Lyndon B. Johnson Typed Letter Signed as President – To California Governor Pat Brown


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36th President.

Typed letter signed (TLS) “Lyndon B. Johnson” AS PRESIDENT, September 8, 1965, White House letterhead, Washington, to Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown of California, in full:

I am pleased to extend warm greetings to all the educators and other leading Californians participating in the Governor’s Conference on Education.

California has set an inspiring example of progress toward achieving the twin goals of American education – to broaden its opportunities and to improve its quality. Your state graduates a higher proportion of its high school students than any other, and its student dropout rate is the lowest in the nation. Through your Master Plan for Higher Education you have removed the financial barrier of tuition and thus helped thousands of young Californians to include college training in their equipment for the future.

This conference is a fresh and impressive example of your concern for education. The significance of the problems you have assembled to explore goes beyond the borders of any state. Your deliberations can benefit not only California, but the nation.

My best wishes to you for a most profitable conference.

Education was very important to President Johnson, and there was an large educational component to his Great Society programs. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ended a long-standing political taboo by providing significant federal aid to public education, and it also established Head Start as a permanent program. The Higher Education Facilities Act authorized several times more college aid within a five-year period than had been appropriated in a century, and provided better college libraries, new graduate centers and technical institutes, classrooms for several hundred thousand students, and dozens of new community colleges a year. This was followed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, which increased federal money given to universities, created scholarships and low-interest loans for students, and established a national Teacher Corps to provide teachers to poverty-stricken areas of the United States.