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PUBLIC PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS

OF THE UNITED STATES

Lyndon B. Johnson

Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and

Statements of the President

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For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price $8.75

FOREWORD

THE PAPERS in this volume reflect a difficult year for the American people.

It was not unexpected. The challenges that faced Americans were, for the most part, clear at the beginning of the year. Our men were facing the threat of intensified aggression in Vietnam, with little prospect that the enemy would choose to negotiate a settlement of the war. At home, Americans faced racial turmoil and sharp dissent.

The perils were plain. They were complicated by the understandable desire of many Americans for fast, simple solutions to our tedious and complex problems.

The papers in this volume reflect one Administration's effort to pursue a balanced course that would neither escalate the war in Vietnam, nor sacrifice American interests in Southeast Asia; that would neither permit anarchy to rule America's cities, nor invite the suppression of civil liberties.

In Vietnam, we persevered in a measured, limited war-and by the end of the year had further reduced the possibility that North Vietnam might take over the South by force.

At home, we continued our efforts to provide decent conditions of life for Americans of every station, every race, every region. Vital expenditures for the poor, for aid to education, for health, for welfare, were increased.

The minimum wage was increased; legislation providing for increased social security payments was introduced, as was the first major federal effort aimed at crime control. New consumer protection laws were passed, and the District of Columbia was granted a limited form of home rule.

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Other major new advances—passed by the previous session of Congress-became part of the ordinary operations of government. The first anniversary of Medicare was celebrated on July 1—and the program was providing effective protection for more than 20 million elderly Americans. The prediction that the goth Congress would dismantle the bold new efforts of the 85th Congress proved unfounded.

With it all, the nation moved into its seventh consecutive year of prosperity. Americans enjoyed higher incomes than ever before. The number who still lived in poverty continued to decline—though poverty remained the nation's principal domestic problem.

No year is entirely predictable. The Six Day War in the Middle East erupted, threatening to involve more than just the nations of the region. The “hot line” between Washington and Moscow was used for the first time, in an effort to clarify the intentions of both nations.

The Middle East crisis gave me an opportunity to meet Chairman Kosygin of the U.S.S.R. in Glassboro, N.J. We emerged from our talks, if not with agreement on the issues that divide us, at least with a fuller understanding of our respective positions.

Certainly the most graphic evidence that the United States and the Soviet Union can cooperate in some areas involved the agreement we reached on a draft nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The ultimate promulgation of that treaty will, I believe, reduce the danger of a world-wide nuclear catastrophe.

It is far too early to judge the events of 1967, or the quality of our response to them. But I would risk this tentative assessment of our work in this

year: we did much of what we wanted to do—and, I believe, all of what we had to do.

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