The men who have guided the destiny of the United States have found the strength for their tasks by going to their knees. This private unity of public men and their God is an enduring source of reassurance for the people of America.
If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
We have entered an age in which education is not just a luxury permitting some men an advantage over others. It has become a necessity without which a person is defenseless in this complex, industrialized society. We have truly entered the century of the educated man.
There is but one way for a president to deal with Congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. If it is really going to work, the relationship has got to be almost incestuous.
Our purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest, it is not empire, it is not foreign bases, it is not domination. It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam.
Air pollution is a threat to health, especially of older persons. It contributes significantly to the rising rates of chronic respiratory ailments. It stains our cities and towns with ugliness, soiling and corroding whatever it touches. Its damage extends to our forests and farmlands as well. The economic toll for our neglect amounts to billions of dollars each year.
But, most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.
We do not want an expanding struggle with consequences, that no one can perceive, nor will we bluster or bully or flaunt our power, but we will not surrender and we will not retreat, for behind our American pledge lies the determination and resources, I believe, of all of the American nation.
Education is 'the guardian genius of our democracy.' Nothing really means more to our future, not our military defenses, not our missiles or our bombers, not our production economy, not even our democratic system of government. For all of these are worthless if we lack the brain power to support and sustain them.
There is nothing that exasperates people more than a display of superior ability or brilliance in conversation. They seem pleased at the time, but their envy makes them curse the conversationalist in their heart.
We are now embarked on another venture to put the American dream to work in meeting the new demands of a new day. Once again we must start where men would improve their society have always known they must begin - with an educational system restudied, reinforced, and revitalized.
It means an educational system which does not simply equip the students to adjust to society, but which enables the student to challenge and to modify, and at times reject, if necessary, the received wisdom of his elders.
Each year more than 100,000 high school graduates, with proved ability, do not enter college because they cannot afford it. And if we cannot educate today's youth, what will we do in 1970 when elementary enrollment will be 5 million greater than 1960? And high school enrollment will rise by 5 million. College enrollment will increase by more than 3 million.
A good president does with executive power what Pablo Picasso did with paint. He takes bills into new and slightly discomfiting territory. He puts extra eyes on policies. He moves the mouth of the Supreme Court from where it should be to where it must be.
Four. That's what I want you to remember. If you don't get your idea across in the first four minutes, you won't do it. Four sentences to a paragraph. Four letters to a word. The most important words in the English language all have four letters. Home. Love. Food. Land. Peace. . .I know peace has five letters, but any damn fool knows it should have four.
Our objective in South Vietnam has never been the annihilation of the enemy. It has been to bring about a recognition in Hanoi that its objective - taking over the South by force - could not be achieved.
It now seems to be quite a thing to pull down the mighty from their seats and roll them in the mire. This practice deserves pronounced condemnation. Hero worship is a tremendous force in uplifting and strengthening. Humanity, let us have our heroes. Let us continue to believe that some have been truly great.
We can and should have an abundance of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding, in and close to our cities. In the backcountry we need to copy the great Appalachian Trail in all parts of America.
You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
Government is best which is closest to the people. Yet that belief is betrayed by those State and local officials who engage in denying the right of citizens to vote. Their actions serve only to assure that their State governments and local governments shall be remote from the people, least representative of the people's will and least responsive to the people's wishes.
New laboratories and centers will help our schools lift their standards of excellence and explore new methods of teaching. These centers will provide special training for those who need and deserve special treatment.
A rioter with a Molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a Klansman with a sheet on his back and mask on his face. They are both more or less what the law declares them: lawbreakers, destroyers of constitutional rights and liberties and ultimately destroyers of a free America.
What we won when all of our people united must not be lost in suspicion and distrust and selfishness and politics. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as president.
A third place to build the Great Society is in the classrooms of America. There your children's lives will be shaped. Our society will not be great until every young mind is set free to scan the farthest reaches of thought and imagination. We are still far from that goal.
No national sovereignty rules in outer space. Those who venture there go as envoys of the entire human race. Their quest, therefore, must be for all mankind, and what they find should belong to all mankind.
Nothing so challenges the American spirit as tackling the biggest job on earth....Americans are stimulated by the big job; the Panama Canal, Boulder Dam, Grand Coulee, Lower Colorado River developments, the tallest building in the world, the mightiest battleship.
I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.
The hungry world cannot be fed until and unless the growth of its resources and the growth of its population come into balance. Each man and woman-and each nation-must make decisions of conscience and policy in the face of this great problem.
