and through other forms
of practical agreement.

We are shaping a new future of enlarged partnership in nuclear affairs, in
economic and technical cooperation, in trade negotiations, in political
consultation, and in working together with the governments and peoples of
Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

The emerging spirit of confidence is precisely what we hoped to achieve
when we went to work a generation ago to put our shoulder to the wheel and
try to help rebuild Europe. We faced new challenges and opportunities then
and there--and we faced also some dangers. But I believe that the peoples
on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as both sides of this Chamber,
wanted to face them together.

Our relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are also in
transition. We have avoided both the acts and the rhetoric of the cold war.
When we have differed with the Soviet Union, or other nations, for that
matter, I have tried to differ quietly and with courtesy, and without

Our objective is not to continue the cold war, but to end it.

We have reached an agreement at the United Nations on the peaceful uses of
outer space.

We have agreed to open direct air flights with the Soviet Union.

We have removed more than 400 nonstrategic items from export control.

We are determined that the Export-Import Bank can allow commercial credits
to Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia, as well as to Romania and

We have entered into a cultural agreement with the Soviet Union for another
2 years.

We have agreed with Bulgaria and Hungary to upgrade our legations to

We have started discussions with international agencies on ways of
increasing contacts with Eastern European countries.

This administration has taken these steps even as duty compelled us to
fulfill and execute alliances and treaty obligations throughout the world
that were entered into before I became President.

So tonight I now ask and urge this Congress to help our foreign and our
commercial trade policies by passing an East-West trade bill and by
approving our consular convention with the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union has in the past year increased its long-range missile
capabilities. It has begun to place near Moscow a limited antimissile
defense. My first responsibility to our people is to assure that no nation
can ever find it rational to launch a nuclear attack or to use its nuclear
power as a credible threat against us or against our allies.

I would emphasize that that is why an important link between Russia and the
United States is in our common interest, in arms control and in
disarmament. We have the solemn duty to slow down the arms race between us,
if that is at all possible, in both conventional and nuclear weapons and
defenses. I thought we were making some progress in that direction the
first few months I was in office. I realize that any additional race would
impose on our peoples, and on all mankind, for that matter, an additional
waste of resources with no gain in security to either side.

I expect in the days ahead to closely consult and seek the advice of the
Congress about the possibilities of international agreements bearing
directly upon this problem.

Next to the pursuit of peace, the really greatest challenge to the human
family is the race between food supply and population increase. That race
tonight is being lost.

The time for rhetoric has clearly passed. The time for concerted action is
here and we must get on with the job.

We believe that three principles must prevail if our policy is to succeed:

First, the developing nations must give highest priority to food
production, including the use of technology and the capital of private

Second, nations with food deficits must put more of their resources into
voluntary family planning programs.

And third, the developed nations must all assist other nations to avoid
starvation in the short run and to move rapidly towards the ability to feed

Every member of the world community now bears a direct responsibility to
help bring our most basic human account into balance. IV.

I come now finally to Southeast Asia--and to Vietnam in particular. Soon I
will submit to the Congress a detailed report on that situation. Tonight I
want to just review the essential points as briefly as I can.

We are in Vietnam because the United States of America and our allies are
committed by the SEATO Treaty to "act to meet the common danger" of
aggression in Southeast Asia.

We are in Vietnam because an international agreement signed by the United
States, North Vietnam, and others in 1962 is being systematically violated
by the Communists. That violation threatens the independence of all the
small nations in Southeast Asia, and threatens the peace of the entire
region and perhaps the world.

We are there because the people of South Vietnam have as much right to
remain non-Communist--if that is what they choose--as North Vietnam has to
remain Communist.

We are there because the Congress has pledged by solemn vote to take all
necessary measures to prevent further aggression.

No better words could describe our present course than those once spoken by
the great Thomas Jefferson:

"It is the melancholy law of human societies to be compelled sometimes to
choose a great evil in order to ward off a greater."

We have chosen to fight a limited war in Vietnam in an attempt to prevent a
larger war--a war almost certain to follow, I believe, if the Communists
succeed in overrunning and taking over South Vietnam by aggression and by
force. I believe, and I am supported by some authority, that if they are
not checked now the world can expect to pay a greater price to check them

That is what our statesmen said when they debated this treaty, and that is
why it was ratified 82 to 1 by the Senate many years ago.

You will remember that we stood in Western Europe 20 years ago. Is there
anyone in this Chamber tonight who doubts that the course of freedom was
not changed for the better because of the courage of that stand?

Sixteen years ago we and others stopped another kind of aggression--this
time it was in Korea. Imagine how different Asia might be today if we had
failed to act when the Communist army of North Korea marched south. The
Asia of tomorrow will be far different because we have said in Vietnam, as
we said 16 years ago in Korea: "This far and no further."

I think I reveal no secret when I tell you that we are dealing with a
stubborn adversary who is committed to the use of force and terror to
settle political questions.

I wish I could report to you that the conflict is almost over. This I
cannot do. We face more cost, more loss, and more agony. For the end is not
yet. I cannot promise you that it will come this year--or come next year.
Our adversary still believes, I think, tonight, that he can go on fighting
longer than we can, and longer than we and our allies will be prepared to
stand up and resist.

Our men in that area--there are nearly 500,000 now--have borne well "the
burden and the heat of the day." Their efforts have deprived the Communist
enemy of the victory that he sought and that he expected a year ago. We
have steadily frustrated his main forces. General Westmoreland reports that
the enemy can no longer succeed on the battlefield.

So I must say to you that our pressure must be sustained--and will be
sustained--until he realizes that the war he started is costing him more
than he can ever gain.

I know of no strategy more likely to attain that end than the strategy of
"accumulating slowly, but inexorably, every kind of material resource"--of
"laboriously teaching troops the very elements of their trade." That, and
patience--and I mean a great deal of patience.

Our South Vietnamese allies are also being tested tonight. Because they
must provide real security to the people living in the countryside. And
this means reducing the terrorism and the armed attacks which kidnaped and
killed 26,900 civilians in the last 32 months, to levels where they can be
successfully controlled by the regular South Vietnamese security forces. It
means bringing to the villagers an effective civilian government that they
can respect, and that they can rely upon and that they can participate in,
and that they can have a personal stake in. We hope that government is now
beginning to emerge.

