Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Telephone Remarks Opening the "Parade of Progress" in Cleveland

August 28, 1964

Mayor Locher, my good friends in Cleveland:

I am very happy and proud to be speaking to you this morning from Atlantic City where I have some good friends meeting here.

This is a very happy day for us. I know this is also a happy and proud day for the citizens of Cleveland. Cleveland has made many contributions to the advancement and the adventure of what we call the American spirit.

I am particularly grateful for one specific contribution that Cleveland has made to the strength and character of my administration, that is your own Anthony Celebrezze, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.

You in Cleveland are beginning your celebration of the Parade of Progress, but it is much more than just a local celebration. All Americans can be proud and all inspired by Cleveland's example of imagination and initiative which are really the genius of our Nation's progress.

Your city and your State and your Nation are all still young as we measure history, but we have come to a time when there is both an opportunity and an obligation to renew our cities and our States and to assure new strength for our Nation, and that is what you are doing today. You are building a new tomorrow on yesterday's foundations, and this is what Americans have been doing throughout the life of this great country.

Few developments of our times are more encouraging than this rebirth of Cleveland's local initiative and local enterprise and local pride which we see not only in your great city but we see throughout the country. You are investing $250 million in downtown Cleveland, but you are investing much more than that in the lives of your children by assuring them a better city, by assuring those children a greater opportunity, by assuring them that a city they will know as you have known it, has the best location in the Nation.

Progress requires courage but courage always pays the highest return. I understand, for example, that your Erie View Plaza Building will provide tax revenues 32 times greater than the buildings it replaced and that Cleveland's share of that revenue could pay the salaries of more than 90 public schoolteachers. You are building a more beautiful city. You are building a more prosperous city. You are building a city of more jobs for more workingmen and more profit for businessmen.

You are making the free enterprise system work where the capitalist with his dollars, where the manager, with his effort and his talents, where the worker can all combine into a three-way partnership, with each taking their appropriate and proper slice of the pie. This is work that our generation must do everywhere. We must build a second America. We must build a great society of our vision. So, I want to say thank you to the people of Cleveland.

I want to congratulate you.

Now, I want to participate in helping you to dedicate your Parade of Progress by pushing the button to start the mall fountains.

Note: The President spoke by telephone from Room 20 at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., to those attending the opening of a public plaza in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. His opening words referred to Ralph S. Locher, Mayor of Cleveland.

At the close of his remarks the President pressed a button to activate a group of 40 fountains in the plaza.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Telephone Remarks Opening the "Parade of Progress" in Cleveland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



New Jersey

Simple Search of Our Archives