Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks to Members of the Communications Satellite Corporation Board.

August 17, 1964

ONLY 18 months ago you of this Board were handed the skeleton of an idea. In this short time you have fleshed that skeleton and brought that idea to life.

You have won the confidence of 130,000 stockholders and the congratulations of 190 million Americans. I am personally gratified by the job you have done.

I believed at the time--and I believe more strongly now--that President Kennedy and the Congress were right in the concept of this Communications Satellite Corporation.

The law creating this corporation reaffirms our devotion to private enterprise and private initiative. But it does more. This law reiterates our resolve to protect and preserve private ownership as the partner--not the victim--of Government's current role in research and development.

Whatever tides run in the world, there is no tide of nationalization or socialization running in the United States. Your Government is determined to support our private sector--not subjugate it. We want to stimulate private initiative--not suppress it.

Our private economy is responding to this confidence and certainty--with 42 consecutive months of the longest, largest, and most stable prosperity ever known in peacetime.

Some may talk of radical changes in our policies--of greater governmental intervention in the economy or abrupt governmental withdrawal from our commitments to our own people. For myself, I do not believe the American people are interested in economic radicalism and recklessness.

We are going to hold our course and preserve our prosperity.

Several years ago I expressed the view that the communications satellite program would produce "one of the most dramatic advances in human history."

You are on the leading edge of that dramatic advance.

In 3 years you will have a worldwide communications system in operation. Even sooner, operations will be established with many nations, particularly our European friends.

The practical benefits ahead are too numerous to count--for business, trade, education, research, and other fields. Above all, we know better communication means better understanding and better understanding is the doorway to world peace.

The communications technology of space will open many new doors to understanding.

For the first time, we will have 24-hour-a-day telephone service to all areas of the world.

For the first time it will be possible to publish and deliver daily newspapers worldwide--provide worldwide photo facsimile services--transmit hundreds of written messages per second continent to continent.

We will be able to transmit entire contents of valuable books from our oldest and largest libraries to our newest and smallest libraries in less than a minute. All the human knowledge stored in computers will be available in seconds to help solve problems half-a-world away.

You are helping pioneer this exciting new advance for all mankind.

You can be proud of your public service-just as I am proud of your public spirit in handling this vital organizational task.

Note: The President spoke at 6:35 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

The Communications Satellite Corporation was established by act of Congress approved August 31, 1962 (76 Stat. 423). See also "Public Papers of the Presidents, John F. Kennedy 1962," Item 476.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks to Members of the Communications Satellite Corporation Board. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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