While I cannot report the desired progress in the pacification effort, the
very distinguished and able Ambassador, Henry Cabot Lodge, reports that
South Vietnam is turning to this task with a new sense of urgency. We can
help, but only they can win this part of the war. Their task is to build
and protect a new life in each rural province.

One result of our stand in Vietnam is already clear.

It is this: The peoples of Asia now know that the door to independence is
not going to be slammed shut. They know that it is possible for them to
choose their own national destinies--without coercion.

The performance of our men in Vietnam--backed by the American people--has
created a feeling of confidence and unity among the independent nations of
Asia and the Pacific. I saw it in their faces in the 19 days that I spent
in their homes and in their countries. Fear of external Communist conquest
in many Asian nations is already subsiding--and with this, the spirit of
hope is rising. For the first time in history, a common outlook and common
institutions are already emerging.

This forward movement is rooted in the ambitions and the interests of Asian
nations themselves. It was precisely this movement that we hoped to
accelerate when I spoke at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in April 1965, and I
pledged "a much more massive effort to improve the life of man" in that
part of the world, in the hope that we could take some of the funds that we
were spending on bullets and bombs and spend it on schools and production.

Twenty months later our efforts have produced a new reality: The doors of
the billion dollar Asian Development Bank that I recommended to the
Congress, and you endorsed almost unanimously, I am proud to tell you are
already open. Asians are engaged tonight in regional efforts in a dozen new
directions. Their hopes are high. Their faith is strong. Their confidence
is deep.

And even as the war continues, we shall play our part in carrying forward
this constructive historic development. As recommended by the Eugene Black
mission, and if other nations will join us, I will seek a special
authorization from the Congress of $200 million for East Asian regional

We are eager to turn our resources to peace. Our efforts in behalf of
humanity I think need not be restricted by any parallel or by any boundary
line. The moment that peace comes, as I pledged in Baltimore, I will ask
the Congress for funds to join in an international program of
reconstruction and development for all the people of Vietnam--and their
deserving neighbors who wish our help.

We shall continue to hope for a reconciliation between the people of
Mainland China and the world community--including working together in all
the tasks of arms control, security, and progress on which the fate of the
Chinese people, like their fellow men elsewhere, depends.

We would be the first to welcome a China which decided to respect her
neighbors' rights. We would be the first to applaud her were she to apply
her great energies and intelligence to improving the welfare of her people.
And we have no intention of trying to deny her legitimate needs for
security and friendly relations with her neighboring countries.

Our hope that all of this will someday happen rests on the conviction that
we, the American people and our allies, will and are going to see Vietnam
through to an honorable peace.

We will support all appropriate initiatives by the United Nations, and
others, which can bring the several parties together for unconditional
discussions of peace--anywhere, any time. And we will continue to take
every possible initiative ourselves to constantly probe for peace.

Until such efforts succeed, or until the infiltration ceases, or until the
conflict subsides, I think the course of wisdom for this country is that we
just must firmly pursue our present course. We will stand firm in Vietnam.

I think you know that our fighting men there tonight bear the heaviest
burden of all. With their lives they serve their Nation. We must give them
nothing less than our full support--and we have given them that--nothing
less than the determination that Americans have always given their fighting
men. Whatever our sacrifice here, even if it is more than $5 a month, it is
small compared to their own.

How long it will take I cannot prophesy. I only know that the will of the
American people, I think, is tonight being tested.

Whether we can fight a war of limited objectives over a period of time, and
keep alive the hope of independence and stability for people other than
ourselves; whether we can continue to act with restraint when the
temptation to "get it over with" is inviting but dangerous; whether we can
accept the necessity of choosing "a great evil in order to ward off a
greater"; whether we can do these without arousing the hatreds and the
passions that are ordinarily loosed in time of war--on all these questions
so much turns.

The answers will determine not only where we are, but "whither we are

A time of testing--yes. And a time of transition. The transition is
sometimes slow; sometimes unpopular; almost always very painful; and often
quite dangerous.

But we have lived with danger for a long time before, and we shall live
with it for a long time yet to come. We know that "man is born unto
trouble." We also know that this Nation was not forged and did not survive
and grow and prosper without a great deal of sacrifice from a great many

For all the disorders that we must deal with, and all the frustrations that
concern us, and all the anxieties that we are called upon to resolve, for
all the issues we must face with the agony that attends them, let us
remember that "those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like
men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

But let us also count not only our burdens but our blessings--for they are

And let us give thanks to the One who governs us all.

Let us draw encouragement from the signs of hope--for they, too, are many.

Let us remember that we have been tested before and America has never been
found wanting.

So with your understanding, I would hope your confidence, and your support,
we are going to persist--and we are going to succeed.


State of the Union Address
Lyndon B. Johnson
January 17, 1968

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the Congress, and my fellow

I was thinking as I was walking down the aisle tonight of what Sam Rayburn
told me many years ago: The Congress always extends a very warm welcome to
the President--as he comes in.

Thank all of you very, very much.

I have come once again to this Chamber--the home of our democracy--to give
you, as the Constitution requires, "Information of the State of the

I report to you that our country is challenged, at home and abroad:

--that it is our will that is being tried, not our strength; our sense of
purpose, not our ability to achieve a better America;

--that we have the strength to meet our every challenge; the physical
strength to hold the course of decency and compassion at home; and the
moral strength to support the cause of peace in the world.

And I report to you that I believe, with abiding conviction, that this
people--nurtured by their deep faith, tutored by their hard lessons, moved
by their high aspirations--have the will to meet the trials that these times

Since I reported to you last January:

--Three elections have been held in Vietnam--in the midst of war and under
the constant threat of violence.

--A President, a Vice President, a House and Senate, and village officials
have been chosen by popular, contested ballot.

--The enemy has been defeated in battle after battle.

--The number of South Vietnamese living in areas under Government
protection tonight has grown by more than a million since January of last

These are all marks of progress. Yet:

--The enemy continues to pour men and material across frontiers and into
battle, despite his continuous heavy losses.

--He continues to hope that America's will to persevere can be broken.
Well--he is wrong. America will persevere. Our patience and our
perseverance will match our power. Aggression will never prevail.

But our goal is peace--and peace at the earliest possible moment.

Right now we are exploring the meaning of Hanoi's recent statement. There
is no mystery about the questions which must be answered before the bombing
is stopped.

