Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Receiving the "Heart-of-the-Year" Award

March 02, 1973

Dr. Paul N. Yu [president of the American Heart Association]. Mr. President, each year the American Heart Association has been privileged to honor a distinguished American with the "Heart-of-the-Year" Award. For the past 4 years, Mr. President, you have graciously consented to present the award in our name. This year we would like very much to have you keep it.

Mr. President, we are really extremely pleased and proud to present the 1973 "Heart-of-the-Year" Award to you in recognition of your consistent support and encouragement of the voluntary action in the health field. Your support has made it possible for us to expand the role of the volunteers and the voluntary health agency to fight the number one health problem--heart and blood diseases.

As you know, the goal of the American Heart Association is to conquer heart and blood vessel diseases through the support of cardiovascular research, education, and commingled services. We are very confident that with your sustained guidance, support, and encouragement we will achieve our goals.

So, Mr. President, please accept this award as a small token of our great appreciation.

The citation reads: "1973 Heart-of-the-Year Award. Presented by the American Heart Association to President Richard M. Nixon for his consistent support and encouragement of voluntary programs combating the nation's most serious health problem--heart and blood vessel diseases."

Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much, Dr. Yu.

In accepting this award, Doctor, I want to accept it on behalf of those of you who deserve it, and that is the volunteers both here in the District of Columbia and all over this Nation.

I noted in my talking papers that I was to mention the fact that I should accept it because, and make note of the fact that, this Administration has committed approximately $100 million to research in the field of heart disease and the rest.

But I cannot take credit for that. The taxpayers of America, all of the American people, have made it possible for this research to go forward.

That is the governmental side, but what is done on the voluntary side, which you represent here today, is equally important. This is the seed money, and then the volunteers will go far beyond that in finding, certainly, a solution to this problem.

Just let me say one thing personally. As you presented this, here in this Oval Office of the President, I think about the two Presidents--the three Presidents--who preceded me in this office. President Eisenhower, of course, had a heart attack in 1955, and eventually that was the cause of death; and that President Johnson had a heart attack while he was in the Senate and that that was the cause of death.

I think back over my public life of going to visit President Eisenhower in Denver right after his heart attack, which is something that I will never forget, and also going to visit President Johnson when he was in Bethesda Hospital. I am not suggesting by that that Presidents are particularly susceptible to heart attacks, but I do know that those who carry rather heavy burdens in offices like this, even the doctors say might be more susceptible to a heart attack than some others.

And so on behalf of President Johnson, President Eisenhower, and all the American people, and particularly on behalf of the volunteers, I accept this.

And I am glad Mrs. Nixon is here, because she has made talks all over the country for various affairs where money is raised for this in the voluntary sector, so I give her the award.

Note: The exchange of remarks began at 12:15 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.

On the same day, the White House released a fact sheet on Administration actions in the field of heart research.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Receiving the "Heart-of-the-Year" Award Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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