Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3713—Pan American Day and Pan American Week, 1966

April 06, 1966

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

On the fourteenth of April, seventy-six years ago, the nations of the Western Hemisphere formally pledged themselves to the joint pursuit of peace and justice for all our peoples. The regional system then freely established, and now known as the Organization of American States, has been a great instrument for cooperation throughout the Americas.

Seven years ago the American governments at Buenos Aires began charting new directions for economic and social advancement in the hemisphere. In 1959, we jointly agreed to establish the Inter-American Development Bank to give new impetus to economic development. At Bogota the following year, social progress was recognized as a parallel objective for inter-American cooperation. In 1961 at Punta del Este we joined with nineteen of our sister republics in a vast collective enterprise of development and reform: the Alliance for Progress. Since assuming office in November 1963 it has been my deep concern that the Alliance should produce real and measurable results—in accelerating economic growth, expanding social justice, and strengthening democratic institutions.

What has been accomplished in Latin America in the last two years shows how far we have forged ahead. In political terms there is:

—A growing number of vigorous political leaders committed to revolutionary change through reform in freedom.

—Wider participation in the democratic process, particularly at the grass roots level.

—Increasing appreciation of the need for full citizen involvement in national affairs.

—Greater stability and a strengthening of democratic institutions.

—Keener awareness of the danger of communist subversion and greater resolve to combat it.

In economic and financial terms:

—The rate of growth in Gross National Product has exceeded the Punta del Este target.

—The annual volume of national savings has increased by 1.5 billion dollars.

—Central government revenues have risen by almost 20 percent.

—The annual level of exports has grown by close to a billion and a half dollars.

—The annual level of imports has advanced by almost one billion dollars.

—Loan authorizations and commitments from the United States and the international financial institutions have increased by 863 million dollars.

In human terms, the Alliance in the past two years has made possible the training of over 100,000 school teachers; it has built many thousands of new schools and homes; it has brought safe drinking water to tens of millions; and it has opened up opportunities for fuller participation in modern industry and agriculture.

But these achievements from common endeavors represent only a beginning. Major deficiencies remain to be overcome. Vast new opportunities for progress wait to be conquered. We must continue our present programs— quickening the pace. We must also move boldly toward the new frontiers. One of these is the economic integration of Latin America: the key to larger markets, greater production, more rational utilization of resources, better communication, and new levels of material prosperity and mutual understanding. We heartily support this vital process and pledge our cooperation.

Another is to open up the vast, untapped interior of South America through multinational projects to which I referred last August. Between Panama in the north and Argentina in the south lie hundreds of thousands of square miles of fertile land waiting to be cultivated; mineral and petroleum deposits to be discovered and forged into new industries. We in the United States stand ready to help the peoples of Latin America in making these dreams become a reality. This will require a new kind of cooperation because these horizons touch more than one nation.

On this anniversary, the United States strongly reaffirms its own continuing commitment to the common task of building a Western Hemisphere of economic abundance and political freedom in which every individual will have his full and equitable share.

We call upon our sister Republics to join us once again in renewing the hope and the promise which first beaconed our ancestors to the New World, and which are our most solemn obligations to the generations which will come after us.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, April 14, 1966, as Pan American Day, and the week beginning April 10 and ending April 16 as Pan American Week; and I call upon the Governors of the fifty States of the Union, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the officials of all other areas under the Flag of the United States to issue similar proclamations.

I call upon my fellow countrymen to renew their commitment to our neighbors in this hemisphere, and to reaffirm that commitment by support for the Organization of American States.

Further, I call upon this Nation to rededicate itself to the ideals of the inter-American system, as embodied in the Charter of the Organization of the American States, and to the goals of economic and social progress of the Charter of Punta del Este and the Economic and Social Act of Rio de Janeiro, which are so firmly founded on our belief in the dignity of man, and on our faith in the future of freedom.

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 sixth day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


By the President:


Secretary of State

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3713—Pan American Day and Pan American Week, 1966 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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