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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, March 1, 1999
Volume 35--Number 8
Pages 261-328

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



Addresses and Remarks

    Arizona, community in Tucson--302
        Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees 
            dinner in San Francisco--311
        U.S. foreign policy in San Francisco--317
    Democratic Governors' Association dinner--278
    Ghana, state visit of President Rawlings
        State dinner--300
        Welcoming ceremony--288
    ``Insure Kids Now'' initiative--284, 287
    Kennedy-Murray amendment to proposed education flexibility 
        partnership legislation, radio remarks--309
    Kosovo peace talks--283
    Labor unification legislative conference--268
    Medicare program, radio remarks on fighting fraud--299
    NAACP, 90th anniversary dinner--262
    National Governors' Association
    Pardon of Lt. Henry O. Flipper, posthumous--261
    Radio address--267

Communications to Congress

    Coastal Zone Management Act, message transmitting report on 
    Cuba, message transmitting notice on continuation of the national 
    Kenya and Tanzania, letter reporting on deployment of military 
        personnel to--311
    Western Hemisphere Drug Alliance, message transmitting report--288

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Certification for Major Illicit Drug Producing and Drug Transit 
        Countries, memorandum--327

Executive Orders

    Further Amendment to Executive Order 12852, as Amended, Extending 
        the President's Council on Sustainable Development--310

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Oval Office--283
    News conference with President Rawlings of Ghana, February 24 (No. 

(Continued on inside of back cover.)

Editor's Note: The President was in Los Angeles, CA, on February 26, the 
closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the 
Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in 
this issue will be printed next week.


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to
the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as 
amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the 
Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the 
President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10).

Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of 
Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers 
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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

[[Page iii]]


Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Ghana, President Rawlings--288, 289, 300


    Continuation of the National Emergency Relating to Cuba and of the 
        Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage 
        and Movement of Vessels--301


    American Red Cross Month--309

Resignations and Retirements

    White House Office, Counselor to the President, statement--299

Statements by the President

    See also Resignations and Retirements
    Death of Virginia Foster Durr--309
    Farmers and ranchers, emergency supplemental appropriation--326
    India and Pakistan, Prime Ministers' meeting--278
    James Byrd, Jr., murder trial verdict--287
    Kosovo peace talks--287
    Technology in the classroom--278
    ``Who Pays? You Pay'' initiative--300

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--328
    Checklist of White House press releases--328
    Digest of other White House announcements--327
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--328

[[Page 261]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 261-262]
Monday, March 1, 1999
Volume 35--Number 8
Pages 261-328
Week Ending Friday, February 26, 1999
Remarks on the Posthumous Pardon of Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper

February 19, 1999

    Thank you. First of all, I'd like to welcome this distinguished 
assemblage here: Dr. King and the members of the Flipper family and your 
friends, Secretary West, Congressman Clyburn, General Powell, Deputy 
Secretary Hamre, Under Secretary de Leon, General Ralston, General 
Reimer, Secretary Caldera. I understand we're joined by Clarence 
Davenport, the sixth African-American graduate of West Point, other 
distinguished West Point graduates who are here. Welcome to all of you.
    There's one person who could not be here today--Deputy Attorney 
General Eric Holder, I'm glad to see you--the one person who could not 
be here today I want to acknowledge, and that is Senator Max Cleland 
from Georgia, who has done a lot to make this day possible. We thank him 
in his absence.
    I welcome you all to an event that is 117 years overdue. Here in 
America's house of liberty, we celebrate ideas like freedom, equality, 
our indivisibility as one people. Great leaders lived here, people like 
Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Lincoln, the Roosevelts, after whom this room is 
named. All of them deepened the meaning of those words while they lived 
here. But we must be candid and say that the special quality of American 
freedom is not always extended to all Americans.
    A word like ``freedom,'' to be more than a slogan, requires us to 
acknowledge that our ``more perfect Union'' was created by imperfect 
human beings, people who did not always define freedom in the ways that 
we would, and in ways that they knew they should. For this word to live 
for ourselves and our children, we must recognize it represents a 
difficult goal that must be struggled with every day in order to be 
    Today's ceremony is about a moment in 1882, when our Government did 
not do all it could do to protect an individual American's freedom. It 
is about a moment in 1999 when we correct the error and resolve to do 
even better in the future.
    The man we honor today was an extraordinary American. Henry Flipper 
did all his country asked him to do. Though born a slave in Georgia, he 
was proud to serve America: the first African-American graduate of West 
Point; the first African-American commissioned officer in the regular 
United States Army. He showed brilliant promise and joined the 10th 
Cavalry. While stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he perfected a drainage 
system that eliminated the stagnant water, and malaria, plaguing the 
fort. Still known as ``Flipper's Ditch,'' it became a national landmark 
in 1977.
    He distinguished himself in combat on the frontier and then was 
transferred to run a commissary at Fort Davis in Texas. In 1881 
Lieutenant Flipper was accused by his commanding officer of improperly 
accounting for the funds entrusted to him. A later Army review suggested 
he had been singled out for his race, but at the time there wasn't much 
justice available for a young African-American soldier. In December a 
court-martial acquitted him of embezzlement, but convicted him of 
conduct unbecoming an officer. President Chester A. Arthur declined to 
overturn the sentence, and in June of 1882 Lieutenant Flipper was 
dishonorably discharged.
    His life continued. He became a civil and mining engineer out West. 
He worked in many capacities for the Government, as special agent for 
the Department of Justice, as an expert on Mexico for the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee, as a special assistant to the Secretary of the 
Interior. He died in 1940 at the age of 84.
    But even after his death, this stain of dishonor remained. One 
hundred and seventeen years have now elapsed since his discharge. That's 
a long time, even more than the span of his long life, more than half 

[[Page 262]]

history of the White House, indeed, of the Untied States itself--and too 
long to let an injustice lie uncorrected.
    The Army exonerated him in 1976, changed his discharge to honorable, 
and reburied him with full honors. But one thing remained to be done, 
and now it will be. With great pleasure and humility, I now offer a full 
pardon to Lieutenant Henry Ossian Flipper of the United States Army. 
This good man now has completely recovered his good name.
    It has been a trying thing for the family to fight this long battle, 
to confront delays and bureaucratic indifference, but this is a day of 
affirmation. It teaches us that, although the wheels of justice turn 
slowly at times, still they turn. It teaches that time can heal old 
wounds and redemption comes to those who persist in a righteous cause. 
Most of all, it teaches us--Lieutenant Flipper's family teaches us--that 
we must never give up the fight to make our country live up to its 
highest ideals.
    Outside of this room, Henry Flipper is not known to most Americans. 
All the more reason to remember him today. His remarkable life story is 
important to us, terribly important, as we continue to work--on the edge 
of a new century and a new millennium--on deepening the meaning of 
freedom at home, and working to expand democracy and freedom around the 
world, to give new life to the great experiment begun in 1776. This is 
work Henry Flipper would have been proud of.
    Each of you who worked so hard for this day is a living chapter in 
the story of Lieutenant Flipper. I thank you for your devotion, your 
courage, your persistence, your unshakable commitment. I thank you for 
believing and proving that challenges never disappear, but in the long 
run, freedom comes to those who persevere.
    Thank you very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 6:33 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the 
White House. In his remarks, he referred to William C. King, Lieutenant 
Flipper's great-grandnephew; and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman 
Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.). This item was not received in time for 
publication in the appropriate issue.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 262-266]
Monday, March 1, 1999
Volume 35--Number 8
Pages 261-328
Week Ending Friday, February 26, 1999

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