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pd15fe99 Statement on the Nomination of Richard C. Holbrooke to be Ambassador to...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 15, 1999
Volume 35--Number 6
Pages 211-228

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Georgia, gala honoring Hank Aaron in Atlanta--211

        American Embassy community in Amman--217
        Death of King Hussein I--214, 217

    Maryland, ``AmeriCorps Call to Service'' in College Park--220

    Radio address--212

    Senate impeachment trial, conclusion--225

Appointments and Nominations

    State Department, Ambassador to the United Nations, statement--218

Communications to Congress

    Drug control strategy, message transmitting--216

    Mongolia, message transmitting report on emigration policies and 
        trade status--224

    Romania-U.S. treaty on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with 
        documentation, message transmitting--219

    U.S.S.R.-U.S. Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, letter reporting on 
        memorandum of understanding--220


Executive Orders

    President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, Further 
        Amendments to Executive Order 13035, as Amended--224

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Rose Garden--225

Letters and Messages

    Lunar New Year, message--224
    Presidents' Day, message--225


    Death of King Hussein--215

Statements by the President

    See also Appointments and Nominations
    American Airlines-Allied Pilots Association labor dispute--225
    Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict--218
        Death of King Hussein I--214

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--228
    Checklist of White House press releases--227
    Digest of other White House announcements--226
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--227


Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also 
available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http://


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
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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
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[[Page 211]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 211-212]
Monday, February 15, 1999
Volume 35--Number 6
Pages 211-228
Week Ending Friday, February 12, 1999
Remarks at a Gala Honoring Hank Aaron in Atlanta, Georgia

February 5, 1999

    Thank you very much, Tom. I want to thank Ted and Jane and you, Tom, 
and Gerry Levin and all the people from CNN and Time Warner for your 
role in this magnificent evening--all the sponsors, all the previous 
    You know, the truth is, I wanted to come down yesterday just to get 
ready for this. [Laughter] I saw the list of the baseball players who 
were going to be here. You know, my job is not always the most fun in 
the world. [Laughter] I was interested in this.
    Governor Barnes told a story about Hank Aaron appearing with him. I 
want to tell you a story that's even more compelling. In 1992, on the 
weekend before the Presidential election, I was struggling to prevail in 
Georgia and Governor Miller said, ``You have to come one more time. And 
if you come, I think Hank Aaron will appear with you.''
    I forgot about how many electoral votes we had--I forgot, you know, 
I just--so I came. And we went out to this high school football stadium, 
which held 25,000 people--it was completely full. Way over half of them 
came to see him. [Laughter] Three days later, after Hank Aaron blessed 
me in front of 25,000 people, we carried Georgia by 13,000 votes. 
[Laughter] I have never forgotten it, and I never will.
    Ladies and gentlemen, the essayist Jacques Barzun once wrote, 
``Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn 
baseball.'' Well, probably more than any other sport, baseball revels in 
statistics. I wish we could have a contest tonight. We'd all know that 
Ty Cobb has the highest lifetime batting average and Cy Young the most 
wins; Mark McGwire, closely followed by Sammy Sosa, the most home runs 
in a single season. Most all of us here know that Henry Aaron has more 
baseball records than any other single player: most RBI's, most extra 
base hits, the only player to hit at least 30 home runs in 15 seasons, 
at least 20 homers in 20 seasons. First, as you heard on the film, to 
reach 300 hits--3,000 hits and 500 home runs.
    He also had an exquisite sense of timing. When he broke what 
appeared to be the most unbreakable record of all, he had the presence 
of mind to do it on opening night so all of us could plan to watch. 
Because Henry Aaron's story is so much the story of baseball and because 
it is the story of a changing America being manifest in baseball, 
knowing it is necessary to know the mind and heart of modern America.
    All of us honor him tonight not only for the power of his swing but 
for the power of his spirit; not only for breaking records but for 
breaking barriers; not only for chasing his dream but even more for 
giving children, like those we saw tonight, the chance to chase theirs. 
From Mobile to Milwaukee to Atlanta, through a segregated South in the 
old Sally League where he was the only member of the team that didn't 
stay in the same motel, the only one who couldn't get served at the 
dinner counter, he moved through a changing America. And he changed the 
mind and heart of America.
    When he came here, he had an interesting experience. Many of you 
have referenced tonight that when Hank Aaron approached Babe Ruth's 
record there was a dark, deep undercurrent which led him to get lots of 
hate letters and death threats so serious the FBI had to watch his home 
and the pall of violence began to hang over the games. But he said that 
very little of this mail came from Atlanta. And so as President of this 
whole country, I'd like to also take my hat off to Atlanta tonight.
    When Andy Young was up here talking and then I saw the reference on 
the film by Mayor Allen, I remember as a boy growing up, burdened with 
the awful stain that the