A President Roosevelt comes only once in a century. I believe God knew and does know of the need of the world at this moment. I don't believe President Roosevelt is an accident in time, or that it is an accident that he is President for a third time. I believe that Franklin D. Roosevelt truly is the voice of liberty in the world.
So far are we generally from thinking what we often say of the shortness of life, that at the time when it is necessarily shortest we form projects which we delay to execute, indulge such expectations as nothing but along train of events can gratify, and suffer those passions to gain upon us which are only excusable in the prime of life.
There is no excuse-and we should call a spade a spade-for chemical companies and oil refineries using our major rivers as pipelines for toxic waste. There is no excuse for communities to use other people's rivers as a dump for their raw sewage.
A rioter with a Molotov cocktail in his hands is not fighting for civil rights any more than a Klansman... They are both... lawbreakers, destroyers of constitutional rights and liberties and ultimately destroyers of a free America
That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, w
In my state, on the basis of the separate but equal doctrine, we have made enormous strides over the years in the education of both races. Personally, I think it would have been sounder judgment to allow that progress to continue through the process of natural evolution. However, there is no point crying about spilt milk.
Most of all we need an education which will create an educated mind. This is a mind not simply a repository of information and skills, but a mind that is a source of creative skepticism, characterized by a willingness to challenge old assumptions and to be challenged, a spaciousness of outlook, and convictions that are deeply held, but which new facts and new experiences can always modify.
There is no Constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong - deadly wrong - to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
...International education cannot be the work of one country. It is the responsibility and promise of all nations. It calls for free exchange and full collaboration...The knowledge of our citizens is one treasure which grows only when it is shared.
The Secretary of Labor is in charge of finding you a job, the Secretary of the Treasury is in charge of taking half the money you make away from you, and the Attorney General is in charge of suing you for the other half.
In the years since then, those four freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear - have stood as a summary of our aspirations for the American Republic and for the world.
A perpetual conflict with natural desires seems to be the lot of our present state. In youth we require something of the tardiness and frigidity of age; and in age we must labour to recall the fire and impetuosity of youth; in youth we must learn to respect, and in age to enjoy.
I believe in the American tradition of separation of church and state which is expressed in the First Amendment to the Constitution. By my office - and by personal conviction - I am sworn to uphold that tradition.
What convinces is conviction. Believe in the argument you're advancing. If you don't you're as good as dead. The other person will sense that something isn't there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you.
I am concerned about the whole man. I am concerned about what the people, using their government as an instrument and a tool, can do toward building the whole man, which will mean a better society and a better world.
...in the decline of life shame and grief are of short duration; whether it be that we bear easily what we have borne long; or that, finding ourselves in age less regarded, we less regard others; or, that we look with slight regard upon afflictions to which we know that the hand of death is about to put an end.
...that though they may refuse to grow wise, they must inevitably grow old; ...that the proper solaces of age are not music and compliments, but wisdom and devotion; that those who are so unwilling to quit the world will soon be driven from it; and that it is therefore in their interest to retire while there yet remain a few hours of nobler employments.
A compassionate government keeps faith with the trust of the people and cherishes the future of their children. Through compassion for the plight of one individual, government fulfills its purpose as the servant of all the people.
A few years make such havoc in human generations that we soon see ourselves deprived of those with whom we entered the world, and whom the participation of pleasures or fatigues had endeared to our remembrance.
A nation that fails to plan intelligently for the development and protection of its precious waters will be condemned to wither because of its shortsightedness. The hard lessons of history are clear, written on the deserted sands and ruins of once proud civilizations.
All the historians are Harvard people. It just isn't fair. Poor old Hoover from West Branch, Iowa, had no chance with that crowd;nor did Andrew Jackson from Tennessee. Nor does Lyndon Johnson from Stonewall, Texas. It just isn't fair.
Ambition is an uncomfortable companion many times. He creates a discontent with present surroundings and achievements; he is never satisfied but always pressing forward to better things in the future. Restless, energetic, purposeful, it is ambition that makes of the creature a real man.
An unfolding technology has increased our economic strength and added to the convenience of our lives. But that same technology-we know now-carries danger with it. From the great smoke stacks of industry and from the exhausts of motors and machines, 130 million tons of soot, carbon and grime settle over the people and shroud the Nation's cities each year. From towns, factories, and stockyards, wastes pollute our rivers and streams, endangering the waters we drink and use.
Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.