We believe that any talks should follow the San Antonio formula that I
stated last September, which said:

--The bombing would stop immediately if talks would take place promptly and
with reasonable hopes that they would be productive.

--And the other side must not take advantage of our restraint as they have
in the past. This Nation simply cannot accept anything less without
jeopardizing the lives of our men and of our allies.

If a basis for peace talks can be established on the San Antonio
foundations--and it is my hope and my prayer that they can--we would
consult with our allies and with the other side to see if a complete
cessation of hostilities--a really true cease-fire--could be made the first
order of business. I will report at the earliest possible moment the
results of these explorations to the American people.

I have just recently returned from a very fruitful visit and talks with His
Holiness the Pope and I share his hope--as he expressed it earlier
today--that both sides will extend themselves in an effort to bring an end
to the war in Vietnam. I have today assured him that we and our allies will
do our full part to bring this about.

Since I spoke to you last January, other events have occurred that have
major consequences for world peace.

--The Kennedy Round achieved the greatest reduction in tariff barriers in
all the history of trade negotiations.

--The nations of Latin America at Punta del Este resolved to move toward
economic integration.

--In Asia, the nations from Korea and Japan to Indonesia and Singapore
worked behind America's shield to strengthen their economies and to broaden
their political cooperation.

--In Africa, from which the distinguished Vice President has just returned,
he reports to me that there is a spirit of regional cooperation that is
beginning to take hold in very practical ways.

These events we all welcomed. Yet since I last reported to you, we and the
world have been confronted by a number of crises:

--During the Arab-Israeli war last June, the hot line between Washington
and Moscow was used for the first time in our history. A cease-fire was
achieved without a major power confrontation.

Now the nations of the Middle East have the opportunity to cooperate with
Ambassador Jarring's U.N. mission and they have the responsibility to find
the terms of living together in stable peace and dignity, and we shall do
all in our power to help them achieve that result.

--Not far from this scene of conflict, a crisis flared on Cyprus involving
two peoples who are America's friends: Greece and Turkey. Our very able
representative, Mr. Cyrus Vance, and others helped to ease this tension.

--Turmoil continues on the mainland of China after a year of violent
disruption. The radical extremism of their Government has isolated the
Chinese people behind their own borders. The United States, however,
remains willing to permit the travel of journalists to both our countries;
to undertake cultural and educational exchanges; and to talk about the
exchange of basic food crop materials.

Since I spoke to you last, the United States and the Soviet Union have
taken several important steps toward the goal of international

As you will remember, I met with Chairman Kosygin at Glassboro and we
achieved if not accord, at least a clearer understanding of our respective
positions after 2 days of meeting.

Because we believe the nuclear danger must be narrowed, we have worked with
the Soviet Union and with other nations to reach an agreement that will
halt the spread of nuclear weapons. On the basis of communications from
Ambassador Fisher in Geneva this afternoon, I am encouraged to believe that
a draft treaty can be laid before the conference in Geneva in the very near
future. I hope to be able to present that treaty to the Senate this year
for the Senate's approval.

We achieved, in 1967, a consular treaty with the Soviets, the first
commercial air agreement between the two countries, and a treaty banning
weapons in outer space. We shall sign, and submit to the Senate shortly, a
new treaty with the Soviets and with others for the protection of

Serious differences still remain between us, yet in these relations, we
have made some progress since Vienna, the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban
missile crisis.

But despite this progress, we must maintain a military force that is
capable of deterring any threat to this Nation's security, whatever the
mode of aggression. Our choices must not be confined to total war--or to
total acquiescence.

We have such a military force today. We shall maintain it.

I wish--with all of my heart--that the expenditures that are necessary to
build and to protect our power could all be devoted to the programs of
peace. But until world conditions permit, and until peace is assured,
America's might--and America's bravest sons who wear our Nation's
uniform--must continue to stand guard for all of us--as they gallantly do
tonight in Vietnam and other places in the world.

Yet neither great weapons nor individual courage can provide the conditions
of peace.

For two decades America has committed itself against the tyranny of want
and ignorance in the world that threatens the peace. We shall sustain that
commitment. This year I shall propose:

--That we launch, with other nations, an exploration of the ocean depths to
tap its wealth, and its energy, and its abundance.

--That we contribute our fair share to a major expansion of the
International Development Association, and to increase the resources of the
Asian Development Bank.

--That we adopt a prudent aid program, rooted in the principle of

--That we renew and extend the food for freedom program.

Our food programs have already helped millions avoid the horrors of

But unless the rapid growth of population in developing countries is
slowed, the gap between rich and poor will widen steadily.

Governments in the developing countries must take such facts into
consideration. We in the United States are prepared to help assist them in
those efforts.

But we must also improve the lives of children already born in the villages
and towns and cities on this earth. They can be taught by great teachers
through space communications and the miracle of satellite television--and we
are going to bring to bear every resource of mind and technology to help
make this dream come true.

Let me speak now about some matters here at home.

Tonight our Nation is accomplishing more for its people than has ever been
accomplished before. Americans are prosperous as men have never been in
recorded history. Yet there is in the land a certain restlessness--a

The total of our Nation's annual production is now above $800 billion. For
83 months this Nation has been on a steady upward trend of growth.

All about them, most American families can see the evidence of growing
abundance: higher paychecks, humming factories, new cars moving down new
highways. More and more families own their own homes, equipped with more
than 70 million television sets.

A new college is founded every week. Today more than half of the high
school graduates go on to college.

There are hundreds of thousands of fathers and mothers who never completed
grammar school--who will see their children graduate from college.

Why, then, this restlessness?

Because when a great ship cuts through the sea, the waters are always
stirred and troubled.

And our ship is moving. It is moving through troubled and new waters; it is
moving toward new and better shores.

We ask now, not how can we achieve abundance?--but how shall we use our
abundance? Not, is there abundance enough for all?--but, how can all share
in our abundance?

While we have accomplished much, much remains for us to meet and much
remains for us to master.

--In some areas, the jobless rate is still three or four times the national

--Violence has shown its face in some of our cities.

--Crime increases on our streets.

--Income for farm workers remains far behind that for urban workers; and
parity for our farmers who produce our food is still just a hope--not an

--New housing construction is far less than we need--to assure decent
shelter for every family.

--Hospital and medical costs are high, and they are rising.

--Many rivers--and the air in many cities--remain badly polluted. And our
citizens suffer from breathing that air.

