PUBLIC LAW 87.1-MAR. 1, 1961
ST A T.
" I take the official oath today, with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws, by any hypercritical rules.... I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual.... I t is safe to say that no government proper, ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination.... Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step, while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from, have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to, are greater than all the real ones you fly from? Will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?... Physically speaking, we cannot separate. W e cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wire may be divorced, and go out of the presence, and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them.... We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."; and Whereas the better angels do, in fact, touch us: Now, therefore, be it Abra h a m L 1 nc o l n ' s first inauguration. Centennial.
Committee on arrangements.
Planning of ceremony.
Resol'ved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That on Saturday, March i next, the one hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's first inauguration shall be commemorated by such observance as may be determined by the committee on arrangements in cooperation with the national Civil W a r Centennial Commission, the Civil W a r Centennial Commission of the District of Columbia, and the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia. Immediately upon passage of this resolution, the President of the Senate shall appoint four Members of the Senate and the Speaker of the House shall appoint four Members of the House of Representatives jointly to constitute a committee on arrangements. Immediately upon passage of this resolution and after the Members of the Senate and House have been appointed, the Speaker shall direct the committee on arrangements to meet and select a chairman from one of their own group and such other officers as will be appropriate and needed who will immediately proceed to plan, in cooperation with the national Civil W a r Centennial Commission, the Civil W a r Centennial Commission of the District of Columbia and the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, an appropriate ceremony, issue invitations to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, Secretaries of departments, heads of independent agencies, offices, and commissions, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the diplomatic corps, assistant heads of departments, Commissioners of the District of Columbia, members of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, centennial commissions from the various States, Civil W a r roundtables, State and local historical and patriotic societies, and such other students and