Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
To the Congress of the United States:
I am pleased to transmit to the Congress the Annual Report of the Appalachian Regional Commission for Fiscal Year 1968.
This marks the halfway point in a six-year development program intended to close the economic gap between the Appalachian Region and the rest of the Nation.
In many ways the Appalachian program has been an experiment. At the end of this third year, it is possible to say that that experiment has proven itself successful--even if it is not possible to fully measure the impact of all its provisions.
Throughout the mountains and valleys of the thirteen Appalachian States, the three-year results of this program are highly visible-not only on the landscape but in the new hopes of its people.
There are 116.5 miles of new highways completed, with another 357.4 miles under construction--drastically reducing isolation and opening up new opportunities to the people of the region.
There are 36 new or expanded airports, assuring many communities of the commercial and developmental advantages of the air age.
More than 160 vocational education schools are training thousands of students who might have been dropouts--giving them modern skills to secure employment.
Over 170 new or improved hospitals and health facilities are providing modern health care to a people who have long been denied the basic health service which most Americans have taken for granted.
There are 127 institutions of higher education which have been assisted--and they are on the way to giving the best education possible to the young people of Appalachia.
All this and more---libraries, low and moderate income housing projects, educational television stations, water and sewer systems: hundreds of separate projects are at work to reclaim lives and enhance the land that was ravaged by erosion, strip mining, underground mine fires and floods.
The story of Appalachia is a story of growing hope.
I hope the 91st Congress will continue and strengthen the Appalachian Program.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
The White House
January 18, 1969
Lyndon B. Johnson, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238919