We have lived with conditions like these for many, many years. But much
that we once accepted as inevitable, we now find absolutely intolerable.

In our cities last summer, we saw how wide is the gulf for some Americans
between the promise and the reality of our society.

We know that we cannot change all of this in a day. It represents the
bitter consequences of more than three centuries.

But the issue is not whether we can change this; the issue is whether we
will change this.

Well, I know we can. And I believe we will.

This then is the work we should do in the months that are ahead of us in
this Congress.

The first essential is more jobs, useful jobs for tens of thousands who can
become productive and can pay their own way.

Our economy has created 7 1/2 million new jobs in the past 4 years. It is
adding more than a million and a half new jobs this year.

Through programs passed by the Congress, job training is being given
tonight to more than a million Americans in this country.

This year, the time has come when we must get to those who are last in
line--the hard-core unemployed--the hardest to reach.

Employment officials estimate that 500,000 of these persons are now
unemployed in the major cities of America. Our objective is to place these
500,000 in private industry jobs within the next 3 years.

To do this, I propose a $2. 1 billion manpower program in the coming fiscal
year--a 25 percent increase over the current year. Most of this increase
will be used to start a new partnership between government and private
industry to train and to hire the hard-core unemployed persons. I know of
no task before us of more importance to us, to the country, or to our

Another essential is to rebuild our cities.

Last year the Congress authorized $662 million for the Model Cities
program. I requested the full amount of that authorization to help meet the
crisis in the cities of America. But the Congress appropriated only $312
million--less than half.

This year I urge the Congress to honor my request for model cities funds to
rebuild the centers of American cities by granting us the full amount that
you in the Congress authorized--$1 billion.

The next essential is more housing--and more housing now.

Surely a nation that can go to the moon can place a decent home within the
reach of its families.

Therefore we must call together the resources of industry and labor, to
start building 300,000 housing units for low- and middle-income families
next year--that is three times more than this year. We must make it
possible for thousands of families to become homeowners, not rent-payers.

I propose, for the consideration of this Congress, a 10-year campaign to
build 6 million new housing units for low and middle-income families. Six
million units in the next 10 years. We have built 530,000 the last 10

Better health for our children--all of our children--is essential if we are
to have a better America.

Last year, Medicare, Medicaid, and other new programs that you passed in
the Congress brought better health to more than 25 million Americans.

American medicine--with the very strong support and cooperation of public
resources--has produced a phenomenal decline in the death rate from many of
the dread diseases.

But it is a shocking fact that, in saving the lives of babies, America
ranks 15th among the nations of the world. And among children, crippling
defects are often discovered too late for any corrective action. This is a
tragedy that Americans can, and Americans should, prevent.

I shall, therefore, propose to the Congress a child health program to
provide, over the next 5 years, for families unable to afford it--access to
health services from prenatal care of the mother through the child's first

When we do that you will find it is the best investment we ever made
because we will get these diseases in their infancy and we will find a cure
in a great many instances that we can never find by overcrowding our
hospitals when they are grown.

Now when we act to advance the consumer's cause I think we help every

Last year, with very little fanfare the Congress and the executive branch
moved in that field.

We enacted the Wholesome Meat Act, the Flammable Fabrics Act, the Product
Safety Commission, and a law to improve clinical laboratories.

And now, I think, the time has come to complete our unfinished work. The
Senate has already passed the truth-in-lending bill, the fire safety bill,
and the pipeline safety laws.

Tonight I plead with the House to immediately act upon these measures and I
hope take favorable action upon all of them. I call upon the Congress to
enact, without delay, the remainder of the 12 vital consumer protection
laws that I submitted to the Congress last year.

I also urge final action on a measure that is already passed by the House
to guard against fraud and manipulation in the Nation's commodity exchange

These measures are a pledge to our people--to keep them safe in their homes
and at work, and to give them a fair deal in the marketplace.

And I think we must do more. I propose:

--New powers for the Federal Trade Commission to stop those who defraud and
who swindle our public.

--New safeguards to insure the quality of fish and poultry, and the safety
of our community water supplies.

--A major study of automobile insurance.

--Protection against hazardous radiation from television sets and other
electronic equipment.

And to give the consumer a stronger voice, I plan to appoint a consumer
counsel in the Justice Department--a lawyer for the American consumer--to
work directly under the Attorney General, to serve the President's Special
Assistant for Consumer Affairs, and to serve the consumers of this land.

This Congress--Democrats and Republicans--can earn the thanks of history.
We can make this truly a new day for the American consumer, and by giving
him this protection we can live in history as the consumer-conscious

So let us get on with the work. Let us act soon.

We, at every level of the government, State, local, Federal, know that the
American people have had enough of rising crime and lawlessness in this

They recognize that law enforcement is first the duty of local police and
local government.

They recognize that the frontline headquarters against crime is in the
home, the church, the city hall and the county courthouse and the
statehouse--not in the far-removed National Capital of Washington.

But the people also recognize that the National Government can and the
National Government should help the cities and the States in their war on
crime to the full extent of its resources and its constitutional authority.
And this we shall do.

This does not mean a national police force. It does mean help and financial

--to develop State and local master plans to combat crime,

--to provide better training and better pay for police, and

--to bring the most advanced technology to the war on crime in every city
and every county in America.

There is no more urgent business before this Congress than to pass the Safe
Streets Act this year that I proposed last year. That law will provide
these required funds. They are so critically needed that I have doubled my
request under this act to $100 million in fiscal 1969.

And I urge the Congress to stop the trade in mail-order murder, to stop it
this year by adopting a proper gun control law.

This year, I will propose a Drug Control Act to provide stricter penalties
for those who traffic in LSD and other dangerous drugs with our people.

I will ask for more vigorous enforcement of all of our drug laws by
increasing the number of Federal drug and narcotics control officials by
more than 30 percent. The time has come to stop the sale of slavery to the
young. I also request you to give us funds to add immediately 100 assistant
United States attorneys throughout the land to help prosecute our criminal
laws. We have increased our judiciary by 40 percent and we have increased
our prosecutors by 16 percent. The dockets are full of cases because we
don't have assistant district attorneys to go before the Federal judge and
handle them. We start these young lawyers at $8,200 a year. And the docket
is clogged because we don't have authority to hire more of them.

I ask the Congress for authority to hire 100 more. These young men will
give special attention to this drug abuse, too.

