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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, May 20, 1996
Volume 32--Number 20
Pages 835-882

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]


Addresses and Remarks

    See also Bill Signings
    ``Anti-Gang and Youth Crime Control Act of 1996,'' announcement--844
    Antipersonnel landmines initiative--869
    Community policing grants, teleconference--848
    Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucus Institute dinner--874
    Death of Admiral Jeremy M. Boorda--869
    Inter-American Dialogue dinner--873
    National Peace Officers Memorial Service--849
    Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University Graduate School 
        commencement in State College--835
    Radio address--843
    White House Conference on Corporate Citizenship--854, 862

Bill Signings

    Megan's Law, remarks--877

Communications to Congress

    Budget deferral, message transmitting--848
    Iran, message reporting--870
    National Science Board, message transmitting report--854

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Welfare initiative for teen parents, memorandum--842

Executive Orders

    Establishing An Emergency Board To Investigate Disputes Between 
        Certain Railroads Represented by the National Carriers' 
        Conference Committee of the National Railway Labor Conference 
        and Their Employees Represented by the Brotherhood of 
        Maintenance of Way Employees--852
    Termination of Combat Zone Designation in Vietnam and Waters 
        Adjacent Thereto--846

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Oval Office--877

Letters and Messages

    Senator Bob Dole on announcement of his retirement from the Senate, 


    Death of Admiral Jeremy M. Boorda--879
    National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation 
    National Safe Boating Week--879
    Older Americans Month--846
    Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week--847

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--882
    Checklist of White House press releases--881
    Digest of other White House announcements--880
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--881

Editor's Note: The President was in St. Louis, MO, on May 17, 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.

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[[Page 835]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 835-842]
Monday, May 20, 1996
Volume 32--Number 20
Pages 835-882
Week Ending Friday, May 17, 1996
Remarks at the Pennsylvania State University Graduate School 
Commencement in State College, Pennsylvania

May 10, 1996

    Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for that very 
warm welcome. Thank you, President Spanier. Thank you, Mr. Arnelle, Dr. 
Brighton, Dr. Erickson, Mr. Hollander. I thank the University Brass for 
playing so well for me. It made me want to take them back to the White 
    Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to be here for many very 
personal reasons, many of which are obvious. I'm very honored to receive 
the University Scholars Medal and to be the first non-Penn State alumnus 
to receive it.
    As it was said earlier, my family has a long history with this State 
and with this great university. Hillary's family is from Scranton and 
both my father-in-law and brother-in-law attended Penn State and both 
played football here. Back in the thirties, according to my father-in-
law, he had to play offense and defense. [Laughter] That's sort of what 
I do, so I understand that. [Laughter]
    I have had some other good personal associations with this 
university, and for all those I am very grateful. I am grateful for the 
establishment of a scholarship at the college of education in my late 
father-in-law's name. It means a great deal to my wife and to me and to 
our daughter. And I am grateful to be here because of what Penn State 
    This school was made a land-grant school in the darkest hours of our 
Nation's history, because President Lincoln and his contemporaries knew 
even then that our Nation's future depended upon the widest possible 
dispersion of knowledge. Though faced with the possibility of the very 
union of our States breaking up, our leaders were still thinking about 
the future. And to all the graduates here with advanced degrees, I say, 
a great nation must always be thinking about tomorrow. Therefore, even 
as you relish this day, I ask you to join me just for a few moments in 
thinking about tomorrow, for you will live a great deal of your lives in 
the 21st century, the most remarkable age of possibility in human 
    I have been told that today every student at Penn State is given an 
E-mail account and that more than one million E-mail messages are sent 
every day. That is just a taste of the world to come, a dazzling, new 
global economy, giving more and more people a chance to work with their 
minds instead of their backs throughout a career, many of you in jobs 
that you have not even invented yet. You will have incredible choices in 
where you live and how you work. You will be able to raise your children 
in greater peace and freedom and in the most diverse and vibrant 
democracy history has ever known. At least that's what I want our 
country to be like as we move into the 21st century.
    Almost 5 years ago at my alma mater, Georgetown, I gave three 
speeches about my vision of America's future in the 21st century and a 
strategy for how I thought we ought to achieve that future. I said then 
and I'd like to repeat now that my vision is pretty simple and 
straightforward: I want an America in which all Americans, without 
regard to their race or their gender or their station in life, who are 
willing to work hard have a chance to live out their dreams. I want an 
America that remains the world's strongest force for peace and freedom 
and prosperity. And I want an America that is no longer being driven 
apart by our differences but instead is coming together around our 
shared values and respect for our diversity.
    As my wife says in her book, I really believe it takes a village of 
all of our people working together to make the most of our lives. To 
build that kind of America, we have to be able to honestly meet our 

