Remarks on New Year's Day

January 1, 1982

Thank you, Michael, and good morning.

Although I know most of the world celebrates the New Year with us today, I think this holiday is an especially American tradition. Most of us are at home or with our families this morning, getting ready to watch the splendor of parades and excitement of football. Later our families will gather around the dinnertable, and we'll pray for guidance and strength in the New Year. Today we take a short and well-earned break from the building and industry and enterprise that make our country strong. We pause to reflect on the values of God and family and freedom that make us great.

I wish both teams this afternoon the best of luck, but Iowa has a special place in my heart. Years ago I broadcast their football games on WHO in Des Moines. I find special meaning in that this New Year's Day this Hawkeye team has made it to the Rose Bowl.

You see, when I knew them back in the thirties, the Hawkeyes were struggling to get out of one of those low periods that come every once in a while to a school and a team. The first game I broadcast turned out to be the game in which Iowa scored its first touchdown against a Big Ten team in 3 years. And that marked a turning point in Hawkeye fortunes.

Like the Iowa Ironmen, we Americans are known for dreaming with our eyes wide open. We live our dreams and make them come true. Our ideas and energies combine in a dynamic force. The kind of force that brought the Hawkeyes to Pasadena enables America to overcome great odds. We call it the American spirit.

In 1982 this country faces serious challenges. We're gripped by a recession brought on by decades of government mismanagement. But we're making a new beginning as a nation. The road to recovery is never easy. But America is no stranger to challenges. We need only live up to our convictions to set things right. We need only believe in ourselves, in our country, and in tomorrow.

Happy New Year.

Note: The President's remarks were filmed for broadcast on the NBC network.

In his opening remarks, the President referred to actor Michael Landon, guest commentator for NBC's coverage of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.