Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Receiving the Holland Society's Award for Distinguished Achievement

January 08, 1969

President Hopper, Ambassador Schurmann, Congressman Kuykendall, and members of the Holland Society:

I am so happy that you could come this afternoon, and I express my deep regrets that we were unable to arrange this meeting earlier. The necessity of a trip to the hospital and the journey of three Americans to the moon have somewhat interfered with our schedule, but we at last have been able to make it.

I had very much hoped that last year's Holland Society award winner could be with us today, but he came in earlier this week-General Westmoreland--and told me that he had had a longtime previous commitment in Europe that required his departure earlier than he had expected, and he could not be here. He is one of the great men with whom I can now share the honor of having received this award.

You tell me that this award is for distinguished achievement and I am very pleased that you were thoughtful and generous enough to give it to me. But I hope that you realize how much of a team effort these achievements have been, and particularly as I said only yesterday to the people who make up the American Congress.

When we review the records of my incumbency in the Presidency, I think the students will record that there are very few periods where the members of both parties in the Congress have been more constructive or more cooperative. For that I am very grateful. The leaders of management in this country and the leaders of labor have been equally helpful and that cooperation has been among my blessings even though there have been burdens to carry.

We in the White House have proposed many suggestions, but it has been up to the people in the Congress to adopt them.

I am very pleased that the Society, which honored a great and illustrious predecessor in this office and the man whom I admired a great deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt, should in this twilight period of my service see fit--in the presence of my young grandson, who doesn't seem to know what is happening--to make this award to me.

To all of you, I want you to know I am not unmindful of the time and attention you have given this matter and the sacrifice you have made to be here on this occasion. I only hope that I can be worthy of the confidence that you have expressed in me. I am very grateful to you. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 5:42 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Walter E. Hopper, president of the Holland Society which has approximately 1,000 members, descendants of Dutch settlers in New York; Carl W. A. Schurmann, Netherlands Ambassador to the United States; and Representative Dan Kuykendall of Tennessee. During his remarks the President referred to Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Army Chief of Staff, and Patrick Lyndon Nugent, the President's grandson.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Receiving the Holland Society's Award for Distinguished Achievement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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