Tags: Presidential History | lyndon johnson | state of the union

Lyndon Johnson State of the Union Highlights: 7 Quotes From 1964 Speech

By    |   Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 08:25 PM

In January of 1964, President Lyndon Johnson had been in office less than two months. He was sworn in on November 22, 1963 after the assassination of President John Kennedy. His first state of the union address, in January of 1964, offered a broad scope of domestic agenda for Congress.

Here are 7 quotes from that State of the Union speech as presented by the American Presidency Project:

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

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

3. “Many Americans live on the outskirts of hope--some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity. This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort.”

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

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5. “We must abolish not some, but all racial discrimination. For this is not merely an economic issue, or a social, political, or international issue. It is a moral issue, and it must be met by the passage this session of the bill now pending in the House. All members of the public should have equal access to facilities open to the public. All members of the public should be equally eligible for Federal benefits that are financed by the public. All members of the public should have an equal chance to vote for public officials and to send their children to good public schools and to contribute their talents to the public good.”

6. “We must be constantly prepared for the worst, and constantly acting for the best. We must be strong enough to win any war, and we must be wise enough to prevent one. We shall neither act as aggressors nor tolerate acts of aggression. We intend to bury no one, and we do not intend to be buried. We can fight, if we must, as we have fought before, but we pray that we will never have to fight again.”

7. “In these last 7 sorrowful weeks, we have learned anew that nothing is so enduring as faith, and nothing is so degrading as hate. John Kennedy was a victim of hate, but he was also a great builder of faith--faith in our fellow Americans, whatever their creed or their color or their station in life; faith in the future of man, whatever his divisions and differences.”

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In January of 1964, President Lyndon Johnson had been in office less than two months. He was sworn in on November 22, 1963 after the assassination of President John Kennedy. His first state of the union address, in January of 1964, offered a broad scope of domestic agenda.
lyndon johnson, state of the union
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2015-25-22
Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 08:25 PM
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