Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Radio and Television Remarks to the American People at the Close of Election Day

November 04, 1964

My fellow countrymen:

No words are adequate to really express the feeling of this occasion. Most of all, I wish to be equal to your confidence, and to the hopes of all of the people of America. We have voted as many, but tonight we must face the world as one.

To our great Governor, my friend of a quarter of a century, to my loyal wife and two daughters who have stood by me so steadfastly through all of these trials of many weeks, to every worker in every block in the land, to the people of both parties, and especially to you good people here in my home who have been so patient and understanding all the years, and who made it possible to have the decision that was made today, I say thank you.

I know that I was only one of many, because we had a group of outstanding candidates throughout the Nation, and we had men of independent views and men and women of both parties who put their country before their party. Now, tonight, our purpose must be to bind up our wounds, to heal our history, and to make this Nation whole.

I know that this is more than a victory of party or person.

It is a tribute to the program that was begun by our beloved President John F. Kennedy--a program that he carried on until he was taken from us.

It is visible evidence of the work of a devoted and unselfish Cabinet, men like Dean Rusk, Bob McNamara, and Douglas Dillon, and all of the other members of the Cabinet and the independent agencies whose service has not been partisan, but has always been in the national interest.

It is a tribute to the men and women of all parties in the Congress and the Nation.

It reaffirms the achievements and the policies which have emerged over generations from common American principles.

It is a mandate for unity, for a government that serves no special interest, no business government, no labor government, no farm government, no one faction, no one group, but a government that is the servant of all the people.

It will be a government that provides equal opportunity for all and special privilege for none. It is a command to build on those principles and to move forward toward peace and a better life for all of our people.

So from this night forward, this is to be our work, and in these pursuits I promise the best that is in me for as long as I am permitted to serve. I ask all those who supported me and all those that opposed me to forget our differences, because there are many more things in America that unite us than divide us, and these are times when our Nation should forget our petty differences and stand united before all the world.

I would like to leave you tonight with the words of Abraham Lincoln, as a century ago he left his friends and neighbors to become President of the United States. He said, "Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail .... To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

I do not know what happened in every hamlet or voting box in America today, but I think I discerned what happened in all America today. I doubt that there has ever been so many people seeing so many things alike on "decision" day. And with that understanding and with the help of all of them, we will be on our way to try to achieve peace in our time for our people and to try to keep our people prosperous.

So to all of you that have gone this long road with me, particularly to the 'press and television people who have worked 18-hour days for many weeks now, I say I hope you have a good rest tomorrow.

Good night to all of you, and thanks to all America.

[At this point Mrs. Johnson and daughters Lynda and Luci spoke briefly. The President then resumed speaking.]

And now I want to tell you that we have a great event in store for all of you: The happy warrior, the eloquent spokesman for the Democratic Party, the new Vice President of the United States, is arriving tomorrow at noon, and in his honor and in the honor of the men and women who traveled with us in this campaign, we are going to have a barbecue out on the banks of the Pedernales.

I knew in Atlantic City that I had made the right recommendation to that convention so far as the Vice President was concerned, because I had observed him very closely ever since I became a Member of the Senate, but in the weeks that have followed that convention, I know even more that in my heart I was right.

Hubert Humphrey left that convention with no orders and no instructions, and he traveled to 40 States and made no mistakes. Everywhere he went the people received him warmly and applauded his pronouncements. I predict that he, aided by his charming wife, Muriel, and their lovely family, will make one of the greatest Vice Presidents that this Nation has ever known.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 1:40 a.m. in the Municipal Auditorium in Austin, Tex. The text of the remarks of Mrs. Johnson, Lynda, and Luci was also released.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Radio and Television Remarks to the American People at the Close of Election Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project