• 44m 32s
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - Remarks upon Signing the Civil Rights Bill - Presidential Speeches

    6 NOV. 2023 · My fellow Americans: I am about to sign into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I want to take this occasion to talk to you about what that law means to every American. One hundred and eighty-eight years ago this week a small band of valiant men began a long struggle for freedom. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor not only to found a nation, but to forge an ideal of freedom—not only for political independence, but for personal liberty—not only to eliminate foreign rule, but to establish the rule of justice in the affairs of men. That struggle was a turning point in our history. Today in far corners of distant continents, the ideals of those American patriots still shape the struggles of men who hunger for freedom. This is a proud triumph. Yet those who founded our country knew that freedom would be secure only if each generation fought to renew and enlarge its meaning. From the minutemen at Concord to the soldiers in Viet-Nam, each generation has been equal to that trust. Americans of every race and color have died in battle to protect our freedom. Americans of every race and color have worked to build a nation of widening opportunities. Now our generation of Americans has been called on to continue the unending search for justice within our own borders. We believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of those blessings—not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skin. The reasons are deeply imbedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand—without rancor or hatred—how this all happened. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it. And the law I will sign tonight forbids it. That law is the product of months of the most careful debate and discussion. It was proposed more than one year ago by our late and beloved President John F. Kennedy. It received the bipartisan support of more than two-thirds of the Members of both the House and the Senate. An overwhelming majority of Republicans as well as Democrats voted for it. It has received the thoughtful support of tens of thousands of civic and religious leaders in all parts of this Nation. And it is supported by the great majority of the American people. The purpose of the law is simple. It does not restrict the freedom of any American, so long as he respects the rights of others. It does not give special treatment to any citizen. It does say the only limit to a man's hope for happiness, and for the future of his children, shall be his own ability. It does say that there are those who are equal before God shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other places that provide service to the public. I am taking steps to implement the law under my constitutional obligation to "take care that the laws are faithfully executed." First, I will send to the Senate my nomination of LeRoy Collins to be Director of the Community Relations Service. Governor Collins will bring the experience of a long career of distinguished public service to the task of helping communities solve problems of human relations through reason and commonsense. Second, I shall appoint an advisory committee of distinguished Americans to assist Governor Collins in his assignment. Third, I am sending Congress a request for supplemental appropriations to pay for necessary costs of implementing the law, and asking for immediate action. Fourth, already today in a meeting of my Cabinet this afternoon I directed the agencies of this Government to fully discharge the new responsibilities imposed upon them by the law and to do it without delay, and to keep me personally informed of their progress. Fifth, I am asking appropriate officials to meet with representative groups to promote greater understanding of the law and to achieve a spirit of compliance. We must not approach the observance and enforcement of this law in a vengeful spirit. Its purpose is not to punish. Its purpose is not to divide, but to end divisions—divisions which have all lasted too long. Its purpose is national, not regional. Its purpose is to promote a more abiding commitment to freedom, a more constant pursuit of justice, and a deeper respect for human dignity. We will achieve these goals because most Americans are law-abiding citizens who want to do what is right. This is why the Civil Rights Act relies first on voluntary compliance, then on the efforts of local communities and States to secure the rights of citizens. It provides for the national authority to step in only when others cannot or will not do the job. This Civil Rights Act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our States, in our homes and in our hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country. So tonight I urge every public official, every religious leader, every business and professional man, every workingman, every housewife—I urge every American—to join in this effort to bring justice and hope to all our people—and to bring peace to our land. My fellow citizens, we have come now to a time of testing. We must not fail. Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our Nation whole. Let us hasten that day when our unmeasured strength and our unbounded spirit will be free to do the great works ordained for this Nation by the just and wise God who is the Father of us all. Thank you and good night.
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  • Lyndon B. Johnson - State of the Union -January 4, 1965

    3 NOV. 2023 · Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the Congress, my fellow Americans: 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 tonight. 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 spirit. 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 1830s and that is this nation's policy in the 1960s. Our own freedom and growth have never been the final goal of the American dream. 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 four 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 better. 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 Congress. In Asia, communism wears a more aggressive face. We see that in Vietnam. 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 now. 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 self-determination. 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 freedom. 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 year. 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.
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  • Lyndon Johnson Remarks at a Reception for Astronauts Grissom and Young