[[Page 212]]

crisis in the high school in my State's capital caused us, that every 
one of us who felt as I did envied Atlanta because it had a mayor and 
business leaders who said they were determined to be known as the city 
too busy to hate. And they gave us, all of us, Martin Luther King and 
John Lewis, and leaders like Andy Young and Maynard Jackson and so many 
more, too many to mention. It was fitting that a son of the South who 
braved the storms of segregation would come home to the most important 
baseball record of all and go indelibly into the mind and heart of 
    I came here tonight as a baseball fan, to remember a golden moment. 
I came as a friend, to thank a person who was there for me when I needed 
him in the worst way. I came here as President, to honor a great 
American--for courage and decency and dignity, for caring about all the 
kids coming along behind him, for giving them a chance to chase those 
dreams. America is a land of dreamers. Hank Aaron has made it even more 
    So Hank and Billye, we thank you for the path you blazed, for the 
voices you raised, for the helping hands you gave. We thank you. God 
bless you. [Applause] Thank you.
    Now, don't sit down. I almost forgot my exit line. [Laughter] Ladies 
and gentlemen, our honoree, on the 25th anniversary of his 40th birthday 
and his 715th home run, Henry Aaron.

Note: The President spoke at 10:40 p.m. in the Centennial Ballroom at 
the Hyatt Regency Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to W. Thomas 
Johnson, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Cable News 
Network; Ted Turner, vice chairman, and Gerald M. Levin, chairman and 
chief executive officer, Time Warner, Inc.; Gov. Roy E. Barnes and 
former Gov. Zell Miller of Georgia; Mayor Bill Campbell and former 
Mayors Andrew Young, Ivan Allen Jr., and Maynard Jackson of Atlanta; Mr. 
Aaron's wife, Billye; and Mr. Turner's wife, actress Jane Fonda. The 
President also referred to the South Atlantic (Sally) League. This item 
was not received in time for publication in the appropriate issue.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 212-213]
Monday, February 15, 1999
Volume 35--Number 6
Pages 211-228
Week Ending Friday, February 12, 1999
The President's Radio Address

February 6, 1999

    Good morning. Six years ago I determined Washington had to get off 
the sidelines and join the frontlines in the fight against crime. I 
committed my administration to recovering our streets from violence, to 
reclaiming our neighborhoods as safe havens for families. Since then 
we've pursued a new strategy of law enforcement based not on tough talk 
but on tougher penalties, better prevention, and the substantial, 
visible presence of community police.
    This strategy is showing remarkable results. Since 1993, crime rates 
in America have fallen to the lowest point in a quarter century. 
Property crime is down. Violent crime has dropped 20 percent in the last 
6 years. The murder rate is the lowest in 30 years. Americans can take 
pride in streets that are safer, but mostly they can take comfort in 
lives that are more secure.
    There are many reasons that crime is in a sharp decline. Chief among 
them is our growing ability to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. 
Gun-related crime is on the wane, and it's no wonder. According to a 
recent report by the Justice Department, the background checks we 
required in the Brady law have put a stop to nearly a quarter-million 
handgun purchases. Thanks to Brady, we turn away more than 200 felons a 
day, sending them home empty handed instead of well-armed. And now that 
the instacheck system is in effect, we can conduct these checks in even 
less time. Retail gun stores, sporting goods stores, licensed gun 
dealers: They're all working to keep guns out of the hands of felons and 
    But there's a loophole in the law, and criminals know how to exploit 
it. They go to gun shows. Last year there were more than 4,400 gun shows 
all across America. I come from a State where these shows are very 
popular. I have visited and enjoyed them over the years. I know they're 
the first place where many parents teach their children how to handle 

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