Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3876—Child Health Day, 1968

October 07, 1968

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For most children in America, the future promises full, productive, healthy lives.

Over the years, American medicine, science, and social services have combined to create a society with fewer fatal and crippling diseases, a long life expectancy, better nutrition, and more fruitful opportunities for work and leisure.

Infant mortality has reached its lowest rate since we began to keep reliable records: It is 12 percent below its level five years ago.

Through vaccination programs, we have cut by one-half the number of children who suffer from polio, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. We are on the verge of eliminating measles totally.

Yet, far too many American children are born with only a dim prospect of sharing in America's promise—because they are born into poverty. And today, 12 million Americans under 18 years old live in poverty.

We still rank only 15th among advanced nations in our effort to reduce infant deaths.

These are compelling reasons for paying special attention to unfinished business in child health.

We cannot allow one American child to be denied the benefits of our knowledge and common effort.

All of our children must have the opportunity to develop their abilities and talents to their fullest. This is their birthright, and we must protect it.

To demonstrate national concern for the well-being of our children, the Congress has directed the President to proclaim annually the first Monday in October as Child Health Day.

This day is also an appropriate time to salute the work which the United Nations, through its specialized agencies, and the United Nations Children's Fund are doing to build better health for children around the world.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Monday, October 7, 1968, as Child Health Day. I invite all persons, all agencies and organizations concerned for the welfare of the world's children to unite on that day in actions that will bring strength and recognition to efforts which foster better child health.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh (lay of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-third.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3876—Child Health Day, 1968 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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