By the President of the United States of America
Our society has made a commitment to enrich and improve the lives of the senior citizens among us.
A great part of that commitment to the 19 million Americans who are 65 or over has been advanced during this Administration.
Through Medicare, the often crushing burden of hospital and doctor bills has been eased.
The Older Americans Act, with its emphasis on community services, gives direction and meaning to lives that might have been spent out in frustration and purposelessness.
Other programs provide assistance to senior citizens in housing and nursing care, public welfare, and special training programs.
Recommendations now before the Congress will make the older years of life even more productive and more comfortable by:
—Increasing the benefits under Social Security;
—Raising the level of public assistance for those who must depend on such welfare for the essentials;
—Extending the benefits of Medicare to more people, and expanding its services;
—Increasing the educational, recreational and health services under the Older Americans Act;
—Eliminating income tax discrimination against those over 65 who continue to work;
—Prohibiting discrimination because of age in employment.
The Nation needs these programs in order to move closer to realizing the goals which we have set out as the objectives in our Bill of Rights for Older Americans—an adequate income, a decent home, and a meaningful retirement.
But to make good fully on its commitment, the Nation needs more than legislation. There must be an awareness in the heart of every citizen of the duty we all share in this abundant land to the elders whose lives have contributed to the development of the society we enjoy.
There must be a general awareness that it is within the power of us all to discharge that duty—to bring light to the lives of those who are lonely or in despair, better care to those who are ill or disabled, greater benefits to those who are impoverished.
The greater this awareness is, the greater will be our hope of bringing to all older Americans the opportunity to live full and rewarding lives in communities throughout the Nation.
Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the month of May 1967 as Senior Citizens Month.
I call upon all Federal, State and local governments, in partnership with private and voluntary organizations, to join in community effort to give meaning to the theme of this special month:
MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF THE LATER YEARS
Let each citizen help, in whatever way he can, to make this month memorable by working to provide within each community those benefits and opportunities which will add satisfaction and dignity to the lives of older Americans.
I also invite the Governors of the States, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, and appropriate officials in other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to join in the observance of Senior Citizens Month.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this thirtieth day of March in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-first.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
By the President:
Secretary of State