LBJ’s Letter to James Killian

Title Letter from Lyndon B. Johnson to Dr. James R. Killian

Creator Lyndon B. Johnson

Date November 8, 1965

Source Letter, The President to James R. Killian, 11/8/65, EX ED 5, WHCF, Box 24, LBJ Library.

Transcription November 8, 1965

Dear Dr. James R. Killian:

I am happy to learn of the plan for a Commission financed by the Carnegie Corporation to study the role of noncommercial educational television in our society. The stature of the citizens who have agreed to serve as Commission members indicates the great importance of this study.

From our beginning as a Nation, we have recognized that our security depends on the enlightenment of our people; that our freedom depends on the communication of many ideas through many channels. I believe that educational television has an important future in the United States and throughout the world.

Educational television has brought an extra bounty of learning to millions of American school children. It has widened the horizons of millions of adults. It has offered specialized information and training to a variety of groups. Technical advances will greatly expand its potential benefits.

A number of participants, both public and private, have contributed to the development of educational television in this country. Therefore, I believe that it is appropriate for your study to be sponsored by a non-governmental group. The Carnegie Corporation has shown wise foresight in providing resources needed for the study.

Your Commission will have much practical experiences from which to draw. Not only are there over 100 educational television broadcast stations in operation, but a great variety of education communication systems are in use and under development in every part of the Nation. There is no need to examine the performance and the promise of these systems.

There is also urgent need to project the requirements for the future if we are to meet educational, social and cultural demands. This will call for recommendations on not only the facilities and finances of educational television, but also the manpower and organization.

I look forward with great interest to the judgments which this Commission will offer.

My very best wishes to you personnally [sic] and to the Commission members.

Sincerely yours,

[signed] S/LBJ

Dr. James R. Killian
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts