Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Arrival at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage. Alaska

November 01, 1966

Governor Egan, distinguished members of the military, Senator Bartlett, Senator Gruening, Congressman Rivers, the distinguished Secretary of State, Mr. Wade, Acting Mayor Hostetler, my fellow Americans, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls:

The last time I came to Alaska was just after the Japanese had paid us a visit at Dutch Harbor.

The last 17 days we have spent trying to create an Asia and a Pacific that could live in peace together, where the gateway to this great area, where two-thirds of the people of the world live, would no longer be in danger.

You people who live here on this great frontier gave Senator Magnuson and me a hearty welcome--I won't say a warm one-when we were here in July 1942.

And you don't know how pleased I was when your good Governor and your fine congressional delegation invited me to come back here and spend the night with you on my way home.

I am very proud of Alaska. Your heart is as big as the State itself. And your future is as bright as your bonfires.

Along with our distinguished and beloved Secretary of State, I have had a wonderful journey. It has been throughout Asia and the Pacific. We have conferred with the leaders of nine peoples in nine separate locations. We found several things that I won't dwell on at length, but I think you want a firsthand report.

We found people who are determined to be free. We found people who are determined to have a better life for their children and for their families. We found people who are dedicated and determined to stand on their own feet.

Now the United States of America has taken its stand in Asia and the Pacific. We are fighting tonight in Vietnam to make that stand come true. And we are going to be successful. You can put that in your pipe and smoke it: That stand is going to come true.

The road to Asia and to the Pacific runs through our newest State. Here in Alaska, and Washington, and Oregon, and California, you are the gateway to this vast, new Asia that is emerging where almost two out of three people in the entire world live. They want to be our friends. They want to be our partners.

And they, like us, want to be free and independent, and have the fight to self-determination.

Alaska's future lies between the mainland to the east and Asia to the west--and you are a good bridge. I know that you will represent us all well.

Thank you for coming out. Thank you for sending to Washington such earnest, conscientious, able men as represent you in the United States Senate, in the form of Senator Bartlett and Senator Gruening, and Congressman Rivers in the House.

It gave me great pleasure to work with them and work with you during our difficulties brought on by the earthquake. And now we hope we have all the difficulties behind us. Now we look forward to the full development of this State in order that you and your children can be a vital and progressive part of this Union, and that we can live in peace and prosperity together.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:45 p.m., November 1 (Alaska time), at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska. In his opening words he referred to Governor William A. Egan, Senator E. L. Bartlett, Senator Ernest Gruening, and Representative Ralph J. Rivers, all of Alaska, Hugh J. Wade, the Secretary of State of Alaska, and C. A. Hostetler, Acting Mayor and member of the City Council of Anchorage. Later the President referred to Senator Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Arrival at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage. Alaska Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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