By the President of the United States of America
There is increasing awareness throughout America of the growing national resource represented by our older citizens. Their collective knowledge, experience, and energy can contribute significantly to raising the quality of life for all Americans.
As we approach our national Bicentennial, it is important to take special notice of older Americans. They have made and are making significant contributions to our Nation. It is fitting that we not lose sight of the continuing contributions this generation can make nor of our commitment as a society to meet their needs.
The first White House Conference on Aging in 1961 produced a Senior Citizens Charter of Rights and Obligations. The second White House Conference on Aging, held in 1971, broadened that recognition and deepened our commitment to providing opportunities to our older citizens for maintenance of income and health and for self-realization and continuing usefulness. It is appropriate to update the Charter in the light of growing knowledge and recognition of the needs and abilities of our older citizens. People of all ages should join in the development of a Declaration of Rights and Obligations of Older Persons so that it can be proclaimed as part of our Bicentennial celebration.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the month of May 1975 as Older Americans Month. I urge everyone to participate in the efforts to achieve the goal of proclaiming a new Declaration of Rights and Obligations for Older Persons, which can become a rallying point for our Nation during the Bicentennial year of 1976 and a guide to action during the years ahead.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-ninth.
GERALD R. FORD