February 14, 2013
JFK CALLS FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO INVEST IN NATION'S YOUTH
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) On this day fifty years ago, February 14, 1963, President John F. Kennedy sent a message to Congress calling for a federal effort to invest in "our younger citizens" who are in the words of Disraeli*, "the trustees of posterity."
*Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), born in London, published his 1st novel, "Vivian Grey" in 1826. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1837, & served later as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Leader of the Opposition & Prime Minister (1874-1880).
Disraeli was elevated to the House of Lords in 1876 when Queen Victoria made him Earl of Beaconsfield & Viscount Hughenden.
Benjamin Disraeli Statue
Runcorn at en.wikipedia
President Kennedy said..."energy, a readiness to question, imagination & creativity are all attributes of youth that are also essential to our total national character."
JFK emphasized some of the problems the nation faced included overcrowding of the education system & youth unemployment.
The President also noted that many American children were "still not achieving the physical fitness necessary for maximum performance."
The purpose of JFK's message to Congress was to make clear the role of the Federal Government in focusing on & coordination of "efforts which are appropriately within its areas of responsibility."
JFK said that his Committee on Youth Employment reported that the immediate need for additional youth employment was "critical."
The President's proposed Youth Employment Bill called for a Youth Conservation Corps along the lines of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
JFK believed that this bill would "advance the Nation's wealth & strengthen the economy."
The President concluded his message by saying...
"Awareness is a large part of the battle, but it is action that will spell the difference. (We want to) insure that the young people of this country will truly have the opportunity to secure for themselves & their posterity the full 'blessings of liberty.'"
"Public Papers of the Presidents: John F. Kennedy, 1963," United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1964.