    2 NOV. 2023 · Mr. Webb, Mr. Vice President, Members of the Senate and the House:This is a very proud and a very happy occasion for all of us here, and I think it is a proud and happy occasion for all Americans everywhere.We intended to conduct this ceremony this morning outside in the Rose Garden. However, Major Grissom and Commander Young found their landing in Washington this morning only slightly less wet than their landing in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday.So we meet now in the famous East Room of the White House. I think it is fitting that we should assemble for this purpose in this historic and hallowed room. For 165 years this room has witnessed great moments of our history, and it has known great men of our past, from John Adams to John Kennedy.A sense of history is present strongly here today. All of us are conscious that we have crossed over the threshold of man's first tentative and experimental ventures in space. The question of whether there would be a role for man himself in space is already firmly and finally answered, and answered affirmatively. Man's role in space will be great, it will be vital, and it will be useful.Equally important, we can comprehend now better than we ever have been able to in the past that the role of space in the life of man on earth will also be great and vital and useful.So in this springtime of 1965 it seems incredible that it was only four springtimes ago when young Americans, including Gus Grissom, first flew into space. We have come very far in a very few short years. Yet the quickening pace of our advance will carry us far beyond this point of achievement even before one more year passes.The program we pursue now is a planned and orderly program with but one purpose-the purpose of exploring space for the service of peace and the benefit of all mankind here on this earth. We are not concerned with stunts and spectaculars, but we are concerned with sure and with steady success.Since we gave our program direction and purpose 7 years ago, many such successes have been achieved through the efforts of a great American team, which now numbers 400,000 men and women in industry, on campuses, and in government. And this team is inspired and stimulated and led by a former Marine and a great public servant-Jim Webb.We have come here today to honor just 4 of these 400,000 men on his team. We honor Gus Grissom, the first man to make two flights into space, and we honor both Gus Grissom and John Young as command pilot and pilot of our first two-man Gemini spacecraft flight.We honor the Director of Project Ranger, Mr. Bud Schurmeier. He has led the team which produced for us and for all mankind the most dramatic advance in our knowledge of the moon.We also honor one of this Nation's most dedicated and most valuable public servants, the top career man of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dr. Robert Seamans. As general manager of our civilian space effort, Dr. Seamans has performed absolutely magnificently. All Americans and all free men are in his debt.Through these four we honor all who have and who are contributing to America's effort to advance the horizon of human knowledge.This is a happy day in our Nation's Capital. It is a proud day for Americans everywhere, and I know it must be especially proud for the parents and the wives and the families of these two brave, patriotic, gallant, and exceptional young Americans, and it gives me much pleasure to be able to have them here in this first house of the land.And now, I want to thank each of you for coming here and participating with us. I am going to ask Administrator Webb to read the citations for these outstanding pioneers of the new age of space.Mr. Webb.This is a great day for all America. I just wish it were possible for the two great Presidents who provided such outstanding leadership in this field--President Eisenhower and President Kennedy--to be here to share these pleasures and joys with us.It was during President Eisenhower's administration that the space agency was born, and under his leadership that it grew and developed. It was President Kennedy's vision that brought about some of the things that we are here applauding today.I see in this room now--I guess we don't have room up here for everyone who has played a vital part, but back when the Space Administration was created and from that time until this hour, there has been complete bipartisanship, and members of both parties have provided leadership in uniting behind the Space Administrator and these fine young men who brought us the accomplishments that we are applauding today.So I would like to ask the Members of the House and the Senate and their leaders and the chairmen of their committees to stand now and let's give the Congress a hand for the part that it has played in bringing into effect what we are so proud of.Congressman George Miller of California is chairman of the House Space Committee, and Senator Anderson of New Mexico is chairman of the Senate Space Committee. We thank all the Members of Congress of both parties and we are delighted to have had you and we hope you enjoy the day.
    10m
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - June 4, 1965: Remarks at the Howard University Commencement

