Governor Godwin and distinguished citizens of the great Commonwealth of Virginia:
There is no way that I can adequately express my appreciation for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful day in the history of the Commonwealth. I have had a long experience with wonderful people from this State, people in private life as well as in public life. It has always been a great thrill to me to have lived in part in the Commonwealth and to have seen this great State grow and become a tremendous influence and have a great impact on our Union.
In coming down here I had the opportunity to do a little more reading about the great history of Virginia. And it is a thrill and it is an inspiration to have been a very small part of a great history of a great State--one of our Thirteen Colonies--of a growing, burgeoning, vitally important part of our 50 States. I thank you all for your hospitality, and I thank you, Governor Godwin, for your very generous comments. I wish you all the very best in our third century of a great history of a great Commonwealth in a great country.Note: The President spoke at approximately 10 p.m. in the Virginia Room at the Williamsburg Lodge. The dinner was hosted by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
The President spoke in response to a toast by Governor Godwin, who spoke as follows:
Mr. President, distinguished friends one and all:
It seems to me that in the two centuries that have passed, which we celebrate today, that this Commonwealth has had many great days. It had many great days two centuries ago. It has had many in the intervening years. But by any comparison, today and tonight must certainly rank with one of the great days in the history of the Commonwealth. We have been truly honored by the presence here of the Chief Executive of the greatest land in the world today.
Suffice it for me to say no more than to express to him the appreciation of us all for his presence here.
Now will you rise and join with me in giving a toast to the President of the United States of America.