Tuesday, September 24, 2013


September 24, 2013


Duluth, Minnesota (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy traveled to Milford, Pennsylvania, Ashland, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota 50 years ago today, September 24, 1963, to begin a 5 day conservation tour of the United States.

The President's first stop was in Milford where he spoke at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies.

President Kennedy said...

"I don't think many Americans can point to such a distinguished record as can Gifford Pinchot* and this institute...

The President continued...

"There is no more fitting place to begin a journey of 5 days across the U.S. to see what can be done to mobilize the attention of this country so we in the 1960's can do our task in preparing America for all the generations which are still yet to come."

JFK commended Gifford Pinchot as being the father of American conservation and a gifted administrator as well as a "tutor of Presidents."

*Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946), the 1st Chief of the US Forest Service and twice governor of Pennsylvania, was born in Simsbury, Connecticut and graduated from Yale University.  He became known for reforming the management and development of the Nation's reserves by planned use and renewal.

          TR and Gifford Pinchot (1907)
National Archives/Library of Congress

Appearing with the President was Governor William Scranton, and Dr. Gifford Pinchot II, son of the 1st Chief of the Forest Service.

JFK unveiled a plaque dedicating the Institute located on the site of the former Pinchot Estate and donated by the family to the National Forest Service.

From Pennsylvania, JFK traveled to Ashland where he spoke at the airport. 

The President said...

"I am glad to be back in northern Wisconsin.  I am...the 2nd spend the night in Ashland.  Calvin Coolidge was here for some weeks...but he never said a word; and I was here for one night (during the campaign) and spoke all the time."

JFK made his final appearance of the day at the University of Minnesota in Duluth where the President spoke to the delegates to the Northern Great Lakes Region Land and People Conference.  

The President said...

"We must...decide on those policies which will help put our people to work, which will prevent the kind of recession...we had at the end of the fifties.  So we are here today to determine what we can do to maintain our domestic rise, to make sure that it is shared by the widest possible number of our people..."

JFK went on to suggest the following Federal programs be renewed...

1. Education and training of the labor force.
2. Increased aid to areas of chronic unemployment
3. The Accelerated Public Works Program
4. The Youth Conservation Corps
5. The Rural Areas Development Program
6. The Tax Cut
7. Federal, State and privately funded research

The President concluded by saying...

"Out of this conference we ask for new suggestions and new ideas as to how we can coordinate this one great country of ours, the 180 million people in it, and make this a better country in which to live."