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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

July 13, 1955

Dear Oveta:

This is one of the hardest letters I have ever had to write. For months, since you first discussed them with me, I have recognized that personal obligations and responsibilities might make your resignation as Secretary an inescapable decision. I now have no alternative than to accept it, effective August first. But I and all who know you as a dedicated, inspired American leader will miss your voice and counsel in Government.

Twice, in little more than a decade, you have earned the thanks and respect of your fellow-citizens. Few--men or women--have brought to heavy tasks and critical challenges such great spirit, integrity and vision or such readiness to spend energy and high talent in the country's service.

Under your command in the Second World War, the Women's Army Corps opened a new field of service for American women. From the very outset of its organization, they demonstrated their value and capacity in the most trying circumstances. More than a hundred thousand women, led by you, proved themselves--in their devotion to duty and in their contribution to victory-worthy comrades of our fighting men.

In this Administration, as the first Secretary of the newly created Department of Health, Education and Welfare, you organized into an integrated program many units and agencies of Government. Great qualities of leadership were essential. You brought them to your mission along with a perseverance, a wise patience, a deep understanding of the personal problems of our people, and a dedication that difficulties could not shake. You made the heart in Government a visible fact and an effective influence.

We are still too close to the beginnings of the new Department to see fully and in a wide perspective all that you have accomplished. But I know that history will hail you in this field, too, as a courageous pioneer in the service of your country.

In official Washington, many thousands as well as I will miss you. On the personal side, none will miss you more than Mrs. Eisenhower and myself. But all of us know that wherever you go, whatever you do, every talent you have will be at work for the good of America.

With affectionate regard to you and Governor Hobby,



NOTE.: Mrs. Hobby served as the first Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from April 11, 1953, to August 1, 1955. Her letter was made public with the President's reply at a ceremony held in the Conference Room at the White House. During World War II Mrs. Hobby was head of the Women's Army Corps with the rank of Colonel.

For remarks by the President and Mrs. Hobby following the acceptance of the resignation, see Item 153, below.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233240

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