Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: June 19, 1964

409
Remarks Upon Arrival at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
June 19, 1964

Governor Brown, General Branch, Mr. Bitkle, Secretary Zuckert, Mr. Halaby, Congressman Hagen and Members of the great California delegation, my old friend Pierre Salinger, ladies and gentlemen:

This morning I share the pride which all Americans must feel for the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces and who serve in our space program. They are the sentries of peace and the servants of progress.

I share the pride which all Californians must feel at these impressive examples of our military might and our scientific success. No one can come here to this great State and doubt that America is and will remain first in the world in the strength, the diversity, and the genius of its defense.

Four years ago we promised to build a national defense of unmatched might and striking power. Under the leadership of President Kennedy we kept that pledge. Today the arms of America stand as an obstacle to aggression in every part of the world. They have made it possible to take more tangible steps toward peace than could have been taken or have been taken at anytime since the cold war began.

This new strength, therefore, has beena shield of our freedom, has been a warning to our adversaries, has been an instrument of our determination to avoid nuclear destruction. Our strength has been the direct result of the policies that we began in 1961. Our defense spending has gone up from $41.2 billion in the last full fiscal year of the previous administration, to an estimated $50 billion for this year.

And because the great State of California had the know-how, the skills, the plants, and a driving determination to help America prepare, we turned more and more to this State for help. California is responsible for 23.1 percent of our entire defense effort in the United States, more than twice as much as its nearest competitor.

And California’s lead has been lengthening, from 103 percent over its nearest competitor in fiscal 1960 to 133 percent last year.

In the peaceful exploration of space, California has taken an even more important position. A member of your delegation heads the great Space Committee in the House, Congressman Miller. And you have made no greater contribution than to give us the leadership of this distinguished son. Fifty percent of the entire national space effort is carried on in California compared to less than 40 percent in 1961. And over the same period, the value of those contracts has risen from $148 million to more than $1,200 million in the 9 months of fiscal 1964.

This steady growth has not been any accident. It has come here, come here because this Nation needed what California had to offer.

Our country can afford nothing but the best. We will continue to direct our programs to those places where the most effective and the most efficient work can be done. This will be, as it has always been, the only standard of judgment.

As America moves into other areas of progress, California will lead the way. Great tasks lie before us. We must learn to tap the riches of the ocean. We must learn to turn salt water into fresh water, economically. We must learn to conquer disease and apply all the vast potential of modern science to the betterment of men.

California has made a great investment in the human mind. In so doing you have shown a wisdom and a foresight which for decades to come will reap a rich reward for California, for America, and for the world. And what Governor Brown and your great California educational system have produced have been the envy of the other States of the Nation.

So I am quite happy to be here with you this morning. I appreciate this wonderful welcome. I very especially want to thank the men and women of Edwards Air Force Base and all of their colleagues in all of our services around the world for the sacrifices they are making.

We all know that you are serving at a sacrifice to make certain that America will always be the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Thank you for coming here this morning.

NOTE: The President spoke upon his arrival at Edwards Air Force Base in California. In his opening words he referred to Edmund G. Brown, Governor of California, Brig. Gen. Irving L. Branch, commander of the Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Paul F. Bikle, Director, NASA Flight Test Center, Edwards, Calif., Eugene M. Zuckert, Secretary of the Air Force, Najeeb E. Halaby, Administrator, Federal Aviation Agency, Harlan Hagen, Representative from California, and Pierre Salinger, Democratic candidate for Senator from California. During his remarks the President also referred to Representative George P. Miller of California, Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics.

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "409 Remarks Upon Arrival at Edwards Air Force Base, California.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1673-1674 783. Original Sources, accessed April 20, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DBPJYDG8QI8EENP.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "409 Remarks Upon Arrival at Edwards Air Force Base, California." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1673-1674, page 783. Original Sources. 20 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DBPJYDG8QI8EENP.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '409 Remarks Upon Arrival at Edwards Air Force Base, California.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1964 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1673-1674, pp.783. Original Sources, retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DBPJYDG8QI8EENP.