As it was 189 years ago, so today the cause of America is a revolutionary cause. And I am proud this morning to salute you as fellow revolutionaries. Neither you nor I are willing to accept the tyranny of poverty, nor the dictatorship of ignorance, nor the despotism of ill health, nor the oppression of bias and prejudice and bigotry. We want change. We want progress. We want it both abroad and at homeand we aim to get it.
As the House is designed to provide a reflection of the mood of the moment, the Senate is meant to reflect the continuity of the past--to preserve the delicate balance of justice between the majority's whims and the minority's rights.
But more classrooms and more teachers are not enough. We must seek an educational system which grows in excellence as it grows in size. This means better training for our teachers. It means preparing youth to enjoy their hours of leisure as well as their hours of labor. It means exploring new techniques of teaching, to find new ways to stimulate the love of learning and the capacity for creation.
But we have not used our waters well. Our major rivers are defiled by noxious debris. Pollutants from cities and industries kill the fish in our streams. Many waterways are covered with oil slicks and contain growths of algae that destroy productive life and make the water unfit for recreation. "Polluted Water-No Swimming" has become a familiar sign on too many beaches and rivers. A lake that has served many generations of men now can be destroyed by man in less than one generation.
Europe has been at peace since 1945. But it is a restless peace thats shadowed by the threat of violence. Europe is partitioned. An unnatural line runs through the heart of a very great and a very proud nation [Germany]. History warns us that until this harsh division has been resolved, peace in Europe will never be secure. We must turn to one of the great unfinished tasks of our generationand that unfinished task is making Europe whole again.
Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. There is no reason which can excuse the denial of that right. There is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to ensure that right.
Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sake - but for the future of our nation's sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country: not our military preparedness - for armed might is worthless if we lack the brainpower to build world peace; not our productive economy - for we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of government - for freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.
Every funeral may justly be considered as a summons to prepare for that state into which it shows us that we must some time enter; and the summons is more loud and piercing as the event of which it warns us is at less distance. To neglect at any time preparation for death is to sleep on our post at a siege; but to omit it in old age is to sleep at an attack.
Every gift contains a danger. Whatever gift we have we are compelled to express. And if the expression of that gift is blocked, distorted, or merely allowed to languish, then the gift turns against us, and we suffer.
Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation. He recounts the decency and regularity of former times, and celebrates the discipline and sobriety of the age in which his youth was passed; a happy age which is now no more to be expected, since confusion has broken in upon the world, and thrown down all the boundaries of civility and reverence.
First, this law - the National Defense Education Act - ended years and years of debate about one controversial question: 'Shall the Federal Government, with all its massive resources, get directly involved in aiding American education?' The answer this law gave was a loud 'Yes!' - and thus we paved the way for a new era of support for education in America. This law, in fact, helped make possible more than 50 new education laws passed in my administration.
For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. [...] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.
For it was only after I could become President of this country that I could really see in all its hopeful and troubling implications just how much the hopes of our citizens and the security of our Nation and the real strength of our democracy depended upon the learning and the understanding of our people.
For the individual, education is the path to achievement and fulfillment; for the nation, it is a path to a society that is not only free but civilized; and for the world, it is the path to peace - for it is education that places reason over force.
How incredible it is that in this fragile existence we should hate and destroy one another. There are possibilities enough for all who will abandon mastery over others to pursue mastery over nature. There is world enough for all to seek their happiness in their own way.
I am afraid, ... that health begins, after seventy, and often long before, to have a meaning different from that which it had at thirty. But it is culpable to murmur at the established order of the creation, as it is vain to oppose it. He that lives, must grow old; and he that would rather grow old than die, has God to thank for the infirmities of old age.
I am persuaded that the people of the world have no grievances, one against the other. The hopes and desires of a man who tills the soil are about the same whether he lives on the banks of the Colorado or on the banks of the Danube.
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.
I dont believe in labels. I want to do the best I can, all the time. I want to be progressive without getting both feet off the ground at the same time. I want to be prudent without having my mind closed to anything that is new or different. I have often said that I was proud that I was a free man first and an American second, and a public servant third and a Democrat fourth, in that order, and I guess as a Democrat, if I had to takeplace a label on myself, I would want to be a progressive who is prudent.
I don't think that I need to tell you how important to the outcome of that race is the education legislation that is now before the Congress. I hope that it is important enough that most of you have studied it in detail. I hope that you understand that it represents the very best thinking that the leading educators of this country can produce.
I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American.
