Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3716—Loyalty Day, 1966

April 12, 1966

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Loyalty, like liberty, is more than a word. Both are symbols for deeply felt ideals. Liberty is the symbol for the goal we seek; loyalty is the symbol of our common purpose in its pursuit.

The true meaning of loyalty was expressed very early in our history by one of our Founding Fathers, John Jay, who said:

"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that ... To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people; each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection."

Americans, far more than most, enjoy and cherish the right to dissent and disagree about all our public purposes. Yet our loyalty to the basic ideal of liberty and justice binds us together even in our disagreements.

Those ideals and that loyalty have carried us through two world wars. With them as our beacon, we have climbed from the depths of a great depression to a prosperity unparalleled in history. They have guided us ever closer to the goal of true and equal justice at home, and made us the strong champions of liberty around the globe.

At the very founding of our Republic, the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. That pledge has been renewed, each in its own time, by every generation of Americans.

More than a decade and one-half ago, at a time of trial for our Nation, General Dwight D. Eisenhower defined the ideal of loyalty or patriotism in these words:

"True patriotism places the public good above individual advantage. It is not tainted by false pride in might, and size, and overwhelming power; it never seeks to compel others to blind obedience to our wishes. It is among the greatest of human virtues. Fortunate arc we whose devotion is to a country which seeks the good of all its citizens without distinction, that firmly champions the cause of human rights, and offers the hand of friendship to every other nation whose purpose is peace and justice."

It is that spirit of mutual trust, and loyalty to those ideals, that has brought greatness to our Nation. That greatness will endure only so long as the ideals and the loyalty continue to give it force. Each American has a profound obligation to cherish fully the heritage we have received from our ancestors—and to do his part to preserve that heritage for all our children and our children's children.

In recognition of this duty, the Congress by a joint resolution of July 18, 1958 (72 Stat. 369), designated May 1 of each year as Loyalty Day and requested the President to issue a Proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe each such day with appropriate ceremonies.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do call upon the people of the United States, and upon all patriotic, civic, and educational organizations to observe Sunday, May 1, 1966, as Loyalty Day, with appropriate ceremonies in which all of us may join in a reaffirmation of our loyalty to the United States of America.

I also call upon appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on that day as a manifestation of our loyalty to the Nation which that flag symbolizes.

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 twelfth 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

NOTE: Proclamation 3716 was released at San Antonio, Tex.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3716—Loyalty Day, 1966 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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