Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Establishing the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

November 05, 1966

THE BILL to establish the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has been 50 years in the making. In 1916 the National Park Service first cited the need to preserve for public use the strip of uninhabited, tree-covered dunes, and white sandy beaches stretching along the south shore of Lake Michigan from East Chicago to Michigan City.

Over the years many bills were introduced in the Congress. But it took the foresight and determination of the 89th Congress-and the tireless work of Senator Paul Douglas--to save the last remaining undeveloped portion of this lakeshore area. Thirteen miles of dunes and shorelines will be preserved for public use and enjoyment.

Its beaches and woodlands will provide a haven for the bird lover, the beachcomber, the botanist, the hiker, the camper, and the swimmer.

Within a 100-mile radius of the Indiana Dunes there are 9½ million people crowded into one of the greatest industrial areas of our country. For these people, as well as for millions of other visitors, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers ideal recreational opportunities. Here man can find solace and relief from the pressures of the industrial world.

The Members of the Congress who have worked with dedication for so many years toward enactment of this bill deserve great credit. In addition to Senator Douglas, I particularly commend the diligence of Senators Hartke and Bayh, and Representatives Roush, Madden, and Udall.

During this administration more than 980,000 acres in 24 States have been added to the National Park System by the Congress. Twenty major conservation measures were passed by the 89th Congress. None gives me greater satisfaction than this bill to preserve the Indiana Dunes.

The great scenic and scientific attractions of the Dunes moved poet Carl Sandburg to say, "The Indiana Dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and Yosemite is to California."

Our entire country is made richer by this act I have signed today.

Note: As enacted, the bill (S. 360) is Public Law 89--761 (80 Stat. 1309).
The statement was released at San Antonio, Texas.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Establishing the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives