Gerald R. Ford photo

Statement on Signing the American Folklife Preservation Act.

January 03, 1976

I HAVE signed H.R. 6673, the American Folklife Preservation Act.

H.R. 6673 establishes in the Library of Congress an American Folklife Center to preserve and present American folklife. The Center is to be directed by a Board of Trustees composed as follows: four members appointed by the President from among Federal officials concerned with folklife; four members appointed each by the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives from among private individuals noted for their involvement in folklife; the Librarian of Congress; the Secretary of the Smithsonian; the Chairmen of the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; and the Director of the Center.

The Center is authorized to enter into contracts for activities including research, scholarship, training, publications, exhibits, workshops, and educational projects for classroom and general usage. It will also establish and maintain a national archive and center for American folklife, collect specific types of works for preservation in the archive, and loan such works to the public.

I have serious reservations concerning the constitutional propriety of placing the functions to be performed by the Center outside the executive branch and the assignment of executive duties to officers appointed by Congress. However, given historical practice and custom in the area of cultural and educational affairs and the potential of H.R. 6673 to enrich the cultural life of the Nation, I am granting my approval to the measure.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 6673, approved January 2, 1976, is Public Law 94-201 (89 Stat. 1129).

Gerald R. Ford, Statement on Signing the American Folklife Preservation Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives