Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: July 28, 1966

358
Remarks at the Unveiling Ceremony for the American Servicemen and Savings Bond Anniversary Stamp.
July 28, 1966

Postmaster General O’Brien, Congressman Greigg, distinguished students, Members of the Cabinet, Members of the Congress, ladies and gentlemen:

Today we have come here to unveil a new postage stamp which embodies the spirit of the American people and carries their voice to the entire world.

It began as an idea and a conviction shared by a group of junior high school students in Sioux City, Iowa. I welcome some of those students to the East Room here today.

These young Americans felt that there should be a postage stamp telling our servicemen how much we appreciate their sacrifices. They pooled their nickels and their dimes and they rented a billboard in Sioux City and another billboard here in Washington. Those billboards showed the American flag and the message: "AmericanServicemen, we appreciate you."

Last February, when Postmaster General O’Brien was in Des Moines, Congressman Stanley Greigg and the Sioux City students presented him with stamp petitions containing more than 50,000 names. A month later there were another 50,000 names added-and the list continued to grow as students from all over the country picked up the idea.

Congressman Greigg suggested that this message for our servicemen be combined with the Savings Bond Anniversary Stamp.

I think the result of that suggestion is excellent. There is no better way for us to support our fighting men than to buy savings bonds. And that is just what the people of this country have been doing.

Since the increase in the interest rate on savings bonds last February, the total bond pledges have already increased more than 11 percent.

And thanks to the magnificent work of the Postmaster General and his very excellent staff, our Federal Government has been in the forefront of that effort.

A 2-month campaign that ended June 30 has secured Federal employee pledges of $416 million for 1966—twice the amount that we had at the start of the drive. More than 800,000 additional Federal employees have been signed up in this movement as a result of this effort.

Seventeen departments and agencies pledged up to 90 percent or better, and thus qualified for the Minuteman flag. There will be one here in the White House, I am proud to say. Our employees had 100 percent participation. I am grateful to each of them for helping us in this effort.

Twenty-nine other departments and agencies signed up between 75 percent and 89 percent of all of their employees.

Now this is a very remarkable achievement. But I hope that none of us look upon it as final. The heads of all departments and agencies, I would hope, would try to maintain this momentum. Federal employees just should set the example by investing in their country’s future.

Before I unveil the stamp, I should like to announce that when it goes on sale in Sioux City next October 26, it will also go on all White House mail for the duration of the issue.

We are very proud of these servicemen who daily risk their lives at freedom’s gate. And we want every single one of them to know that we support them in the magnificent job that they are doing throughout the world.

With the issue of this stamp, millions of American voices will go up in unison. They will be voices that no number of demonstrators will ever be able to drown out.

I commend them to any and all who would doubt the purpose or the resolve of the United States of America.

For these voices mean that we are a nation of our word—that we are proud of the brave Americans in uniform who back our words with deeds.
Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:05 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Postmaster General Lawrence F. O’Brien and Representative Stanley L. Greigg of Iowa.

The new 5-cent stamp was designed by Stevan Dohanos, who based his design on a news photograph by Robert Noble, showing the American flag with the Statue of Liberty in the background. It carries the inscriptions, "We Appreciate Our Servicemen" and "United States Savings Bonds, 25th Anniversary."

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "358 Remarks at the Unveiling Ceremony for the American Servicemen and Savings Bond Anniversary Stamp.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1465-1466 789. Original Sources, accessed August 9, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=516ZFEMRLER57IU.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "358 Remarks at the Unveiling Ceremony for the American Servicemen and Savings Bond Anniversary Stamp." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1465-1466, page 789. Original Sources. 9 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=516ZFEMRLER57IU.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '358 Remarks at the Unveiling Ceremony for the American Servicemen and Savings Bond Anniversary Stamp.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1465-1466, pp.789. Original Sources, retrieved 9 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=516ZFEMRLER57IU.