    2 NOV. 2023 · Dr. Nabrit, my fellow Americans: I am delighted at the chance to speak at this important and this historic institution. Howard has long been an outstanding center for the education of Negro Americans. Its students are of every race and color and they come from many countries of the world. It is truly a working example of democratic excellence. Our earth is the home of revolution. In every corner of every continent men charged with hope contend with ancient ways in the pursuit of justice. They reach for the newest of weapons to realize the oldest of dreams, that each may walk in freedom and pride, stretching his talents, enjoying the fruits of the earth. Our enemies may occasionally seize the day of change, but it is the banner of our revolution they take. And our own future is linked to this process of swift and turbulent change in many lands in the world. But nothing in any country touches us more profoundly, and nothing is more freighted with meaning for our own destiny than the revolution of the Negro American. In far too many ways American Negroes have been another nation: deprived of freedom, crippled by hatred, the doors of opportunity closed to hope. In our time change has come to this Nation, too. The American Negro, acting with impressive restraint, has peacefully protested and marched, entered the courtrooms and the seats of government, demanding a justice that has long been denied. The voice of the Negro was the call to action. But it is a tribute to America that, once aroused, the courts and the Congress, the President and most of the people, have been the allies of progress. Thus we have seen the high court of the country declare that discrimination based on race was repugnant to the Constitution, and therefore void. We have seen in 1957, and 1960, and again in 1964, the first civil rights legislation in this Nation in almost an entire century. As majority leader of the United States Senate, I helped to guide two of these bills through the Senate. And, as your President, I was proud to sign the third. And now very soon we will have the fourth—a new law guaranteeing every American the right to vote. No act of my entire administration will give me greater satisfaction than the day when my signature makes this bill, too, the law of this land. The voting rights bill will be the latest, and among the most important, in a long series of victories. But this victory—as Winston Churchill said of another triumph for freedom—"is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." That beginning is freedom; and the barriers to that freedom are tumbling down. Freedom is the right to share, share fully and equally, in American society—to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to go to school. It is the right to be treated in every part of our national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all others. But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please. You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result. For the task is to give 20 million Negroes the same chance as every other American to learn and grow, to work and share in society, to develop their abilities—physical, mental and spiritual, and to pursue their individual happiness. To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough. Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in—by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man. This graduating class at Howard University is witness to the indomitable determination of the Negro American to win his way in American life. The number of Negroes in schools of higher learning has almost doubled in 15 years. The number of nonwhite professional workers has more than doubled in 10 years. The median income of Negro college women tonight exceeds that of white college women. And there are also the enormous accomplishments of distinguished individual Negroes—many of them graduates of this institution, and one of them the first lady ambassador in the history of the United States. These are proud and impressive achievements. But they tell only the story of a growing middle class minority, steadily narrowing the gap between them and their white counterparts. But for the great majority of Negro Americans—the poor, the unemployed, the uprooted, and the dispossessed—there is a much grimmer story. They still, as we meet here tonight, are another nation. Despite the court orders and the laws, despite the legislative victories and the speeches, for them the walls are rising and the gulf is widening. Here are some of the facts of this American failure. Thirty-five years ago the rate of unemployment for Negroes and whites was about the same. Tonight the Negro rate is twice as high. In 1948 the 8 percent unemployment rate for Negro teenage boys was actually less than that of whites. By last year that rate had grown to 23 percent, as against 13 percent for whites unemployed. Between 1949 and 1959, the income of Negro men relative to white men declined in every section of this country. From 1952 to 1963 the median income of Negro families compared to white actually dropped from 57 percent to 53 percent. In the years 1955 through 1957, 22 percent of experienced Negro workers were out of work at some time during the year. In 1961 through 1963 that proportion had soared to 29 percent. Since 1947 the number of white families living in poverty has decreased 27 percent while the number of poorer nonwhite families decreased only 3 percent. The infant mortality of nonwhites in 1940 was 70 percent greater than whites. Twenty-two years later it was 90 percent greater. Moreover, the isolation of Negro from white communities is increasing, rather than decreasing as Negroes crowd into the central cities and become a city within a city. Of course Negro Americans as well as white Americans have shared in our rising national abundance. But the harsh fact of the matter is that in the battle for true equality too many—far too many—are losing ground every day. We are not completely sure why this is. We know the causes are complex and subtle. But we do know the two broad basic reasons. And we do know that we have to act. First, Negroes are trapped—as many whites are trapped—in inherited, gate-less poverty. They lack training and skills. They are shut in, in slums, without decent medical care. Private and public poverty combine to cripple their capacities. We are trying to attack these evils through our poverty program, through our education program, through our medical care and our other health programs, and a dozen more of the Great Society programs that are aimed at the root causes of this poverty. We will increase, and we will accelerate, and we will broaden this attack in years to come until this most enduring of foes finally yields to our unyielding will. But there is a second cause—much more difficult to explain, more deeply grounded, more desperate in its force. It is the devastating heritage of long years of slavery; and a century of oppression, hatred, and injustice. For Negro poverty is not white poverty. Many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. But there are differences—deep, corrosive, obstinate differences—radiating painful roots into the community, and into the family, and the nature of the individual. These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the Negro they are a constant reminder of oppression. For the white they are a constant reminder of guilt. But they must be faced and they must be dealt with and they must be overcome, if we are ever to reach the time when the only difference between Negroes and whites is the color of their skin. Nor can we find a complete answer in the experience of other American minorities. They made a valiant and a largely successful effort to emerge from poverty and prejudice. The Negro, like these others, will have to rely mostly upon his own efforts. But he just can not do it alone. For they did not have the heritage of centuries to overcome, and they did not have a cultural tradition which had been twisted and battered by endless years of hatred and hopelessness, nor were they excluded—these others—because of race or color—a feeling whose dark intensity is matched by no other prejudice in our society. Nor can these differences be understood a
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  • Lyndon B. Johnson - State of the Union - January 12, 1966