I taught school in the early days of my manhood and I think I know something about mothers. There is a thread of aspiration that runs strong in them. It is the fiber that has formed the most unselfish creatures who inhabit this earth. They want three things only; for their children to be fed, to be healthy, and to make the most of themselves.
If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Straits of Tiran would be closed. The right of innocent, maritime passage must be preserved for all nations
If anybody has any idea of hoarding our silver coins, let me say this. Treasury has a lot of silver on hand, and it can be, and it will be used to keep the price of silver in line with its value in our present silver coin. There will be no profit in holding them out of circulation for the value of their silver content.
If I could get one message to you it would be this: the future of this country and the welfare of the free world depends upon our success in space. There is no room in this country for any but a fully cooperative, urgently motivated all-out effort toward space leadership. No one person, no one company, no one government agency, has a monopoly on the competence, the missions, or the requirements for the space program.
If the purpose of lamentation be to excite pity, it is surely superfluous for age and weakness to tell their plaintive stories; for pity presupposes sympathy, and a little attention will show them, that those who do not feel pain seldom think that it is felt.
If we fail now, then we will have forgotten in abundance what we learned in hardship: that democracy rests on faith; freedom asks more than it gives; and the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored.
In 1838, Mirabeau B. Lamar, the Second President of the Republic of Texas and the Father of Texas education, declared: 'The cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy. It is the only dictator that free man acknowledges. It is the only security that free man desires.'
In Asia we face an ambitious and aggressive China, but we have the will and we have the strength to help our Asian friends resist that ambition. Sometimes our folks get a little impatient. Sometimes they rattle their rockets some, and they bluff about their bombs. But we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
In many places, classrooms are overcrowded and curricula are outdated. Most of our qualified teachers are underpaid, and many of our paid teachers are unqualified. So we must give every child a place to sit and a teacher to learn from. Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from poverty.
In the Great Society, work shall be an outlet for mans interests and desires. Each individual shall have full opportunity to use his capacities in employment which satisfies personally and contributes generally to the quality of the Nations life.
In the last few decades entire new categories of waste have come to plague and menace the American scene. Pollution is growing at a rapid rate. Pollution destroys beauty and menaces health. It cuts down on efficiency, reduces property values and raises taxes. Almost all these wastes and pollutions are the result of activities carried on for the benefit of man. A prime national goal must be an environment that is pleasing to the senses and healthy to live in. Our Government is already doing much in this field. We have made significant progress. But more must be done.
It is happily and kindly provided that in every life there are certain pauses, and interruptions, which force consideration upon the careless, and seriousness upon the light, points of time where one course of action ends and another begins.
It is not uncommon for those who at their first entrance into the world were distinguished for attainments or abilities, to disappoint the hopes which they had raised, and to end in neglect and obscurity that life which they began in honour. To the long catalogue of the inconveniences of old age, which moral and satirical writers have so copiously displayed, may be often added the loss of fame.
It is very seldom that any one is in prison for an ordinary crime unless early in life he entered a path that almost invariably led to the prison gate. Most of the inmates are the children of the poor. In many instances they are either orphans or half-orphans; their homes were the streets and byways of big cities, and their paths naturally and inevitably took them to their final fate.
Justice requires us to remember that when any citizen denies his fellow, saying, 'His color is not mine,' or 'His beliefs are strange and different,' in that moment he betrays America, though his forebears created this nation.
Many have no happier moments than those that they pass in solitude, abandoned to their own imagination, which sometimes puts sceptres in their hands or miters on their heads, shifts the scene of pleasure with endless variety, bids all the forms of beauty sparkle before them, and gluts them with every change of visionary luxury.
Mr. Speaker, at a time when the nation is again confronted with necessity for calling its young men into service in the interestsof National Security, I cannot see the wisdom of denying our young women the opportunity to serve their country.
No man should think that peace comes easily. Peace does not come by merely wanting it, or shouting for it, or marching down Main Street for it. Peace is built brick by brick, mortared by the stubborn effort and the total energy and imagination of able and dedicated men. And it is built in the living faith that, in the end, man can and will master his own destiny.
Nothing is more despicable than the old age of a passionate man. When the vigour of youth fails him, and his amusements pall with frequent repetition, his occasional rage sinks by decay of strength into peevishness; that peevishness, for want of novelty and variety, becomes habitual; the world falls off from around him, and he is left, as Homer expresses it, to devour his own heart in solitude and contempt.
Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions without having yet obtained the victory as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others those attempts which he neglects himself.
