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hope that before long some of you will apply for these fellowships, and that your next trip to Washington will be to begin your year to start contributing your efforts to this bold and this exciting adventure. I am announcing today the beginning of this year's search for the best for next year's White House Fellows.1
It is not enough for our student generation to inherit America on some future day. They must help shape it—and shape it today.
It is not enough for our young people merely to prepare for tomorrow's life. They must be living life-and they must be making it better for all men-now.
Around the world, as we stand here this morning, the winds of change are stirring. The cry for justice grows louder and clearer. and more insistent every day. That cry will
1 The White House Fellows program, designed to give outstanding young Americans top-level experience with the workings of the Federal Government, was established by the President on October 3, 1964 (see 1963-64 volume, this series, Book II, Item 622).
On February 25, 1966, the White House announced the names of 38 finalists, chosen from over 600 qualified applicants, who would compete for selection as White House Fellows for 1966-67. The release stated that the finalists would be brought to Washington March 27-29 to meet with the Commission on White House Fellows headed by Douglas Dillon, former Secretary of the Treasury (2 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 265).
On March 29, 1966, the White House announced the names of the 18 new White House Fellows, including the first woman, who would begin their Government service on September 1, 1966. The program, the release pointed out, was based on an idea by John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and former President of the Carnegie Corp. (2 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 463).
The start of another nationwide search to choose the White House Fellows for 1967-68 was made public by the White House on August 18, 1966. The release added that 11 regional panels, composed of distinguished citizens, would review applications, interview candidates, and recommend the most outstanding for further consideration by the Commission (2 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 1085).
not die—and we will not deny it. For 190 years ago, with our declaration that all men are created equal, we sent it ringing down through the centuries.
Justice means that every man should have a share in creating his own destiny.
Justice means that those who live by the rules should have a part in making those
This idea—that men must have a stake in the decisions which affect men-is an important idea for America's younger citizens. A Presidential advisory commission has already begun its work on a matter which deeply concerns every young American: the Selective Service System.
I know that for most of you, the quality of that system will influence the course of your life in the years to come.
Our present system has served this Nation and the national interest since 1948. In many ways it has become a crazyquilt, applying to some but not to others.
We have inherited that system-but we need not be wedded to it.
We are not interested in just a system. What we do want and need is a just system.
And this is why I have called for some fresh and hard questions and some creative thinking about the draft:
-Does the present system have flaws or inequities which could and should be corrected?
-Can we make the draft fairer and can we make it more effective? -Can we-without harming our Nation's future or our national security-estab lish a practical system of nonmilitary alternatives to the draft?
Student leaders and young citizens, I think, should have an important part in answering these questions.
I have, therefore, asked Mr. Burke Marshall, the distinguished attorney, to be Chair
man of the Commission on Selective Service, to consider the recommendations of those that are most directly concerned with these questions: our students and our younger citizens.
But one thing I want to make clear this morning: No one contributes more to his country or deserves more from his country than the young man who serves in his country's armed forces any time that his country needs him.
Thirty-five years ago I came to Washington as a kind of intern. In those days the Government did not offer so wide an opportunity for the young man or woman who wished to serve an apprenticeship. But as I look out there at you today, I can see that we have come a long way.
Never has the day of the young person in government, in my judgment, been so promising. And never has the need for able, young, dedicated, trained people been more urgent for your country.
Over the next 4 years the Federal Government will need 30,000 more scientists and engineers. It will need 6,000 more specialists in health and technology and education.
When I came here they weren't sure they were going to need anyone else. Some think they didn't get much, either.
But by 1970, as you look down the road, our State governments alone must grow 600,000 to keep pace with the times; and employment just for State and local government will exceed 10 million persons.
Over the next 10 years our Nation is going to need 200,000 new public school teachers each year—200,000 new teachers each year!
The call then for public service cannot be met just by professionals alone. Therefore, we must revive the ancient ideal of citizensoldiers who answer their nation's call in time of danger.