Finally, I ask you to add 100 FBI agents to strengthen law enforcement in
the Nation and to protect the individual rights of every citizen.

A moment ago I spoke of despair and frustrated hopes in the cities where
the fires of disorder burned last summer. We can--and in time we
will--change that despair into confidence, and change those frustrations
into achievements. But violence will never bring progress.

We can make progress only by attacking the causes of violence and only
where there is civil order founded on justice.

Today we are helping local officials improve their capacity to deal
promptly with disorders.

Those who preach disorder and those who preach violence must know that
local authorities are able to resist them swiftly, to resist them sternly,
and to resist them decisively.

I shall recommend other actions:

--To raise the farmers' income by establishing a security commodity reserve
that will protect the market from price-depressing stocks and protect the
consumer from food scarcity.

--I shall recommend programs to help farmers bargain more effectively for
fair prices.

--I shall recommend programs for new air safety measures.

--Measures to stem the rising costs of medical care.

--Legislation to encourage our returning veterans to devote themselves to
careers in community service such as teaching, and being firemen, and
joining our police force, and our law enforcement officials.

--I shall recommend programs to strengthen and finance our anti-pollution

--Fully funding all of the $2.18 billion poverty program that you in the
Congress had just authorized in order to bring opportunity to those who
have been left far behind.

--I shall recommend an Educational Opportunity Act to speed up our drive to
break down the financial barriers that are separating our young people from

I shall also urge the Congress to act on several other vital pending
bills--especially the civil rights measures--fair jury trials, protection
of Federal rights, enforcement of equal employment opportunity, and fair

The unfinished work of the first session must be completed--the Higher
Education Act, the Juvenile Delinquency Act, conservation measures to save
the redwoods of California, and to preserve the wonders of our scenic
rivers, the Highway Beautification Act--and all the other measures for a
cleaner, and for a better, and for a more beautiful America.

Next month we'll begin our 8th year of uninterrupted prosperity. The
economic outlook for this year is one of steady growth--if we are vigilant.

True, there are some clouds on the horizon. Prices are rising. Interest
rates have passed the peak of 1966; and if there is continued inaction on
the tax bill, they will climb even higher.

I warn the Congress and the Nation tonight that this failure to act on the
tax bill will sweep us into an accelerating spiral of price increases, a
slump in homebuilding, and a continuing erosion of the American dollar.

This would be a tragedy for every American family. And I predict that if
this happens, they will all let us know about it.

We--those of us in the executive branch, in the Congress, and the leaders
of labor and business--must do everything we can to prevent that kind of

Under the new budget, the expenditures for 1969 will increase by $10.4
billion. Receipts will increase by $22.3 billion including the added tax
revenues. Virtually all of this expenditure increase represents the
mandatory cost of our defense efforts, $3 billion; increased interest,
almost $1 billion; or mandatory payments under laws passed by
Congress--such as those provided in the Social Security Act that you passed
in 1967, and to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, veterans, and farmers,
of about $4 1/2 billion; and the additional $1 billion 600 million next
year for the pay increases that you passed in military and civilian pay.
That makes up the $10 billion that is added to the budget. With few
exceptions, very few, we are holding the fiscal 1969 budget to last year's
level, outside of those mandatory and required increases.

A Presidential commission composed of distinguished congressional fiscal
leaders and other prominent Americans recommended this year that we adopt a
new budget approach. I am carrying out their recommendations in this year's
budget. This budget, therefore, for the first time accurately covers all
Federal expenditures and all Federal receipts, including for the first time
in one budget $47 billion from the social security, Medicare, highway, and
other trust funds.

The fiscal 1969 budget has expenditures of approximately $186 billion, with
total estimated revenues, including the tax bill, of about $178 billion.

If the Congress enacts the tax increase, we will reduce the budget deficit
by some $12 billion. The war in Vietnam is costing us about $25 billion and
we are asking for about $12 billion in taxes--and if we get that $12
billion tax bill we will reduce the deficit from about $20 billion in 1968
to about $8 billion in 1969.

Now, this is a tight budget. It follows the reduction that I made in
cooperation with the Congress--a reduction made after you had reviewed
every appropriations bill and reduced the appropriations by some $5 or $6
billion and expenditures by $1.5 billion. We conferred together and I
recommended to the Congress and you subsequently approved taking 2 percent
from payrolls and 10 percent from controllable expenditures. We therefore
reduced appropriations almost $10 billion last session and expenditures
over $4 billion. Now, that was in the budget last year.

I ask the Congress to recognize that there are certain selected programs
that meet the Nation's most urgent needs and they have increased. We have
insisted that decreases in very desirable but less urgent programs be made
before we would approve any increases. So I ask the Congress tonight:

--to hold its appropriations to the budget requests, and

--to act responsibly early this year by enacting the tax surcharge which
for the average American individual amounts to about a penny out of each
dollar's income.

This tax increase would yield about half of the $23 billion per year that
we returned to the people in the tax reduction bills of 1964 and 1965.

This must be a temporary measure, which expires in less than 2 years.
Congress can repeal it sooner if the need has passed. But Congress can
never repeal inflation.

The leaders of American business and the leaders of American labor--those
who really have power over wages and prices--must act responsibly, and in
their Nation's interest by keeping increases in line with productivity. If
our recognized leaders do not do this, they and those for whom they speak
and all of us are going to suffer very serious consequences.

On January 1st, I outlined a program to reduce our balance of payments
deficit sharply this year. We will ask the Congress to help carry out those
parts of the program which require legislation. We must restore equilibrium
to our balance of payments.

We must also strengthen the international monetary system. We have assured
the world that America's full gold stock stands behind our commitment to
maintain the price of gold at $35 an ounce. We must back this commitment by
legislating now to free our gold reserves.

Americans, traveling more than any other people in history, took $4 billion
out of their country last year in travel costs. We must try to reduce the
travel deficit that we have of more than $2 billion. We are hoping that we
can reduce it by $500 million--without unduly penalizing the travel of
teachers, students, business people who have essential and necessary
travel, or people who have relatives abroad whom they want to see. Even
with this reduction of $500 million, the American people will still be
traveling more overseas than they did in 1967, 1966, or 1965 or any other
year in their history.

If we act together as I hope we can, I believe we can continue our economic
expansion which has already broken all past records. And I hope that we can
continue that expansion in the days ahead.