[[Page 836]]

and protect our values. We have to find ways to create these 
opportunities for all Americans. We have to find ways to build strong 
communities. And we have got to find ways to get more personal 
responsibility from all of our citizens. Opportunity, responsibility, 
community: these are values that have made our country strong, that have 
built great institutions like Penn State, that guide my actions as 
President. I believe they must guide our Nation as we prepare for the 
tomorrows of the 21st century.
    What I want to do here and in the other commencement addresses I 
will be making is to talk about what has occurred in the last 4 years 
and, even more importantly, what must still occur if we are going to 
realize this vision, to give opportunities to everybody willing to work 
for them, to keep our country the strongest force for peace and freedom, 
and to rebuild our sense of unity and community around a shared ethic of 
    Compared to 4 years ago, there is clearly more opportunity, a much 
lower deficit, increased access to education, a renewed commitment to a 
clean environment and safer streets, 8\1/2\ million new jobs, low 
inflation, record numbers of new exports in businesses. But we all know 
there are also a lot of problems in this new economy, a lot of 
uncertainty, and much more to do to give all our people a chance to 
    Compared to 4 years ago the world is more peaceful and safer. The 
nuclear threat has diminished. Peace and freedom are taking hold from 
Haiti to South Africa to Northern Ireland to Bosnia to the Middle East. 
But there is a lot more to do to make the American people safe from the 
21st century threats of terrorism, organized crime and drug-running, 
weapons proliferation and global environmental threats.
    In future speeches I'll discuss both these things at greater length. 
Today I'd like to ask you to kind of travel along with me as we look at 
America's present and its future in terms of that third objective: 
inspiring a stronger, more united American community, rooted in a 
greater commitment to personal responsibility and community service.
    What you have done here today is in and of itself an act of 
responsibility. By getting this advanced degree you have honored 
yourselves and your families, and you have helped America. We need more 
people--many, many more people--with much higher levels of education 
and, even more importantly, with the developed ability to learn for a 
lifetime. We need this kind of personal responsibility from all of our 
citizens, doing the best to make the most of their own lives. And we 
must apply the lessons of your success as individuals to our common work 
as a nation.
    I believe we are living through a period of most profound change in 
the way we work, the way we live, the way we relate to each other and 
the rest of the world in 100 years, since we moved from the agricultural 
into the industrial age. At the turn of the century, about 100 years 
ago, people who for generations had lived their lives by the rising and 
the setting of the Sun moved from the country to the city, where they 
woke to the din of the streetcar and went home to the sound of the 
factory whistle. That time presented enormous opportunities but also 
great challenges. A hundred years ago, many people's lives were uprooted 
but not improved. And for many, not only their livelihoods but the 
values by which they lived were threatened by the changes of the day.
    In response to the challenges of that time, a gifted generation of 
reformers, led first by Theodore Roosevelt and then by Woodrow Wilson, 
worked to harness the power of our Nation's Government so that it could 
extend the benefits of the industrial era to all Americans, curb the 
excesses of the era, and enable our people to preserve their family and 
community values. They launched what we now call the Progressive Era. 
They brought us the antitrust laws, the child protection laws, the 
earliest environment protection laws. They were all designed to harness 
the positive forces of the new age to give everyone a fair chance to 
protect the values of the American people.
    Think what has happened in the 100 years since. The progressives 
built the foundation of what became known as the American Century, a 
century in which America won two World Wars and the cold war, overcame 
the Great Depression, achieved decades of sustained economic growth, 
scientific breakthroughs, more opportunities for women and

[[Page 837]]

minorities, a cleaner environment, remarkable security and good health 
for senior citizens, and the largest and most prosperous middle class in 
human history. It all began in the Progressive Era.
    Today we're living through another time of profound change. Like the 
dawn of the industrial age, the information age offers vast new 
opportunities. Today technology and information are dominating every 
form of work including agriculture, as I'm sure anyone in the college of 
agriculture here can attest to.
    But this time also presents great challenges, people whose lives are 
uprooted but not improved and cherished values strained by the pace and 
the scope of change. I'd like to talk about that a little today.
    When I was growing up, Americans could pretty much walk the streets 
of any city without fear of being hurt by violent crime. Having children 
out of wedlock was rare and a source of shame. Welfare was a temporary 

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