Today's citizen-soldier will join the
Teacher Corps in serving children who never heard the promise of equality—or received it.
Today's citizen-soldier will enlist in the Peace Corps to bring the miracle of medicine to millions whose life span rarely reaches half the Biblical three score and ten.
On many fronts and in many ways, the citizen-soldier will find his role.
Next year I plan to recommend to Congress a program to assist all those who want to train for public service. Because I am determined that my term in office will mean a greater role for young people. But I warn you—it will also mean greater responsibility for young people.
Your time is one of very serious testing for Americans.
In too many places—in our cities and our slums-justice seems slow to come. Violence and disorder threaten to kill our hopes and threaten to undo all the good things that we have done so recently.
In Vietnam this morning we face a challenge which could bring even more pain before we can end it. You and I would prefer that the answers for the future of Southeast Asia be written in treaties, in plans for regional development-in the works of peace, as I outlined in my Baltimore address and many times since. But standing against that wish are men who would rather write it in blood and in terror. They must-and they will be answered.
The determination and the optimism of our people today are high. Our country has never had as many employed, eating more, wearing more, doing better, more prosperous, generally a happier progressive nation with goals and objectives and with programs in their reach, and with jobs to be done and people here to do them. We know that this time of testing-like every other time-is one very rich with promise.
We believe that man has the means to
solve all of his problems. What he needs is the will.
We believe that freedom-and not tyranny, not dictatorship, not terror-will triumph; that we need only give force and power to the idea of freedom and liberty.
We believe that nothing is impossible for a free people who keep their determination, who keep their devotion, and who keep their spirit.
And wherever I look today, I see that spirit.
I see it in the determination of our Armed Forces. I saw it in the face of General Westmoreland when he spent Saturday and Sunday with me and told me of the young people that were marching with him to try to keep tyrants and terror from prevailing over free, innocent people.
I saw it in the letter of a young soldier in Vietnam who wrote me just a few days ago and he said: "Maybe there are other reasons for our being out here that we do not know about; but for us, freedom, freedom is cause enough."
I see it in the energy which you young people have shown this summer and the dedication that you have given to the principles of democracy. And as your President, I am grateful to you for it and pleased with. the example that you have set.
Without that spirit, nothing is really possible. With it, nothing is impossible.
In a few weeks most of you will be returning to your campuses.
I hope that you will take back with you a new insight and a somewhat new apprecia
tion for both the problems and the possibilities of your Government. I hope you return to your classes with a new concern not only for your own future, selfishly just for yourselves, but I hope you will have a concern for the future of all men, all humanity, everywhere.
I hope that when you leave this Capital, when you march from the shadows of this great monument which represents everything that is dear to us, that you will leave stronger in your conviction, more determined in your approach, believing that though there may be other reasons for your being here, "freedom, freedom is cause enough."
If you do that, your country will profit, your people will be proud of you, your summer will have been a success, and your Nation will be richer because you came this
You will have come, you will have seen, and you will have conquered.
And I hope you will come back again.
NOTE: The President spoke at 11:05 a.m. at the Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument grounds. In his opening words he referred to John W. Macy, Jr., Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, who was in charge of the seminar. Later he referred to Burke Marshall, former Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, and Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Commander, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.
The group was composed of approximately 14,000 young people, ranging in age from 16 to 23, who had been employed by Government agencies during the summer months. The seminars are held each year to stimulate interest in careers in public service.
Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker on Combat
Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)
Under present law, the pay received by enlisted personnel while serving in a combat zone is fully exempt from Federal income tax. Commissioned officers, however, receive only a $200 exemption per month.
When these exemptions were set-during the Korean Conflict-they were designed to put officers on an equal footing with senior noncommissioned officers for tax purposes. But we have had seven military pay raises since then, and some enlisted men are now earning about $500 per month, tax free.