Each of these questions I have discussed with you tonight is a question of
policy for our people. Therefore, each of them should be--and doubtless
will be--debated by candidates for public office this year.

I hope those debates will be marked by new proposals and by a seriousness
that matches the gravity of the questions themselves.

These are not appropriate subjects for narrow partisan oratory. They go to
the heart of what we Americans are all about--all of us, Democrats and

Tonight I have spoken of some of the goals I should like to see America
reach. Many of them can be achieved this year--others by the time we
celebrate our Nation's 200th birthday--the bicentennial of our

Several of these goals are going to be very hard to reach. But the State of
our Union will be much stronger 8 years from now on our 200th birthday if
we resolve to reach these goals now. They are more important--much more
important--than the identity of the party or the President who will then be
in office.

These goals are what the fighting and our alliances are really meant to

Can we achieve these goals?

Of course we can--if we will.

If ever there was a people who sought more than mere abundance, it is our

If ever there was a nation that was capable of solving its problems, it is
this Nation.

If ever there were a time to know the pride and the excitement and the hope
of being an American--it is this time.

So this, my friends, is the State of our Union: seeking, building, tested
many times in this past year--and always equal to the test.

Thank you and good night.


State of the Union Address
Lyndon B. Johnson
January 14, 1969

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the Congress and my fellow

For the sixth and the last time, I present to the Congress my assessment of
the State of the Union.

I shall speak to you tonight about challenge and opportunity--and about the
commitments that all of us have made together that will, if we carry them
out, give America our best chance to achieve the kind of great society that
we all want. Every President lives, not only with what is, but with what
has been and what could be.

Most of the great events in his Presidency are part of a larger sequence
extending back through several years and extending back through several
other administrations.

Urban unrest, poverty, pressures on welfare, education of our people, law
enforcement and law and order, the continuing crisis in the Middle East,
the conflict in Vietnam, the dangers of nuclear war, the great difficulties
of dealing with the Communist powers, all have this much in common: They
and their causes--the causes that gave rise to them--all of these have
existed with us for many years. Several Presidents have already sought to
try to deal with them. One or more Presidents will try to resolve them or
try to contain them in the years that are ahead of us.

But if the Nation's problems are continuing, so are this great Nation's

--our economy,

--the democratic system,

--our sense of exploration, symbolized most recently by the wonderful
flight of the Apollo 8, in which all Americans took great pride,

--the good commonsense and sound judgment of the American people, and

--their essential love of justice.

We must not ignore our problems. But .neither should we ignore our
strengths. Those strengths are available to sustain a President of either
party--to support his progressive efforts both at home and overseas.

Unfortunately, the departure of an administration does not mean the end of
the problems that this administration has faced. The effort to meet the
problems must go on, year after year, if the momentum that we have all
mounted together in these past years is not to be lost.

Although the struggle for progressive change is continuous, there are times
when a watershed is reached--when there is--if not really a break with the
past--at least the fulfillment of many of its oldest hopes, and a stepping
forth into a new environment, to seek new goals. I think the past 5 years
have been such a time.

We have finished a major part of the old agenda.

Some of the laws that we wrote have already, in front of our eyes, taken on
the flesh of achievement.

Medicare that we were unable to pass for so many years is now a part of
American life.

Voting rights and the voting booth that we debated so long back in the
riffles, and the doors to public service, are open at last to all Americans
regardless of their color.

Schools and school children all over America tonight are receiving Federal
assistance to go to good schools.

Preschool education--Head Start--is already here to stay and, I think, so
are the Federal programs that tonight are keeping more than a million and a
half of the cream of our young people in the colleges and the universities
of this country.

Part of the American earth--not only in description on a map, but in the
reality of our shores, our hills, our parks, our forests, and our
mountains--has been permanently set aside for the American public and for
their benefit. And there is more that will be set aside before this
administration ends.

Five million Americans have been trained for jobs in new Federal programs.

I think it is most important that we all realize tonight that this Nation
is close to full employment--with less unemployment than we have had at any
time in almost 20 years. That is not in theory; that is in fact. Tonight,
the unemployment rate is down to 3.3 percent. The number of jobs has grown
more than 8 1/2 million in the last 5 years. That is more than in all the
preceding 12 years.

These achievements completed the full cycle, from idea to enactment and,
finally, to a place in the lives of citizens all across this country.

I wish it were possible to say that everything that this Congress and the
administration achieved during this period had already completed that
cycle. But a great deal of what we have committed needs additional funding
to become a tangible realization.

Yet the very existence of these commitments--these promises to the American
people, made by this Congress and by the executive branch of the
Government--are achievements in themselves, and failure to carry through on
our commitments would be a tragedy for this Nation.

This much is certain: No one man or group of men made these commitments
alone. Congress and the executive branch, with their checks and balances,
reasoned together and finally wrote them into the law of the land. They now
have all the moral force that the American political system can summon when
it acts as one.

They express America's common determination to achieve goals. They imply

In most cases, you have already begun that action--but it is not fully
completed, of course.

Let me speak for a moment about these commitments. I am going to speak in
the language which the Congress itself spoke when it passed these measures.
I am going to quote from your words.

In 1966, Congress declared that "improving the quality of urban life is the
most critical domestic problem facing the United States." Two years later
it affirmed the historic goal of "a decent home . . . for every American
family." That is your language.

Now to meet these commitments, we must increase our support for the model
cities program, where blueprints of change are already being prepared in
more than 150 American cities.

To achieve the goals of the Housing Act of 1968 that you have already
passed, we should begin this year more than 500,000 homes for needy
families in the coming fiscal year. Funds are provided in the new budget to
do just this. This is almost 10 times--10 times--the average rate of the
past 10 years.

Our cities and our towns are being pressed for funds to meet the needs of
their growing populations. So I believe an urban development bank should be
created by the Congress. This bank could obtain resources through the
issuance of taxable bonds and it could then lend these resources at reduced
rates to the communities throughout the land for schools, hospitals, parks,
and other public facilities.

Since we enacted the Social Security Act back in 1935, Congress has
recognized the necessity to "make more adequate provision for aged persons
. . . through maternal and child welfare . . . and public health." Those
are the words of the Congress--"more adequate."

The time has come, I think, to make it more adequate. I believe we should
increase social security benefits, and I am so recommending tonight.