Now we may have more preachers out there than we have drinkers. But a fellow told me a story one time about a man down in Kentuckywhere they make bourbon. And he said you can take a jigger or two jiggers and get by all right. But if you try to take the whole bottle why you have lost what you started with. So don't try to take it too quick. And don't try to do all of it at once. I don't do much promising. I tell what my goals are and then I try to wrap it up and put a blue ribbon on it and get it delivered. We say put the coonskin on the wall.
Of all the problems of conservation, none is more urgent that the polluted air which endangers the American people. We have been fortunate so far. But we have seen that when winds fail to blow, the concentrations of poisonous clouds over our cities can become perilous.
Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets. America and Israel have a common love of human freedom and they have a common faith in a democratic way of life ... Most if not all of you have very deep ties with the land and with the people of Israel, as I do, for my Christian faith sprang from yours .... the Bible stories are woven into my childhood memories as the gallant struggle of modern Jews to be free of persecution is also woven into our souls.
Sometimes among our more sophisticated, self-styled intellectuals--and I say self-styled advisedly; the real intellectual I am notsure would ever feel this way--some of them are more concerned with appearance than they are with achievement. They are more concerned with style then they are with mortar, brick and concrete. They are more concerned with trivia and the superficial than they are with the things that have really built America.
Such is the condition of life that something is always wanting to happiness. In youth we have warm hopes, which are soon blasted by rashness and negligence, and great designs which are defeated by inexperience. In age, we have knowledge and prudence, without spirit to exert, or motives to prompt them; we are able to plan schemes, and regulate measures, but have not time remaining to bring them to completion.
The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today.
The American Indian, once proud and free, is torn now between White and tribal values; between the politics and language of the White man and his own historic culture. His problems, sharpened by years of defeat and exploitation, neglect and inadequate effort, will take many years to overcome.
The American West is just arriving at the threshold of its greatness and growth. Where the West of yesterday is glamorized in our fiction, the future of the American West now is both fabulous and factual.
The experts spent a great deal of time and study working out a formula which would be fair to every State and fair to every county and fair to every child, and would put the education dollar where that dollar is needed most, now.
The family is the corner stone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled. So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together, all the rest - schools, playgrounds, and public assitance, and private concern - will never be enough.
The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.
The prospect of penury in age is so gloomy and terrifying that every man who looks before him must resolve to avoid it; and it must be avoided generally by the science of sparing. For, though in every age there are some who, by bold adventures, or by favorable accidents, rise suddenly to riches, yet it is dangerous to indulge hopes of such rare events; and the bulk of mankind must owe their affluence to small and gradual profits, below which their expense must be resolutely reduced.
The Roman Empire controlled the world because it could build roads . . . the British Empire was dominant because it had ships. In the air age we were powerful because we had airplaines. Now the Communists have established a foothold in outer space.
The time has come when we cannot be so careless. Unless we do better, we may suffer through a stark emergency of the environment. We may create a hostile world: a world to bruise ourselves against; a world of sprawling cities, unplanned or badly planned; a world whose water is full of sludge, whose winds are full of soot; a world whose landscape has been totally neglected, stripped, marred, and wasted. All of this need not happen if we choose well, and particularly if we plan well and if we act well.
The United States stands by its friends. Israel is one of its friends Peace can be based only on agreement between the parties and agreement can be achieved only through negotiations between them. The United States will not impose the terms of peace. The United States is prepared to supply military equipment necessary to support the efforts of friendly governments, like Israel's, to defend the safety of their people.
There are some, I know, who see beautification as a frill, as an extra, or as something that is luxurious enough to postpone. Well, they make me impatient because I am convinced that beauty and order in our environment are not frills. I am convinced that they are urgent necessities because they will determine whether our grandchildren can live in a decent land or whether they will be surrounded by glittering junkheaps.
There is something more important than any ultimate weapon. That is the ultimate position-the position of total control over Earth that lies somewhere out in space. That is . . . the distant future, though not so distant as we may have thought. Whoever gains that ultimate position gains control, total control, over the Earth, for the purposes of tyranny or for the service of freedom
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 working man, 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.
This Congress did more to uplift education, more to attack disease in this country and around the world, and more to conquer poverty than any other session in all American history, and what more worthy achievements could any person want to have? For it was the Congress that was more true than any other Congress to Thomas Jefferson's belief that: 'The care of human life and happiness is the first and only legitimate objective of good Government.'