The bill I am today submitting would restore the traditional relationship by raising the combat pay tax exemption for officers to $500 per month.
Under any circumstances, fairness would lead us to take this step. But when we are dealing with Americans in combat-daily risking their lives for the cause of freedomthen fairness compels this action.
There is no true measure of the heroic efforts of our servicemen in Viet Nam. But we can at least assure them-by such proposals as this that everything we can do for them will be done.
We have given them the G.I. Bill-to provide concrete help in getting a fresh start through education and training upon their
We are speeding their mail-more than
August 18, 1966
two million pounds are delivered each month.
We are providing the fastest and most modern medical care in the world-the lives of almost 90 percent of those wounded are saved, the best record in any conflict in history.
We have sent them our most able military leaders.
I talked to one of those leaders last weekend: General William Westmoreland, the Commander of our forces in Vietnam. told me that the American troops in Vietnam today are the best trained, best equipped, and best disciplined men with whom he has ever served. Their morale is high, for they know why they are there. Their determination is certain, for they know they will succeed.
I asked General Westmoreland-for myself, for the American people, and for members of Congress-to carry back to them the message that their determination will be matched by renewed resolve and increased support at home. Sincerely,
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
NOTE: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The text of the draft bill was also made public by the White House.
A bill "to amend section 112 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 to increase from $200 to $500 the monthly combat pay exclusion for commissioned officers serving in combat zones" was approved by the President on November 2, 1966 (see Item 571).
390 Statement by the President on the Stockpile Disposal Program.
August 19, 1966
I HAVE TODAY signed a bill authorizing the disposal from our national stockpiles of 1.9 million tons of surplus metallurgical grade manganese ore.
This manganese can now be made available to our steel mills and other consumers. And it will return substantial funds to the Federal Treasury when the sales are made.
I am especially pleased to note that this is the 19th such stockpile disposal bill I have signed this year, out of the 26 placed before the Congress.
I also received today a report from the General Services Administration summarizing the results of our stockpile disposal program for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1966.
It is a record of outstanding achievement. The $1 billion sales goal set for fiscal year 1966 was not only met, but surpassed. The Government sold $1.028 billion worth of metals and materials no longer needed in our stockpiles-an amount nearly equal to all sales made since the stockpile disposal program began in 1958.
Under this program, over $925 million in cash was returned to the Treasury in fiscal year 1966. This is welcome news for every taxpayer. And more than 1,000,000 tons of surplus materials moved from stockpiles to factories and smelters, including 273,000 tons of aluminum, 528,000 tons of copper, 130,000 tons of rubber, and 179,000 tons of zinc.
Our stockpile disposal program has helped to strengthen our unparalleled prosperity and abundance. To our fighting men in
Vietnam, it has helped assure a steady flow of arms and equipment. To factories and mills across the Nation, it has meant the availability of a wide range of key materials in short supply-from aluminum to vanadium.
It is renewed testimony to the gains that can be achieved when the Congress, industry, and the executive branch work together with unity of purpose, and with will and determination.
I hope that the Congress will write a perfect record by adding the seven remaining bills to the 19 it has already passed.
Every American taxpayer has cause to be grateful to the Congress, to GSA Administrator Lawson Knott, and to all the people, in Government and out, who have helped us reap the benefits of prudence and
NOTE: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 13772) is Public Law 89-539 (80 Stat. 348).
The statement was not made public in the form of a White House press release. As printed above, it follows the text made available by the White House Press Office.
For statements by the President upon signing previous stockpile disposal bills, see Items 173, 206, 218, 283.
Prior to adjournment on October 22 the 89th Congress enacted 4 of the 7 remaining bills, which the President signed on November 2 (see Item 572). With respect to the last three bills (for the disposal of silicon carbide, metallurgical grade bauxite, and diamond tools), hearings were held by the House Armed Services Committee, but the bills were not reported out.
The text of the General Services Administration report to which the President referred was not made public.