Presidential Christmas Messages – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Presidential Christmas Messages

Since 1870, the United States has officially celebrated Christmas as a nation and as a result has declared as a nation the belief in the coming of the Savior to earth. Just as the official Thanksgiving proclamations of the Presidents declare that our nation depends upon the grace and mercy of the LORD God to exist, the celebration of Christmas declares the nation’s faith in the manifestation of that grace and mercy in the birth of the Messiah.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Xmas Dwight Eisenhower
Dwight Eisenhower and family celebrating Christmas at the White House, 1960

Remarks Upon Lighting the National Community Christmas Tree.
December 24, 1953

My Fellow Americans–here in Washington, in your homes across the Nation and abroad–and in our country’s service around the world:

This evening’s ceremony, here at the White House, is one of many thousands in America’s traditional celebration of the birth, almost 2,000 years ago, of the Prince of Peace.

For us, this Christmas is truly a season of good will–and our first peaceful one since 1949. Our national and individual blessings are manifold. Our hopes are bright even though the world still stands divided in two antagonistic parts.

More precisely than in any other way, prayer places freedom and communism in opposition, one to the other. The Communist can find no reserve of strength in prayer because his doctrine of materialism and statism denies the dignity of man and consequently the existence of God. But in America, George Washington long ago rejected exclusive dependence upon mere materialistic values. In the bitter and critical winter at Valley Forge, when the cause of liberty was so near defeat, his recourse was sincere and earnest prayer. From it he received new hope and new strength of purpose out of which grew the freedom in which we celebrate this Christmas season.

As religious faith is the foundation of free government, so is prayer an indispensable part of that faith.

Tonight, richly endowed in the good things of the earth, in the fellowship of our neighbors and the love of our families, would it not be fitting for each of us to speak in prayer to the Father of all men and women on this earth, of whatever nation, and of every race and creed–to ask that He help us–and teach us–and strengthen us–and receive our thanks.

Should we not pray that He help us? Help us to remember that the founders of this, our country, came first to these shores in search of freedom–freedom of man to walk in dignity; to live without fear; beyond the yoke of tyranny; ever to progress. Help us to cherish freedom, for each of us and for all nations.

Might we not pray that He teach us? Teach us to shun the counsel of defeat and of despair of self-pride and self-deceit. Teach us, and teach our leaders, to seek to understand the problems and the needs of all our people. Teach us how those problems may reach solution in wisdom and how best those needs may be met. But teach us, also, that where there may be special problems, there can be no special rights; and though there may be special needs, there can be no special privileges. Teach us to require of all those who seek to lead us, these things: integrity of purpose; the upright mind, selfless sacrifice, and the courage of the just. Teach us trust and hope and self-dependence. Teach us the security of faith.

And may we pray that He strengthen us. Strengthen us in understanding ourselves and others–in our homes, in our country, and in our world. Strengthen our concern for brotherhood. Strengthen our conviction that whatever we, as Americans, would bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America. Strengthen our efforts to forge abroad those links of friendship which must one day encircle the world, if its people are to survive and live in peace.

Lastly, should we not pray that He receive our thanks? For certainly we are grateful for all the good we find about us; for the opportunity given us to use our strength and our faith to meet the problems of this hour. And on this Christmas Eve, all hearts in America are filled with special thanks to God that the blood of those we love no longer spills on battlefields abroad. May He receive the thanks of each of us for this, His greatest bounty–and our supplication that peace on earth may live with us, always.

Remarks at the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies.
December 17, 1954

Mr. Secretary, and members of this audience, my fellow citizens, at home and across the seas; my fellow men and women of all the Americas, and of all nations:

Christmastide is a season of hope–of heartening hope–for peace on earth, good will among men. This year, even as two thousand years ago, when the Prince of Peace was born into the world, the drums of war are stilled. In their silence, after a whole generation of almost ceaseless beating, many people–already become fathers and mothers-enjoy the first peaceful Christmas they have known. So–mankind’s unquenchable hope for peace burns brighter than for many years.

Our hope, true enough, is blemished by some brutal facts. Oppression, privation, cruel suffering of body and mind imposed on helpless victims-these scourges still wound in too many places the daily living of mankind.

Even at this happy season, we dare not forget crimes against justice, denial of mercy, violation of human dignity. To forget is to condone and to provoke new outrage.

