THANK you very much, Carl. I want to thank both Senator Carl Curtis and Senator Roman Hruska for their great support and wonderful assistance. They, of course, are two of the outstanding legislators in the Congress of the United States. They are long-time, personal friends, and I can't thank Roman and Carl sufficiently for the help and assistance that they have given me. I am proud to be associated with both of them, and you should be proud of them as your United States Senators. And I am also very proud and very grateful for the fact that all of you are here supporting me, and let me assure you I will not let you down in the next 4 years.
I want to say with emphasis that Nebraska has always been and is right now a very crucial State, because it's a contest within the Republican Party as to which of the two nominees should represent our party in the next 4 years, in the next campaign. So, what we do between now and next Tuesday is critical, is crucial. It requires a maximum effort by all of you, by me, and by our friends throughout the great State of Nebraska.
If I might, I would like to take just a minute to reemphasize in your minds what at least I believe are the things we can say affirmatively, the things that are critical as we talk to our neighbors, to our friends, and to anybody else who will listen.
You can put it in three words, really, the achievements of the last 21 months since I have had the privilege of being President of the United States. You can say it's prosperity, it's peace, and it's trust. Those are three pretty good words.
Let's take each of them for just a moment. We can say with emphasis that when I became President, the economic situation in this country was deteriorating very rapidly. Inflation was over 12 percent. We have cut it down for the first 3 months of this year--under 3 percent. That's a 75-percent reduction in the rate of inflation. That's progress by any standard.
When I became President, we were on the brink of the worst economic conditions this country had suffered for almost 40 years. Employment was going down. Unemployment was going up. We got some news yesterday that showed that we have completely reversed that situation.
Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that employment in the month of April, just 1 month, had gone up 700,000, and that if you go back to the last 12 months, and go from May or April to April, we had gained 3,300,000 jobs in the United States, and that's not a bad batting average either.
And the net result is that as of last month, 84,700,000 people were gainfully employed. That's an all-time record in the history of the United States. I am sorry--86,700,000. But it shows the progress. It shows that we have been doing the right things, and the net result is our economy is on a very good track. And if I have the opportunity to be the President for the next 4 years, we will continue those policies, and that progress will likewise continue in the future.
Now, let's talk about peace. I'm going to say at the University of Nebraska, when I have the privilege of speaking there this morning, that this is the first graduating class in a long, long time--back since 1941--that hasn't had to expect the draft or selective service; that we have been able to man our Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines by voluntary action on the part of those who want to enlist.
So, this is progress. We are able to do the job, to maintain the peace without depending upon selective service or the draft. In other words, we have a capability through strength to convince our allies that we are strong and to convince our adversaries that they shouldn't tinker with us. So, under any standard that you say, we have sufficient military capability to carry out our missions. Our allies know it, and our adversaries know it.
And then I think you can say that since the tragedy of the period just before I became President, where there had been a great loss of confidence by many of our fellow Americans, we have had an open administration, a candid administration, a frank administration. And the net result is there bas been a restoration of confidence and trust in the White House. And I can assure you that in the next 4 years, this policy of openness, frankness, integrity, will absolutely continue, as it must under our kind of government, and as it will under a Ford administration.
And one further comment. Ever since becoming President, we have never promised more than we could perform, and we will perform on everything we promise. And that's the kind of relationship that I think a President must have with the people of this country, and that's the way it will be because that's the way it will have been.
We aren't going out to tell people that we will promise them the Moon, when we know in our hearts we can't perform. And everything we tell them, everything we promise them, we will achieve. That's the way we have been, and the results are good--prosperity, peace, and trust between the people and the President of the United States.
And, therefore, it's my view that we can go to our fellow citizens with an assurance, with a feeling that they eau trust us, and we can work for them.
Thank you very, very much.