Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of Mrs. Virginia Brown as Interstate Commerce Commissioner.

May 25, 1964

Mrs. Brown, Senators Byrd and Randolph, Governor Barron, Members of the Congress, Congressman Hechler, ladies and gentlemen:

We are very proud to have Mrs. Brown, her children, her husband, and her mother and father here this morning.

This is a very unusual occasion and a very unique experience for us. We are pleased to be joined by some of your colleagues from the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mr. A. B. Alcott once said that where women are, the better things are implied if not spoken. Well, Mrs. Brown, thanks to women like you better things are being implied, and they are being spoken too, all through the Government today.

In following Solomon's advice to look for the woman, we have spared no effort to find the right person for the right job. Mrs. Brown's appointment, as all of you know, is one of many that testifies to our success. We have already appointed almost 1,000 women to jobs from GS-12 up. We have appointed 168 in jobs from GS-12 through GS-18; 694 women have received promotions in these top grades. More than 56 women have been named to individual executive positions such as the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Our purpose has not been simply to end stag government. We have sought women like Mrs. Brown because they possess the willingness of heart, the compassion of soul, and the courage of intellect to lead this Government into new frontiers of service to all the people.

An English proverb says that a woman's work in the washing of dishes is never at an end. I think it misses the point though. Today, a woman's work is the world, and women who have given their sons in war want and must have a chance to build a world in which their grandsons can live in peace.

So, I am very proud of you, Mrs. Brown, not only because you are the first woman in the history of the Republic to ever serve on the Interstate Commerce Commission but because you are in the vanguard of a new army whose strategy is compassion, not conquest; whose weapons are mind and heart, not misery and holocaust.

So, it gives me great pleasure as your President to present to you your commission this morning and to ask that the oath now be administered to you as the first lady member of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Note: The President spoke in the Rose Garden at the White House. His opening words referred to Mrs. Virginia Mac Brown, Senators Robert C. Byrd and Jennings Randolph, Governor William W. Barron, and Representative Ken Hechler, all of West Virginia.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Swearing In of Mrs. Virginia Brown as Interstate Commerce Commissioner. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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