Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Recorded for the Dedication of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest

October 29, 1964

Governor Connally, Mayor Jonsson, Mayor Ryan, Dr. Berkner, my fellow Americans:

I am particularly proud to take these moments this afternoon to join with you in marking this milestone of progress for the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest.

In our land, our future is influenced by the choices of our elections.

But, in a much more important way, the fate of our freedom rests upon the faithfulness with which we honor and keep our society's oldest commitment--the commitment to education.

We have learned in America that the surest safeguard against centralization of political power is the diffusion of human knowledge. As Mirabeau Lamar once said--and as I like to repeat in every State-"The educated mind is the guardian genius of democracy."

The more strong centers of learning and research that are built across our Nation, the stronger becomes the fabric of our freedom and the fiber of our Great Society.

The Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, under the leadership of Dr. Berkner, helps to fill a vital need for the vigorous future of Texas and the Southwest. It has long had my admiration and my support.

Too often too many Americans conclude that our country has completed its course. Actually, America is still only a very new land--a young land, still putting in place the foundation for the greatness of a growing society. We have one of the oldest governments but one of the youngest countries.

Among our regions, few have so much promise and potential as the southwest part of our country. Where we have seen dramatic change over the past two decades in the Southwest, the remaining decades of this century will bring far more profound changes--in the growth of our population, our cities, our economy, our horizons.

If those Americans who come after us are to know and are to enjoy a life of the first class as free and responsible citizens, then we must keep faith with that early Texas commitment to education of the first class.

It is important to that future that we employ human knowledge to better and to improve human life.

It is important to the security and well-being of our country that we continue to exercise leadership in all aspects of human knowledge.

It is important to the moral and political values of our society--and to their preservation-that we set for ourselves goals of excellence as the only goals acceptable for this free and responsible people.

Our tasks ahead will not be easy tasks.

None of the tasks facing Americans today can honestly be described as easy or simple or uncomplicated. In States such as Texas--and in regions such as the Southwest--the future before us is complex and challenging and demanding. But our region, like all our Nation, is blessed with many resources, the greatest of which are our human resources.

I am confident that the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest will, through the years to come, play an invaluable role in helping us to fulfill the potential of the human resources of a great region.

That is why I am so especially proud to participate this afternoon in these ceremonies. They are symbolic of the awakening which is running throughout our Nation. It is an awakening that will find its reward in the greater strength we of this generation contribute to the generations to come after us.

On the strength we build today rests the outcome of the contests of this century between the way of freedom and the ways of darkness. A strong nation, a united nation, a nation committed to the education, the enlightenment and the advancement of its people is the nation that will succeed in the struggle to win those contests between a world of war or a world of peace.

Note: The President's remarks were video-taped in the Fish Room at the White House on October 27 for release at the dedication on October 29 of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest, located near Dallas, Tex. His opening words referred to John B. Connally, Governor of Texas, Erik Jonsson, mayor of Dallas, Herbert Ryan, mayor of Richardson, Tex., and Dr. Lloyd V. Berkner, president of the Center.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Recorded for the Dedication of the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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