Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Recommending Extension of the Appalachian Program.

January 20, 1967

Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)

I recommend that the Congress extend the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965.

The Act was conceived in a true spirit of partnership. It was originated by the Governors of the Appalachian states. It was formed in close cooperation with the Executive Branch. And it was approved by the Congress of all the people.

That partnership has flourished. Working together through the Appalachian Regional Commission, the 12 Governors and the Federal Co-Chairman are bringing new hope-human and economic--to the 18 million people who live in Appalachia.

Today, there is a spirit of opportunity and purpose in a region where once prospects were bleak and hopes were dim.

Because of the work done by the Commission and cooperating Federal, state and local agencies

--51 hospitals have been completed or are under construction

--52 vocational education schools are being built

--work is underway on 790 miles of the development highway system

--new libraries, airports, college classrooms and water resource projects are being pursued to completion

--thousands of workers have been trained, hired and added to the payrolls During the past two years, the Appalachian partnership has proved the wisdom of cooperative Federal-state relationships. Let us continue that partnership for there is still much to be done to bring into Appalachia a full share of America's prosperity.

I therefore urge an extension of the Appalachian program in substantially the same form as it was enacted in 1965. I hope that the Commission's success in the past will insure its continuance in the future.

In my State of the Union Message, I expressed my intention to submit to the Congress a proposal to merge the present Departments of Commerce and Labor into a single Cabinet-level Department. When that proposal is forwarded to the Congress, it will contain a recommendation that Federal activities relating to regional economic development and depressed areas be coordinated through the new Department. This Department would then have the basic responsibility for the Federal government's efforts in all of the regional commissions that have been or soon will be established, including the Appalachian Regional Commission.

In the meantime, I urge the Congress to extend the authorization for the Appalachian regional program.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Appalachian Regional Development Act Amendments of 1967 were approved by the President on October 11, 1967 (Public Law 90-103, 81 Stat. 257).

For the President's remarks on signing the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which established the Appalachian Regional Commission, see 1965 volume, this series, Book I, Item 103.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Recommending Extension of the Appalachian Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives