Remarks on the Occasion
of Alfred M. Landon's 100th Birthday in
Landon. It's a great day in my life, and it's a great day in the life of all of
us to have had the privilege that we have today of meeting the President of the
The President. Well, Governor Landon, Mrs. Landon, Governor Hayden, Senator Kassebaum, Senator Dole, Mayor Wright, ladies and gentlemen, I can't resist saying this: You don't know what a joy it is for a fellow like me to go to a birthday party for someone who can, in all honesty, call me ``kid.'' [Laughter] Today we celebrate -- I know it will actually be in just a few days -- but we're celebrating Alf Landon's first century, half the life of our nation since the framing of the Constitution. As you know, it seems right to me that Alf Landon was born in the centennial year of the Constitution and is now part of its bicentennial year.
after all, you ask what the
Governor, you preceded me by a bit as our party's nominee for President, and I
had a little better luck. Well, I also had better years and an easier field.
But no one ever did prouder as a candidate by his party or the Nation than you.
When it was out of fashion, you warned of the dangers of too much government
and too much government spending. Recently, I was reminded that on your 90th
birthday you said that credit cards are the worst things that have happened to
our country; they encourage people to spend money they don't have. Well, don't
spend money you don't have. I just wish I could get you to come back to
So this is my birthday message: It is that all Americans are thankful for what you have meant to our country. And now, before I wax so eloquent that no one can stop me, I'll break off here just saying: Alf, happy birthday and God bless you!
[At this point, the President and family and friends sang ``Happy Birthday.'']
The President. I know the time has come to leave, but I just couldn't help but tell you a little experience. I have met the Governor on a previous birthday sometime ago, and I expressed the wish that I could meet him again on his hundredth birthday. He looked me up and down; he said, ``You seem to be in pretty good shape. I think maybe you can make it.'' [Laughter]
Note: The President
spoke at at Mr. Landon's home. In his opening remarks, the President
referred to Mrs. Theo Landon, Gov. Mike Hayden, Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Senator Robert Dole, and Mayor Douglas Wright.
Following his remarks, he returned to