Congressman Brown, Dave, and the members--130 of you, as I understand it--of the Loy Norrix orchestra and choir:
I welcome you all, along with your chaperones, here on the grounds of the White House in the famous Rose Garden.
I understand that you have been cited by the Michigan State Legislature for your contribution to the Bicentennial. And the recordings that you have made here of some 14 songs are especially recognized by the State legislature. Let me congratulate you for that.
But I am also awfully pleased to see you down here in the custody of my good friend, Garry Brown, who I served with for a good many years in the Congress. You know, Grand Rapids is not very far from Kalamazoo--as a matter of fact, I used to court a girl down there. We don't talk about it up in the residence here. [Laughter]
Nevertheless, I used to go down there and have some wonderful times; had some other good friends, some of you may remember them--I am sure Garry does--the Everhardis brothers. Do any of you remember that famous football name? Herm and Chris Everhardis were good friends of mine and teammates.
I think the main point I would like to make here on this occasion--you are already a part of the Bicentennial by the fact that you have made a contribution, you have been cited by the State legislature, and you are down here as an official representative of the State of Michigan for the Bicentennial kickoff.
What does the Bicentennial really mean other than the fact that it is a 200th anniversary? I think you can phrase it this way: We will be 200 years old next year. As we look back on the history of our country, the first 100 years our forefathers made a maximum effort to establish a free government in this country, and they did, through hardship and privation, vision and imagination.
The second hundred years of the history of America was aimed at building a strong industrial society so we could all live better in a material way and we could have an influence and impact throughout the world as a whole.
What do we want in the third century of America? Because although it is a recognition of a 200-year period, what we really have to think about is what we want for America in the next hundred years.
Here are some thoughts that I have on that subject. We have established a free government. We have built a strong base so we can have many more things in a material way than anybody else in the world.
What we have to use as our objective in the third century is the freedom of the individual--freedom from mass government, freedom from mass industry, freedom from mass education. We want people to be free in our society so that each of you in your own way can develop your personality, your aims, and your ambitions.
There are many other things that we can talk about, but freedom from mass government at the local, State, or Federal level, freedom from mass industry, where you are just an automatic cog in a production line, freedom from everybody being educated precisely the same way. We want the individual free-and that is all of you--in our third century of America.
Congratulations, and thank you.