This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Entire regional airsheds, crop plant environments, and river basins are heavy with noxious materials. Motor vehicles and home heating plants, municipal dumps and factories continually hurl pollutants into the air we breathe. Each day almost 50,000 tons of unpleasant, and sometimes poisonous, sulfur dioxide are added to the atmosphere, and our automobiles produce almost 300,000 tons of other pollutants.
To sustain an environment suitable for man, we must fight on a thousand battlegrounds. Despite all of our wealth and knowledge, we cannot create a redwood forest, a wild river, or a gleaming seashore.
Today, 8 million adult Americans, more than the entire population of Michigan, have not finished 5 years of school. Nearly 20 million have not finished 8 years of school. Nearly 54 million - more than one-quarter of all America - have not even finished high school.
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 the world.
Watch their hands, watch their eyes. Read eyes. No matter what a man is saying to you, it's not as important as what you can read in his eyes. The most important thing a man has to tell you is what he's not telling you; the most important thing he has to say is what he's trying not to say.
Way back last summer I asked some of the most outstanding educational minds in this Nation to tackle this problem. I gave them a single instruction: find out how we can best invest each education dollar so that it will do the most good. Your support and the support of every leading education group proves that they did their job better than I had hoped, because for the first time we have succeeded in finding goals which unite us rather than divide us.
We decided that our first job was to help the schools serving the children from the very lowest income groups. Those families constitute the number one burden, the number one burden in this Nation on the school systems.
We do this in order to slow down aggression. We do this to increase the confidence of the brave people of South Vietnam who have bravely born this brutal battle for so many years with so many casualties. And we do this to convince the leaders of North Vietnam-and all who seek to share their conquest-of a simple fact: We will not be defeated. We will not grow tired. We will not withdraw either openly or under the cloak of a meaningless agreement.
We have always believed that our people can stand on no higher ground than the school ground, or can enter any more hopeful room than the classroom. We blend time and faith and knowledge in our schools - not only to create educated citizens, but also to shape the destiny of this great Republic.
We have heard all of our lives how, after the Civil War was over, the South went back to straighten itself out and make a living again. It was for many years a voiceless part of the government. The balance of power moved away from it--to the north and the east. The problems of the north and the east became the big problem of the country and nobody paid much attention to the economic unbalance the South had left as its only choice.
We know that they cannot bear their share of the taxes to help pay for their education. And unless those children get a good education we know that they become dropouts and they become delinquents and they become taxeaters instead of taxpayers. We know that they will join the unemployed. That is why we put top priority on breaking the vicious cycle that today threatens the future of 5 million children in this great land of opportunity which we talk about so much.
We live amid falling taboos. In our crowded little hour of history we have seen how the prejudice of religion no longer can bar the way to the White House. Some of you may live to see the day when the prejudice of sex no longer places the Presidency beyond the reach of a greatly gifted American lady. Long before them, I hope you will see a woman member of the Supreme Court of the United States. In Congress and in our State Legislatures we need more women to bring their sensitive experience to the shaping of our decisions.
We must not only protect the country side and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities ... Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature, his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted.
We need to remember that the separation of church and state must never mean the separation of religious values from the lives of public servants. . . If we who serve free men today are to differ from the tyrants of this age, we must balance the powers in our hands with God in our hearts.
We of the United States consider ourselves blessed. We have much to give thanks for. But the gift of providence we cherish most is that we were given as our neighbors on this wonderful continent the people and the nation of Canada.
You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying you are free to compete with all the others, and still justly believe you have been completely fair...We seek not just freedom but opportunity...not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.
You know when you're milking a cow and you have all that foamy white milk in the bucket and you're just about through, when all of a sudden the cow switches her tail through a pile of manure and slaps it into that foamy white milk. That's Bill Fulbright.
An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries. It makes us all very fearful that all rivers will go this way unless somebody acts now to try to balance our river development.
I believe that the essence of government lies with unceasing concern for the welfare and dignity and decency and innate integrity of life for every individual. I dont like to say this and wish I didnt have to add these words to make it clear but I willregardless of color, creed, ancestry, sex or age.
I pray we are still a young and courageous nation, that we have not grown so old and so fat and so prosperous that all we can think about is to sit back with our arms around our money bags. If we choose to do that I have no doubt that the smoldering fires will burst into flame and consume us - dollars and all.
No one has the right to use America's rivers and America's Waterways, that belong to all the people. as a sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people.
'Human history, ' H.G. Wells once wrote, 'becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.' You and I cannot be indifferent to the outcome of that race. We care deeply about the winner. Because we do care so deeply about the winner, that is why we are all in the East Room of the White House today.