Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3882—Human Rights Week

December 07, 1968

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

This year has marked the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—set forth in 1948 by the United Nations as a common standard for all mankind. It has been a year for thoughtful men in every continent to rededicate themselves to strengthening and extending the rights of man.

The United States has been a world leader in the struggle for human rights. The ideals which the Declaration of Human Rights embodies gave birth to our Nation almost two centuries ago. Our concern for individual freedom is deep, abiding and genuine. It is the very foundation of the American system.

The doctrine is guaranteed by our Constitution, by legislation enacted by the Congress, by decisions of the Supreme Court and by Executive action. But today more than ever, its promises must be matched by practice. Equal rights must be translated into equal opportunities.

Education about human rights must start in the home and continue from kindergarten through graduate school. Our schools and colleges must grasp the meaning of their responsibility to teach the history of the long struggle for human rights.

Human rights will take a firmer place in international law as all nations, including our own, ratify human rights conventions.

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 10, 1968, as Human Rights Day, and December 15, 1968, as Bill of Rights Day, and call upon the people of the United States to observe the week of December 10-17 as Human Rights Week.

In observance of Human Rights Week, I call upon the American people and upon all agencies of government—Federal, State, and local—to pay homage to our great heritage of liberty, to seek to understand the human rights that we now enjoy, and to respect the rights of others.

I urge all our schools and colleges to encourage understanding of the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Rights to instill in our younger citizens respect for these basic principles.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 7th day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred 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 3882—Human Rights Week Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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