    2 NOV. 2023 · Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the House and the Senate, my fellow Americans: I come before you tonight to report on the State of the Union for the third time. 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 poverty. 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 America. 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 four years, concurrent with that of the President. 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 1967. 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 poor? Time may require further sacrifices. And if it does, then we will make them. 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. The Great Society leads us along three roads—growth and justice and liberation. First is growth—the national prosperity which supports the well-being of our people and which provides the tools of our progress. 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 five 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 two and a half million jobs. Corporations have greater after-tax earnings than ever in history. For the past five 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 five 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. The second road is justice. Justice means a man's hope should not be limited by the color of his skin. 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 housing. 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 experience. 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.
    51m 19s
  • Lyndon Johnson - January 10, 1967: State of the Union Address

    2 NOV. 2023 · 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 remote.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 m 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."The last 3 years bear witness to our determination to make this a better country.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 wage.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.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 way.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 disease."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 error.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 battleline 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 must.We have done much in the space of two 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 Governors.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 efficiently.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 progres
    1h 9m 37s
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - State of the Union Address - January 17, 1968

    2 NOV. 2023 · Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the Congress, and my fellow Americans: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 Union."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 impose.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 year.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 cooperation.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 astronauts.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 self-help.--That we renew and extend the food for freedom program.Our food programs have already helped millions avoid the horrors of famine.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 questioning.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 average.--Violence has shown its face in some of our cities.--Cr
    51m 27s
  • Remarks on Signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - July 1, 1968 - Lyndon Johnson

    2 NOV. 2023 · Secretary Rusk, Your Excellencies, honored Members of Congress, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: This is a very reassuring and hopeful moment in the relations among nations. We have come here today to the East Room of the White House to sign a treaty which limits the spread of nuclear weapons. More than 55 nations are here in Washington this morning to commit their governments to this treaty. Their representatives are also signing today in Moscow and in London. We hope and expect that virtually all the nations will move in the weeks and months ahead to accept this treaty which was commended to the world by the overwhelming majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly. The treaty's purposes are very simple: —to commit the nations of the world which do not now have nuclear weapons not to produce or receive them in the future; —to assure equally that such nations have the full peaceful benefits of the atom; and —to commit the nuclear powers to move forward toward effective measures of arms control and disarmament. It was just a year ago that Chairman Kosygin and I agreed at Glassboro that we would work intensively in the time ahead to try to achieve this result. After nearly a quarter century of danger and fear—reason and sanity have prevailed to reduce the danger and to greatly lessen the fear. Thus, all mankind is reassured. As the moment is reassuring, so it is, even more, hopeful and heartening. For this treaty is evidence that amid the tensions, the strife, the struggle, and the sorrow of these years, men of many nations have not lost the way—or have not lost the will—toward peace. The conclusion of this treaty encourages the hope that other steps may be taken toward a peaceful world. It is for these reasons—and in this perspective—that I have described this treaty as the most important international agreement since the beginning of the nuclear age. It enhances the security of all nations by significantly reducing the danger of nuclear war among nations. It encourages the peaceful use of nuclear energy by assuring safeguards against its destructive use. But, perhaps most significantly, the signing of this treaty keeps alive and keeps active the impulse toward a safer world. We are inclined to neglect and to overlook what that impulse has brought about in recent years. These have been fruitful times for the quiet works of diplomacy. After long seasons of patient and painstaking negotiation, we have concluded, just within the past 5 years: —the Limited Test Ban Treaty, —the Outer Space Treaty, and —the treaty creating a nuclear-free zone in Latin America. The march of mankind is toward the summit—not the chasm. We must not, we shall not, allow that march to be interrupted. This treaty, like the treaties it follows, is not the work, as Secretary Rusk said, of any one particular nation. It is the accomplishment of nations which seek to exercise their responsibilities for maintaining peace and maintaining a stable world order. It is my hope—and the common will of mankind—that all nations will agree that this treaty affords them some added protection. We hope they will accept the treaty and thereby contribute further to international peace and security. As one of the nations having nuclear weapons, the United States—all through these years—has borne an awesome responsibility. This treaty increases that rest for we have pledged that we shall use our weapons only in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. Furthermore, we have made clear to United Nations Security Council what would like to repeat today: If a state has accepted this treaty does not have weapons and is a victim of aggression, or is subject to a threat of aggression, involving nuclear weapons, the United States shall prepared to ask immediate Security Council action to provide assistance in accordance with the Charter. In welcoming the treaty that prevents the spread of nuclear weapons, I should like to repeat the United States commitment to honor all our obligations under existing treaties of mutual security. Such agreements have added greatly, we think, to the security of our Nation and the nations with which such agreements exist. They have created a degree of stability in a sometimes unstable world. This treaty is a very important security measure. But it also lays an indispensable foundation: —for expanded cooperation in the peaceful application of nuclear energy; —for additional measures to halt the nuclear arms race. We will cooperate fully to bring the treaty safeguards into being. We shall thus help provide the basis of confidence that is necessary for increased cooperation in the peaceful nuclear field. After the treaty has come into force we will permit the International Atomic Energy Agency to apply its safeguards to all nuclear activities in the United States—excluding only those with direct national security significance. Thus, the United States is not asking any country to accept any safeguards that we are not willing to accept ourselves. As the treaty requires, we shall also engage in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The needs of the developing nations will be given especially particular attention. We shall make readily available to the nonnuclear treaty partners the benefits of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes. And we shall do so without delay and under the treaty's provisions. Now at this moment of achievement and great hope, I am gratified to be able to report and announce to the world a significant agreement—an agreement that we have actively sought and worked for since January 1964: Agreement has been reached between the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to enter in the nearest future into discussions on the limitation and the reduction of both offensive strategic nuclear weapons delivery systems and systems of defense against ballistic missiles. Discussion of this most complex subject will not be easy. We have no illusions that it will be. I know the stubborn, patient persistence that it has required to come this far. We do not underestimate the difficulties that may lie ahead. I know the fears, the suspicions, and the anxieties that we shall have to overcome. But we do believe that the same spirit of accommodation that is reflected in the negotiation of the present treaty can bring us to a good and fruitful result. Man can still shape his destiny in the nuclear age—and learn to live as brothers. Toward that goal—the day when the world moves out of the night of war into the light of sanity and security—I solemnly pledge the resources, the resolve, and the unrelenting efforts of the people of the United States and their Government.
    13m 13s
  • State of the Union - January 4, 1965 - Lyndon Johnson - Presidential Speech

