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Institutes Honoring Senators Hubert H. Humphrey and Everett M. Dirksen Remarks on Signing S. 2452 Into Law.

April 27, 1978

THE PRESIDENT. Senator Humphrey and Senator Wendell Anderson and the Vice President and I assembled here for a very significant signing ceremony.

This is a bill that has been passed by the Congress authorizing the Commissioner of Education to make grants to two institutes established, one in Minnesota, in honor of Senator Hubert Humphrey, the other one in Illinois, in honor of Republican leader Senator Everett Dirksen.

These institutes are designed to further the study of politics in its finest form, to improve the quality of the Congress, particularly emphasized at the Dirksen Institute. And it sets reasonable limits on how much American taxpayers' money can be devoted to these institutes, which I think is a very worthy expenditure in these instances.

Because of the close association, both in the Senate and in the home State, between the Vice President and Senator Humphrey, I've asked him to make a few comments about this. I particularly want to congratulate Senator Muriel Humphrey for the great work she and her husband did together. And Wendell Anderson is here associated with this.

I think this is a good bipartisan demonstration of the fact that both Republicans and Democrats in the Congress, when working in harmony, can further the purposes of our Nation for the best interests of the whole world. Both Senator Humphrey and Senator Dirksen were interested not only in domestic affairs in the finest sense of the word but also were interested in international matters. And to honor these two great men with these institutes for further study and analysis will be an additional benefit derived from their lives for the people of the United States.

THE VICE PRESIDENT. It was my privilege to serve for several years with Senator Dirksen, and we became very close friends. He was many things, but I've never known anybody on the Senate floor who, when he spoke, drew a more interested crowd than did Senator Dirksen. He always made the Senate an interesting institution. He loved it; he served it through most of his political career. And on his passing, I don't know of anybody who had more friends than did Senator Dirksen.

We asked Senator Baker to be with us today, but he is in Geneva for consultations in our crucial SALT talks there. And we are pleased that we have Darek and Cynthia Baker with us, their children, who are here representing their mother and father at this important event.

And, of course, our relationship with Senator Humphrey is well known. As I said some time back, he served almost as my surrogate father for years. We stood together in every conceivable kind of battle, and I consider the matter of enormous pride and enormous privilege that I was permitted to live and to serve in public life as a close friend of one of the greatest public servants ever to serve in the history of our country.

And I'm grateful that the Congress has made these grants now in the memory of these two Senators. And it's the right kind of memorial. This will go for research, it will go for training. It will train new public leaders and scholars in political science, in public affairs, and is the kind of living memorial I am sure Muriel and Hubert wanted, I know that the Baker family wants for Senator Dirksen.

So, I'm delighted to be here, and thank the Congress for their help.

THE PRESIDENT. I know you are proud of your grandfather, and Muriel obviously is proud of her husband. Now I would like to sign these.

[At this point, the President signed the bill.]

Thank you very much. Congratulations.

Note: The President spoke at 9 a.m. at the signing ceremony in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

As enacted, S. 2452 is Public Law 95-270, approved April 27. The bill authorizes grants of $5 million and $2.5 million, respectively, to the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, located at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the Everett McKinley Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center in Pekin, Ill.

Jimmy Carter, Institutes Honoring Senators Hubert H. Humphrey and Everett M. Dirksen Remarks on Signing S. 2452 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/245377

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