Happy Presidents’ Day

American Education Week, 1961

Proclamation 3422, by President John F. Kennedy

Whereas wide knowledge and the free interchange of thought are essential to the growth and vitality of our Nation; and

Whereas our political and social institutions depend for their perpetuation and strength upon an informed, responsible, and confident people; and

Whereas we are at a time of growth in our country which gives us not only greater means for the satisfaction of our material needs but also more opportunities for the cultivation of learning and wisdom; and

Whereas it is appropriate that a special period be set aside each year to mark the importance of education and the continuing need to improve and strengthen it;

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the period from November 5 through November 11, 1961, as American Education Week.

I urge that all of us during that week take part, through school and community, in observances to focus attention upon the force for good which education has been and must continue to be in our national life; and that we honor our teachers and school officials for whom every week is education week.

The education of our people should be a lifelong process by which we continue to feed new vigor into the lifestream of the Nation through intelligent, reasoned decisions. Let us not think of education only in terms of its costs, but rather in terms of the infinite potential of the human mind that can be realized through education. Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-fifth day of July in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-sixth.

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About Kathryn Baron

Kathryn Baron, co-writer of TOP-Ed (Thoughts On Public Education in California), has been covering education in California for about 15 years; most of that time at KQED Public Radio where her reports aired on The California Report as well as various National Public Radio programs. She also wrote for magazines and newspapers before going virtual as producer and editor at The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Kathy grew up in New York in a family of teachers. She moved to California for graduate school and after spending one sunny New Year’s Day riding her bicycle in the foothills, decided to stay. She and her husband live in Belmont. They have two children, one in college and one in high school.

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