Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Dedication of Johnson Hill, Tae-an Myun Agriculture Demonstration Center, Suwon, Korea.

November 01, 1966

Mr. Prime Minister and Governor Park, ladies and gentlemen:

I have been deeply impressed by what I have seen and heard in Korea today.

I had the noon hour with your brave Korean troops and had lunch with some of my fellow Americans.

I was glad to see them so physically fit, so mentally alert, and so dedicated to the cause of freedom.

Your President took great pride in the sons of Korea, as I did in our American boys.

Most of all, we were proud that both Koreans and Americans love freedom, are protecting freedom, and are ready to die for freedom.

I spent the night on a hill named Walker Hill in Seoul, named after our late great American General Walton Walker, who commanded the 8th Army and who gave his life for freedom.

It is regrettable that men like Walton Walker had to give their lives in order for men like your Governor Park and others to have a ceremony like this today where we name Johnson Hill.

But because of what the Walton Walkers and the hundreds of thousands of Koreans and Americans did together, we are privileged to meet this afternoon in peace here on this hillside and look down on this fertile valley that we are transforming into one of the great production centers of this land.

I grew up in a farming area in my own country. I struggled to earn a living from the hard and hilly land. We were short of water; we were short of money; and there were many, many times when we were short of hope.

But men and women made a miracle in that part of my country. And we Americans made a miracle all over the land when we turned the wilderness into homes and into productive farms and into great cities.

In the hilly, hard land where I live, 30 years ago only 5 percent of the homes were electrified. Today 95 percent of the homes are electrified.

Today there is water and electricity and farm machinery and roads and schools. And what is most important, there is a knowledge of how to keep on making a living in the rural areas.

I am so impressed and so thankful for that, because I see what happened in my own Johnson City, Blanco County, is happening here today in Tae-an Myun.

From the air, I saw how you had turned the circular, oval plots into large productive squares and thus increased the production in excess of 35 percent.

What we did in my country in the 1930's, you are doing better in your country in the 1960's.

From this hilltop, we can see great evidence of flood control, irrigation, erosion control, and reforestation of your hills.

We look down the lines that carry your electric power and we look down the roads that carry your produce to market. And we see out yonder your bench terracing that has increased your farm yields, and the patterns of paddy arrangement that have been close to my heart.

I know too that the people here have built their own schools. They have a self-supporting community cooperative with a tuition charge of 59 cents a month. I know your school is still short of equipment, but I know I, too, was once a schoolteacher and because of your school, I hope your community will never be short of hope.

Because of what is happening here and what is happening in this area and what is beginning to happen all over Asia, millions upon millions of people are going to have a new lease on hope.

My countrymen are proud that we are able to help you in your struggle for a better life. Most of all, we are proud of you for the kind of struggle that you are making.

You honor me by naming this hill for me in memory of this visit today. I accept this honor, not for myself but for the American people who pledge that they will continue to help as best they, can, with the knowledge that you are working so hard yourself to develop and advance the interests of this great Republic.

And, as I spent last night on Walker Hill, I hope some day to be able to spend the night on Johnson Hill, when we will live in plenty, and in peace, and in prosperity.

Note: The President spoke at 4:36 p.m. at Johnson Hill, Tae-an Myun agriculture demonstration center, Suwon, Korea. In his opening words he referred to Prime Minister Il Kwon Chung of the Republic of Korea and Governor Tai Won Park of Kyunggi Province.

Following his remarks the President presented to the people of Tae-an through their village elder, Choi Si Jong, the first television set to be used in the community.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Dedication of Johnson Hill, Tae-an Myun Agriculture Demonstration Center, Suwon, Korea. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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