By the President of the United States Of America
We do not truly know America until, in Whitman's phrase, we "hear America singing" singing not only the songs of concert stage and nightclub, choir loft and schoolroom, but also the earthy, emotion-packed melodies and lyrics that have come to be called "country."
At one time, that particularly rich and honest strain in the American musical tradition was largely confined to the geographic areas its name implies: the countryside and Western ranges of America's heartland. But half a century ago, in 1923, Fiddlin' John Carson broke through with the first widely popular country music recording, and since then records and the broadcast airwaves have been winning new audiences for country and Western music all over America and around the world—so that now the term describes not just a locale but a state of mind and style of taste, as much beloved downtown as on the farm.
Today, no matter where men and women happen to live, country music may be one of the truest voices speaking to and for them. All of us can better understand our Nation's head and heart by listening to "hear America singing" in that voice.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, ask Americans to mark the month of October, 1973, with suitable observances as Country Music Month.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-eighth.