Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President: Labor Day.

September 05, 1960

IN THIS, my final Labor Day message as President, I reaffirm my faith in the traditions of America's working men and women.

Over 184 years ago, the people of the thirteen colonies declared themselves free, proclaiming their purpose of upholding the principles of justice, dignity, and equal opportunity for each citizen in the land. Upon the foundation of these principles Americans have built a dynamic society which has earned the respect and raised the hopes of working people throughout the world.

As a Nation of free men and women, we have worked--with abundant success--to convert our principles into reality. By freely asserting our rights as citizens, we have improved our standard of living, bettered our working conditions, and achieved greater security for ourselves and our families than any other society in the history of mankind.

Today we are challenged to show that our society can make progress in freedom--challenged by an aggressive rival, communism, which seeks adherents to its brand of progress. This rival system is based upon an attitude of life diametrically opposed to ours. Under its flag, the individual worker is harnessed to an enterprise directed by the State. Their system is a powerful machine, capable and ruthless, but it lacks one essential element: the spark of freedom which Americans hold most dear, and without which no sustained or satisfying achievement is possible.

On Labor Day 1960, I am proud to salute the working men and women of America.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President: Labor Day. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235290

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