Statement by the President Following a Meeting To Discuss the Eastern Kentucky Emergency Program.
I HAVE today met with Governor Edward Breathitt of Kentucky and his immediate predecessor, Governor Bert Combs, and have talked with Congressman Carl Perkins to discuss the Eastern Kentucky Emergency Program initiated by President Kennedy on November 12. I assured them of my own personal concern over the plight of so many people in the hard-hit counties of Eastern Kentucky. This program is not a substitute for the work of the Appalachian Commission. It is a special humanitarian effort to provide food, shelter, health services, employment and clothing during the especially difficult winter months in this mountainous area. No new money is involved. We have utilized existing appropriations. This special program, initiated by President Kennedy, will continue, and I have asked Under Secretary of Commerce Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., to continue to serve as the coordinator of the Federal participation in this program.
The efforts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky will continue. It is our hope that private organizations and individuals will also respond to the obvious need of the people of Kentucky; many already have, including the Council of the Southern Mountains and the faculty and student bodies of colleges in Eastern Kentucky.
Note: This statement was read by the Press Secretary to the President, Pierre Salinger, at his news conference held at the White House at 11 :25 a.m. on December 13, 1963. Mr. Salinger added that the program would affect 30,000 people in 30 counties in Eastern Kentucky.
For President Kennedy's part in initiating the program, see 1963 volume, this series, Item 458.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Following a Meeting To Discuss the Eastern Kentucky Emergency Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239358