Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3563—Bill of Rights Day—Human Rights Day

December 02, 1963

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas December 10, 1963, is the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, and the General Assembly has called for special observance of this anniversary in the hope that it may mark a decisive step forward in the affirmation of these fundamental freedoms; and

Whereas December 15, 1963, is the one hundred and seventy-second anniversary of the adoption of the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States, which are known as the Bill of Rights, and this day has long been celebrated in gratitude for the guarantees of individual rights and liberties set forth therein; and

Whereas many of the principles embodied in our Bill of Rights-freedom of speech, press, and assembly, freedom of religion and conscience, the right to a fair trial, and prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments-are likewise embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are hailed by free peoples as the foundation of democratic government and of the rule of law; and

Whereas the past year has seen a great surge of determination in this country to assure the full enjoyment of these rights and freedoms without distinction as to race, sea, creed, or color; and

Whereas the ideals epitomized in the Bill of Rights and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were ever foremost in the heart of our gallant thirty-fifth President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 10, 1963, as Human Rights Day and December 15, 1963, as Bill of Rights Day and call upon the people of the United States to observe the week December 10-17 as Human Rights Week. Let us set aside time, in our places of worship, in our schools, and in our homes, and at gatherings of civic and patriotic organizations, to examine once again these cherished documents of human rights in order that we may cultivate a greater appreciation of our heritage of individual liberty and responsibility.

Let us rededicate ourselves to the humanitarian precepts enumerated in those documents and let us resolve to devote our full energy to the task of assuring that each human being-regardless of his race, sea, creed, color, or place of national origin-shall be afforded a meaningful opportunity to enjoy fully the rights and benefits embodied in these instruments of liberty and to enjoy fully our heritage of justice under law. In so doing, we will erect an everlasting and vibrant memorial to our departed President.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States-of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this second day of December in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and eighty-eighth.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


By the President:

Dean Rusk,

Secretary of State.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3563—Bill of Rights Day—Human Rights Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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