On this day in 1964, President Johnson made remarks in Los Angeles at a Mexican fiesta given in his honor by President Lopez Mateos of Mexico. LBJ stated,
’The Alliance for Progress, born in this hemisphere, is a collective war on poverty in this hemisphere. The war on poverty and its somber allies, misery and disease and illiteracy, is a war that the free American Republics must win. If we don't win, humanity fails, and there is no more valiant leader in this war against poverty than the great President of Mexico, Adolfo Lopez Mateos.’
On this day in 1968, President Johnson sent a special message to the Congress on Urban Problems: ’The Crisis of the Cities.’
The human problems of the city are staggering:
—Ghetto youth with little education, no skills and limited opportunity.
—Citizens afraid to walk their streets at night, and justifiably so.
—Negroes, Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans barred by prejudice from full participation in the city's life.
Illiteracy and disease, a lack of jobs and even dignity itself—these are the problems of the city, just as its tenements, traffic jams and rats are problems.
The city will not be transformed until the lives of the least among its dwellers are changed as well. Until men whose days are empty and despairing can see better days ahead, until they can stand proud and know their children's lives will be better than their own—until that day comes, the city will not truly be rebuilt.
That is the momentous and inescapable truth we face in this hour of America's history.
No single statement or message can embrace the solutions to the city's problems. No single program can attack them.
No one can say how long it will take, or how much of our fortune will eventually be committed. For the problems we are dealing with are stubborn, entrenched and slow to yield.
But we are moving on them—now—through more than a hundred programs, long and short range, making financial commitments of more than $22 billion to the task.