I am suggesting that there should be an overall increase in benefits of at
least 13 percent. Those who receive only the minimum of $55 should get $80
a month.

Our Nation, too, is rightfully proud of our medical advances. But we should
remember that our country ranks 15th among the nations of the world in its
infant mortality rate.

I think we should assure decent medical care for every expectant mother and
for their children during the first year of their life in the United States
of America.

I think we should protect our children and their families from the costs of
catastrophic illness.

As we pass on from medicine, I think nothing is clearer to the Congress
than the commitment that the Congress made to end poverty. Congress
expressed it well, I think, in 1964, when they said: "It is the policy of
the United States to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of
plenty in this nation."

This is the richest nation in the world. The antipoverty program has had
many achievements. It also has some failures. But we must not cripple it
after only 3 years of trying to solve the human problems that have been
with us and have been building up among us for generations.

I believe the Congress this year will want to improve the administration of
the poverty program by reorganizing portions of it and transferring them to
other agencies. I believe, though, it will want to continue, until we have
broken the back of poverty, the efforts we are now making throughout this

I believe, and I hope the next administration--I believe they believe--that
the key to success in this effort is jobs. It is work for people who want
to work.

In the budget for fiscal 1970, I shall recommend a total of $3.5 billion
for our job training program, and that is five times as much as we spent in
1964 trying to prepare Americans where they can work to earn their own

The Nation's commitment in the field of civil rights began with the
Declaration of Independence. They were extended by the 13th, 14th, and 15th
amendments. They have been powerfully strengthened by the enactment of
three far-reaching civil rights laws within the past 5 years, that this
Congress, in its wisdom, passed.

On January 1 of this year, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 covered over 20
million American homes and apartments. The prohibition against racial
discrimination in that act should be remembered and it should be vigorously
enforced throughout this land.

I believe we should also extend the vital provisions of the Voting Rights
Act for another 5 years.

In the Safe Streets Act of 1968, Congress determined "To assist state and
local governments in reducing the incidence of crime."

This year I am proposing that the Congress provide the full $300 million
that the Congress last year authorized to do just that.

I hope the Congress will put the money where the authorization is.

I believe this is an essential contribution to justice and to public order
in the United States. I hope these grants can be made to the States and
they can be used effectively to reduce the crime rate in this country.

But all of this is only a small part of the total effort that must be
made--I think chiefly by the local governments throughout the Nation--if we
expect to reduce the toll of crime that we all detest.

Frankly, as I leave the Office of the Presidency, one of my greatest
disappointments is our failure to secure passage of a licensing and
registration act for firearms. I think if we had passed that act, it would
have reduced the incidence of crime. I believe that the Congress should
adopt such a law, and I hope that it will at a not too distant date.

In order to meet our long-standing commitment to make government as
efficient as possible, I believe that we should reorganize our postal
system along the lines of the Kappel[1] report.

[Footnote 1: Frederick R. Kappel, Chairman of the Commission on Executive,
Legislative and Judicial Salaries.]

I hope we can all agree that public service should never impose an
unreasonable financial sacrifice on able men and women who want to serve
their country.

I believe that the recommendations of the Commission on Executive,
Legislative and Judicial Salaries are generally sound. Later this week, I
shall submit a special message which I reviewed with the leadership this
evening containing a proposal that has been reduced and has modified the
Commission's recommendation to some extent on the congressional salaries.

For Members of Congress, I will recommend the basic compensation not of the
$50,000 unanimously recommended by the Kappel Commission and the other
distinguished Members, but I shall reduce that $50,000 to $42,500. I will
suggest that Congress appropriate a very small additional allowance for
official expenses, so that Members will not be required to use their salary
increase for essential official business.

I would have submitted the Commission's recommendations, except the advice
that I received from the leadership--and you usually are consulted about
matters that affect the Congress--was that the Congress would not accept
the $50,000 recommendation, and if I expected my recommendation to be
seriously considered, I should make substantial reductions. That is the
only reason I didn't go along with the Kappel report.

In 1967 I recommended to the Congress a fair and impartial random selection
system for the draft. I submit it again tonight for your most respectful

I know that all of us recognize that most of the things we do to meet all
of these commitments I talk about will cost money. If we maintain the
strong rate of growth that we have had in this country for the past 8
years, I think we shall generate the resources that we need to meet these

We have already been able to increase our support for major social
programs--although we have heard a lot about not being able to do anything
on the home front because of Vietnam; but we have been able in the last
5 years to increase our commitments for such things as health and education
from $30 billion in 1964 to $68 billion in the coming fiscal year. That is
more than double. That is more than it has ever been increased in the 188
years of this Republic, notwithstanding Vietnam.

We must continue to budget our resources and budget them responsibly in a
way that will preserve our prosperity and will strengthen our dollar.

Greater revenues and the reduced Federal spending required by Congress last
year have changed the budgetary picture dramatically since last January
when we made our estimates. At that time, you will remember that we
estimated we would have a deficit of $8 billion. Well, I am glad to report
to you tonight that the fiscal year ending June 30, 1969, this June, we are
going to have not a deficit, but we are going to have a $2.4 billion

You will receive the budget tomorrow. The budget for the next fiscal year,
that begins July 1--which you will want to examine very carefully in the
days ahead--will provide a $3.4 billion surplus.

This budget anticipates the extension of the surtax that Congress enacted
last year. I have communicated with the President-elect, Mr. Nixon, in
connection with this policy of continuing the surtax for the time being.

I want to tell you that both of us want to see it removed just as soon as
circumstances will permit, but the President-elect has told me that he has
concluded that until his administration, and this Congress, can examine the
appropriation bills, and each item in the budget, and can ascertain that
the facts justify permitting the surtax to expire or to be reduced, he, Mr.
Nixon, will support my recommendation that the surtax be continued.

Americans, I believe, are united in the hope that the Paris talks will
bring an early peace to Vietnam. And if our hopes for an early settlement
of the war are realized, then our military expenditures can be reduced and
very substantial savings can be made to be used for other desirable
purposes, as the Congress may determine.

In any event, I think it is imperative that we do all that we responsibly
can to resist inflation while maintaining our prosperity. I think all
Americans know that our prosperity is broad and it is deep, and it has
brought record profits, the highest in our history, and record wages.

Our gross national product has grown more in the last 5 years than any
other period in our Nation's history. Our wages have been the highest. Our
profits have been the best. This prosperity has enabled millions to escape
the poverty that they would have otherwise had the last few years.

I think also you will be very glad to hear that the Secretary of the
Treasury informs me tonight that in 1968 in our balance of payments we have
achieved a surplus. It appears that we have, in fact, done better this year
than we have done in any year in this regard since the year 1957.

The quest for a durable peace, I think, has absorbed every administration
since the end of World War II. It has required us to seek a limitation of
arms races not only among the superpowers, but among the smaller nations as
well. We have joined in the test ban treaty of 1963, the outer space treaty
of 1967, and the treaty against the spread of nuclear weapons in 1968.

This latter agreement--the nonproliferation treaty--is now pending in the
Senate and it has been pending there since last July. In my opinion, delay
in ratifying it is not going to be helpful to the cause of peace. America
took the lead in negotiating this treaty and America should now take steps
to have it approved at the earliest possible date.

Until a way can be found to scale down the level of arms among the
superpowers, mankind cannot view the future without fear and great
apprehension. So, I believe that we should resume the talks with the Soviet
Union about limiting offensive and defensive missile systems. I think they
would already have been resumed except for Czechoslovakia and our election
this year.

It was more than 20 years ago that we embarked on a program of trying to
aid the developing nations. We knew then that we could not live in good
conscience as a rich enclave on an earth that was seething in misery.

During these years there have been great advances made under our program,
particularly against want and hunger, although we are disappointed at the
appropriations last year. We thought they were woefully inadequate. This
year I am asking for adequate funds for economic assistance in the hope
that we can further peace throughout the world.

I think we must continue to support efforts in regional cooperation. Among
those efforts, that of Western Europe has a very special place in America's

The only course that is going to permit Europe to play the great world role
that its resources permit is to go forward to unity. I think America
remains ready to work with a united Europe, to work as a partner on the
basis of equality.

For the future, the quest for peace, I believe, requires:

--that we maintain the liberal trade policies that have helped us become
the leading nation in world trade,

--that we strengthen the international monetary system as an instrument of
world prosperity, and

--that we seek areas of agreement with the Soviet Union where the interests
of both nations and the interests of world peace are properly served.

The strained relationship between us and the world's leading Communist
power has not ended--especially in the light of the brutal invasion of
Czechoslovakia. But totalitarianism is no less odious to us because we are
able to reach some accommodation that reduces the danger of world

What we do, we do in the interest of peace in the world. We earnestly hope
that time will bring a Russia that is less afraid of diversity and
individual freedom.

The quest for peace tonight continues in Vietnam, and in the Paris talks.

I regret more than any of you know that it has not been possible to restore
peace to South Vietnam.

The prospects, I think, for peace are better today than at any time since
North Vietnam began its invasion with its regular forces more than 4 years

The free nations of Asia know what they were not sure of at that time: that
America cares about their freedom, and it also cares about America's own
vital interests in Asia and throughout the Pacific.

The North Vietnamese know that they cannot achieve their aggressive
purposes by force. There may be hard fighting before a settlement is
reached; but, I can assure you, it will yield no victory to the Communist

I cannot speak to you tonight about Vietnam without paying a very personal
tribute to the men who have carried the battle out there for all of us. I
have been honored to be their Commander in Chief. The Nation owes them its
unstinting support while the battle continues--and its enduring gratitude
when their service is done.

Finally, the quest for stable peace in the Middle East goes on in many
capitals tonight. America fully supports the unanimous resolution of the
U.N. Security Council which points the way. There must be a settlement of
the armed hostility that exists in that region of the world today. It is a
threat not only to Israel and to all the Arab States, but it is a threat to
every one of us and to the entire world as well.

Now, my friends in Congress, I want to conclude with a few very personal
words to you.

I rejected and rejected and then finally accepted the congressional
leadership's invitation to come here to speak this farewell to you in
person tonight.

I did that for two reasons. One was philosophical. I wanted to give you my
judgment, as I saw it, on some of the issues before our Nation, as I view
them, before I leave.

The other was just pure sentimental. Most all of my life as a public
official has been spent here in this building. For 38 years--since I worked
on that gallery as a doorkeeper in the House of Representatives--I have
known these halls, and I have known most of the men pretty well who walked

I know the questions that you face. I know the conflicts that you endure. I
know the ideals that you seek to serve.

I left here first to become Vice President, and then to become, in a moment
of tragedy, the President of the United States.

My term of office has been marked by a series of challenges, both at home
and throughout the world.

In meeting some of these challenges, the Nation has found a new confidence.
In meeting others, it knew turbulence and doubt, and fear and hate.

Throughout this time, I have been sustained by my faith in representative
democracy--a faith that I had learned here in this Capitol Building as an
employee and as a Congressman and as a Senator.

I believe deeply in the ultimate purposes of this Nation--described by the
Constitution, tempered by history, embodied in progressive laws, and given
life by men and women that have been elected to serve their fellow

Now for 5 most demanding years in the White House, I have been strengthened
by the counsel and the cooperation of two great former Presidents, Harry S.
Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower. I have been guided by the memory of my
pleasant and close association with the beloved John F. Kennedy, and with
our greatest modern legislator, Speaker Sam Rayburn.

I have been assisted by my friend every step of the way, Vice President
Hubert Humphrey. I am so grateful that I have been supported daily by the
loyalty of Speaker McCormack and Majority Leader Albert.

I have benefited from the wisdom of Senator Mike Mansfield, and I am sure
that I have avoided many dangerous pitfalls by the good commonsense counsel
of the President Pro Tem of the Senate, Senator Richard Brevard Russell.

I have received the most generous cooperation from the leaders of the
Republican Party in the Congress of the United States, Senator Dirksen and
Congressman Gerald Ford, the Minority Leader.

No President should ask for more, although I did upon occasions. But few
Presidents have ever been blessed with so much.

President-elect Nixon, in the days ahead, is going to need your
understanding, just as I did. And he is entitled to have it. I hope every
Member will remember that the burdens he will bear as our President, will
be borne for all of us. Each of us should try not to increase these burdens
for the sake of narrow personal or partisan advantage.

Now, it is time to leave. I hope it may be said, a hundred years from now,
that by working together we helped to make our country more just, more just
for all of its people, as well as to insure and guarantee the blessings of
liberty for all of our posterity.

That is what I hope. But I believe that at least it will be said that we

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