Richard Nixon photo

Proclamation 3973—Nineteenth Decennial Census of the United States

March 24, 1970

By the President of the United States Of America

A Proclamation

The Founding Fathers set forth in Article I of our Constitution the requirement that an "... Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." Accordingly, the first Census was taken in 1790. The Nineteenth Decennial Census will be taken beginning April 1, 1970.

As our population has grown from the nearly four million counted in the first Census to over two hundred million, so the needs for the Census have expanded. Today, more than ever, we need reliable measures of the great changes which have occurred in the growth, location and characteristics of our people in their housing and activities.

Every American can be sure that there will be no improper use of the information given in the Census. Government officials and employees .are forbidden by law to use information recorded on the Census form for the purposes of taxation, investigation, regulation, or for any other purpose whatsoever affecting the individual. Every employee of the Census Bureau is prohibited from disclosing information pertaining to any individual.

Now, Therefore, I, Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare and make known that under the law it is the duty of every person over eighteen years of age to answer all questions in the Census schedules applying to him and the family to which he belongs, and to the home occupied by him or his family.

The prompt, complete and accurate answering of all official inquiries made by Census officials is of great importance to our country. I ask all Americans to extend full cooperation to the 1970 Decennial Census of Population and Housing.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-fourth.

Signature of Richard Nixon


Note: On November 30, 1970, the White House released the transcript of a news briefing on the results of the 1970 census by Secretary of Commerce Maurice H. Stans, and Dr. George Hay Brown, Director, and Conrad F. Taeuber, Associate Director for Demographic Fields, Bureau of the Census.

Richard Nixon, Proclamation 3973—Nineteenth Decennial Census of the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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