The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the Proposed National Cultural Center.
March 9, 1961

Dear Mr.____________:

Earlier this year President Eisenhower sent to the leadership of the House and the Senate a message urging the enactment of legislation to enlarge the site of the proposed National Cultural Center in Washington. Under the National Cultural Center Act, the site for the Center is to be provided by the federal government. As the President pointed out on January 18th, it is necessary that three parcels of land not now included within the description of the site be added in order to permit construction of the Center in accordance with the approved architectural plan.

I want to renew this recommendation. The National Cultural Center is the most significant cultural undertaking in the history of this city and has enormous importance to the cultural life of the nation as a whole. There is a real and promising opportunity to establish new horizons for the performing arts in this city. There have been many public-spirited citizens participating in the work and planning of the Cultural Center, and I believe that the federal government should take these small additional steps in order to provide a suitable setting and environment for the Center. Moreover, this is an enterprise which has earned the support of membership of both parties in the Congress.

I urge the early enactment of this legislation so that the plans for the National Cultural Center may proceed promptly. This can be an important step in recognizing the vital role of culture in the vigorous development of our country.


Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on the Proposed National Cultural Center.", March 9, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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