PROCLAMATION 4090-OCT. 15, 1971
What has been a characteristic of our history is even more dominant in our Hves today. A system of education that has conferred inestimable benefits upon generation after generation of American citizens—that has contributed in large measure to the spirit and character of the American nation itself—continues to bring reality to the ideals of freedom, serving our people with the same dedication that it has always displayed and with an ever greater measure of effectiveness. Yet it must be acknowledged that the challenge to our educational system is not diminishing, but mounting. For we recognize that our success in meeting unprecedented social, scientific, and physical change, and in directing its forces to positive ends, will be determined essentially by the quality of our schools, colleges, and universities, by the wisdom with which we develop and employ new educational techniques and technologies, and above all, by the compassion and understanding with which we reach out to all people—especially the young—and impart to each the intellectual and occupational enrichment which every American deserves. After a period of uncertainty in educational matters, we are surer now of how that challenge shall be met. Our country is moving purposefully and effectively to strengthen and develop the great partnership of interests—Federal, State, local and private—through which we can accomplish our educational aims. Our educational leaders are not acting independently but with a new sense of cooperative unity, determined to use all resources, explore all initiatives, and recast the laws, if necessary, in order to serve our national needs. This is not an easy task, and if we are to succeed, we must call upon the assistance and support of all the American people. NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the period of October 24 through October 30, 1971 as American Education Week. I urge all my fellow Americans to make known during this week their appreciation for the truly heroic efforts of our teachers and all our education professionals upon whose humane skills so much of our greatness as a people depends. I ask moreover that we focus upon education as the central task of a democracy and the indispensable ally of liberty. Let the clarity of our vision and the boldness of our actions match the magnitude of our cause. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.