    2 NOV. 2023 · Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the Congress, my fellow Americans: 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 tonight. 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 spirit. 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 1830s and that is this nation's policy in the 1960s. Our own freedom and growth have never been the final goal of the American dream. 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 four 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 better. 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 Congress. In Asia, communism wears a more aggressive face. We see that in Vietnam. 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 now. 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 self-determination. 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 freedom. 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 year. 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.
    47m 51s

Lyndon B. Johnson was a complex and controversial figure, but there is no doubt that he was a gifted speaker. He was known for his powerful voice, his use of...

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Lyndon B. Johnson was a complex and controversial figure, but there is no doubt that he was a gifted speaker. He was known for his powerful voice, his use of rhetorical devices, and his ability to connect with his audience on a personal level.Johnson's speaking style was often described as "persuasive" and "commanding." He had a deep, booming voice that could carry across a large crowd. He also used rhetorical devices such as repetition, parallelism, and antithesis to emphasize his points. Additionally, Johnson was a skilled storyteller, and he often used personal anecdotes to illustrate his arguments.One of the most notable things about Johnson as a speaker was his ability to connect with his audience on a personal level. He was known for making eye contact with individuals in the crowd and for using their names in his speeches. He also often spoke about his own life experiences and how they had shaped his views.Here are some of the key characteristics of Johnson's speaking ability:
  • Powerful voice: Johnson had a deep, booming voice that could carry across a large crowd.
  • Use of rhetorical devices: Johnson used rhetorical devices such as repetition, parallelism, and antithesis to emphasize his points.
  • Skilled storyteller: Johnson was a skilled storyteller, and he often used personal anecdotes to illustrate his arguments.
  • Ability to connect with his audience on a personal level: Johnson was known for making eye contact with individuals in the crowd and for using their names in his speeches. He also often spoke about his own life experiences and how they had shaped his views.
Johnson's speaking ability was evident in many of his speeches, including his "We Shall Overcome" speech, his "Great Society" speech, and his "I Shall Not Seek Re-election" speech. These speeches are all considered classics of American oratory, and they continue to be studied and admired by public speakers today.Overall, Lyndon B. Johnson was a gifted speaker with a powerful voice, a skilled use of rhetorical devices, and an ability to connect with his audience on a personal level. His speeches helped to shape the course of American history, and they continue to inspire and inform people today.
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