Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Message to Prime Minister Kenyatta on the Occasion of the Independence of Kenya.

December 10, 1963

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Once again, as has happened so frequently in these exciting years, a new nation has appeared in the family of mankind. And once again, the people of the United States of America see in that event a reaffirmation of the ideals which were embodied in their own struggle for freedom. As our own freedom for all our citizens was proclaimed to the world by our Declaration of Independence, so Kenya's freedom begins with her declaration of independence today.

The United States, under President Kennedy, welcomed and supported the growth of free and independent nations in Africa, and American policy will continue along the same lines. Our ultimate goal is a world dedicated to peace and freedom. To help achieve such a world, we will continue to combat those age-old enemies of world peace--illiteracy, illness, malnutrition, and poverty. We also are deeply committed to the attainment of basic human rights by all men. And we are irrevocably determined to speed that process by assuring equal rights to all Americans as quickly as we are able. In essence, then, the United States is devoted to the same basic human aspirations as those of the people of Kenya--and, indeed, as those of people of good will throughout the world.

To the courageous people of Kenya, the American people and I send the warmest good wishes as you enter into nationhood. Just as the infant United States was encouraged and strengthened by the sympathy of those throughout the world who loved liberty, so your young and vigorous nation will have the understanding support of free men in every land. Good fortune in the years ahead. May the responsibilities of freedom wake the best that is in you, and may its benefits be known by generations yet unborn.



[His Excellency Jomo Kenyatta, Prime Minister of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya]

Note: The message was delivered by Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall, Personal Representative of the President and head of the U.S. Special Mission to the Kenya Independence Celebrations, held December 10-14.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Message to Prime Minister Kenyatta on the Occasion of the Independence of Kenya. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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