Neither dare we forget our blessings. To count them is to gain new courage and new strength, a firmer patience under test and a stouter faith in the decency of man and in the providence of God.

Among the greatest of man’s blessings this Christmas is his strengthened hope of lasting peace. But hope without works is the prelude to disillusionment. They, whose cause is just, must be prepared to meet the harsh challenge of inertia; privation; despair; statism; materialism. This bright Christmas must not be followed–ever–by a Christmas of universal tragedy.

We Americans know that a mighty part of promoting and serving peace is ours to do. With our friends we must enlarge the design of our partnership so that we, who marched together in evil days when war and fear of war darkened the earth, shall enjoy together in days of light the rich rewards of a secure and stable era.

There are some who have believed it possible to hold themselves aloof from today’s worldwide struggle between those who uphold government based upon human freedom and dignity, and those who consider man merely a pawn of the state. The times are so critical and the difference between these world systems so vital and vast that grave doubt is cast upon the validity of neutralistic argument. Yet we shall continue faithfully to demonstrate our complete respect for the right of self-decision by these neutrals. Moreover, because they hate aggression and condemn war for conquest, even as we, there is provided a strong foundation upon which we can proceed with them to build mutual understanding and sympathy.

Now, with those who stand against us, in fear or in ignorance of our intentions, we have chosen the hard way of patient, tireless search in every avenue that may lead to their better understanding of our peaceful purposes. They know, as well as we, that the world is large enough, the skills of man great enough, to feed and to clothe and to house mankind in plenty and in peace. This universal knowledge could be the fruitful beginning of a prosperous life together.

America speaks from strength–strength in good allies., in arms, in readiness, in ever-increasing productivity, in the broader sharing of the abundant fruits of our economy, in our unchanging devotion to liberty and to human justice. Her voice is for peace based upon decency and right. But let no man think that we want peace at any price; that we shall forsake principle in resigned tolerance of evident evil; or that we may pawn our honor for transitory concession.

At this Christmas season, America speaks too in humble gratitude for the friendship of peaceful peoples across the world. Without their warm confidence and faithful partnership, this earth would be a bleak ground of aimless and endless clash and conflict.

And America joins with all believers of every faith in a prayer of thanks and a plea that, whatever lies ahead, we may be strong and courageous and wise in the doing of our own task in accord with the Divine will.

To all the dwellers of the earth, I speak for this Republic–and directly from the heart of every one of its citizens–when I say that this Nation prays for you–all of you–the fullness of the Christmas spirit, peace and good will.

And now, please permit me a personal note. My wife and I wish to all of you here, and to all peoples everywhere, a very merry Christmas. As I light the Nation’s Christmas tree, “God rest you . . . Let nothing you dismay.”

And now, good night and again, Merry Christmas!


President Dwight D. Eisenhower and family, Christmas 1955
President Dwight D. Eisenhower and family, Christmas 1955

Remarks Broadcast for the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies in Washington.
December 18, 1955

My fellow Americans at home and across the seas, my fellow men and women of every nation:

For hundreds of millions of us, Christmas symbolizes our deepest aspirations for peace and for goodwill among men.

For me, this particular Christmas has a very special meaning, and has brought to me, really, new understandings of people.

During the past three months my family and I have received literally thousands–tens of thousands of messages. Each of these has borne a sentence of good wishes and goodwill for health and happiness to us both. It has been heartwarming evidence that human understanding and human sympathy can surmount every obstacle–even those obstacles that some governments sometimes seem to raise in the attempt to divide us.

Now the free world is just coming to the close of a very significant year, one in which we have worked hard and sometimes effectively for peace. Now the facts of today, of course, do not measure up to the high hopes of the free world, the hopes by which we have lived and which we have long entertained. But this Christmas is, nevertheless, brighter in its background and its promise for the future than any we have known in recent years. I think it is even better than last year, and you will remember that Christmas was the first one in many years that was not marred by the tragic incidents of war.

Now peace is the right of every human being. It is hungered for by all of the peoples of the earth. So we can be sure that tonight in the fullness of our hearts and in the spirit of the season, that as we utter a simple prayer for peace we will be joined by the multitudes of the earth.

Those multitudes will include rulers as well as the humblest citizens of lands; the great and the meek; the proud and the poor; the successful and the failures; the dispirited and the hopefuls.

Now each of those prayers will of course differ according to the characteristics and the personality of the individual uttering it, but running through every single one of those prayers will be a thought something of this kind:

May each of us strive to do our best to bring about better understanding in the world. And may the infinite peace from above live with us and be ours forever, and may we live in the confident hope that it will come.

And so it is tonight in that hope, which must never die from the earth, which we must cling to and cherish and nurture and work for, that I light the National Community Christmas Tree at the Pageant of Peace in Washington.

To each of you–wherever you may be–from Mrs. Eisenhower and me: a very Merry Christmas!

Remarks at the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies.
December 20, 1956

Mr. Chairman, Secretary Seaton, and My Friends:

In this Nation’s capital city we are joined tonight with millions in all our forty-eight States, and, indeed, throughout the world, in the happiness and in the hope that Christmas brings.

Not that everyone is filled with happiness and hope in this season of rejoicing. Far from it. There is weariness–there is suffering for multitudes. There is hunger as well as happiness, slavery as well as freedom in the world tonight. But in the myriads of Christmas candles we see the vision of a better world for all people.

In the light of Christmas, the dark curtains of the world are drawn aside for the moment. We see more clearly our neighbors next door; and our neighbors in other nations. We see ourselves and the responsibilities that belong to us. Inspired by the story of Christmas we seek to give of our happiness and abundance to others less fortunate. Even now the American people, on the farm and in the city, rallying through the Red Cross and other voluntary agencies to meet the needs of our neighbors in Hungary, are true to the spirit of Christmas.

Even more important, there are particularly manifested during this season those spiritual qualities of freedom and honor and neighborliness and good will–great virtues that make all peoples one. Through them, and faith in them, we see how men can live together in peace; for one glorious moment we sense progress toward that aspiration of every religious faith–“Peace on earth, good will to men.”

These are hallowed words; through ages they have heartened and moved mankind, even though their message of peace is far too often drowned by the strident voices of the fearful or the arrogant, who fill our minds with doubt and pessimism. They blur our vision with clouds of hate.

But the spirit of Christmas returns, yet again, to enable us to gain understanding of each other; to help each other; to obey the elemental precepts of justice; to practice good will toward all men of every tongue and color and creed; to remember that we are all identical in our aspirations for a peaceful, a decent, a rewarding life.

In the warm glow of the Christmas tree, it is easy to say these things, but when the trees come down and the lights are put away–as they always are–then we have a true testing of the spirit. That testing will be answered, throughout the year ahead, by the success each of us experiences in keeping alive the inspiration and exaltation of this moment.

We must proceed by faith, knowing the light of Christmas is eternal, though we cannot always see it.

We must believe that the truth of Christmas is constant; that men can live together in peace as Lincoln said, “with charity for all, with firmness in the right.”

In this spirit, I now turn on the lights of the National Christmas Tree. [The lights are turned on]

By the light of Christmas charity and Christmas truth, we enter the New Year with gratitude and strength. In this spirit, let us make sure that 1957 will add a memorable chapter to the story of mankind.

Now, on behalf of Mrs. Eisenhower and myself, may I wish for all of you in this audience–throughout our nation–through. out the world–a truly Merry Christmas. And may the Father of us all bless all who dwell upon the earth.

Thank you very much.

Ike Christmas 1957

Remarks at the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies.
December 23, 1957

Ike Christmas 1957a

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice President and Mrs. Nixon, My Good Friends–good evening to all of you:

As once again we meet in this annual ceremony, we count ourselves a very fortunate people. In a land at peace, we are gathered about the National Christmas Tree to set its lights aglow with their symbolic message of peace and good will to men.

The custom we now observe brings us together for a few minutes on this one night. But this brief ceremony is warm in a spirit that gives meaning to all our days and all our labors.

For you and I, here, are not alone in a world indifferent and cold. We are part of a numerous company–united in the brotherhood of Christmas. And, as a brotherhood, we remember with special concern, the weak, the helpless, the hungry.

And beyond this tree that towers above us in the dusk; beyond the shadows and limits of this place, a mighty host of men and women and children are one great family in the spirit of Christmas-tide.

Tens of millions of them are fellow Americans. At this moment they are sitting in safe and cheerful homes. They visit among themselves in the lighted squares of small towns. They hurry along the crowded streets of busy cities. Freely they drive and fly and ride the transport lanes of the nation. They are at work, at work of their own choosing, in shops and factories and fields. They are on distant posts and stations, and on the approaches to the South Pole and to Greenland, on every continent and on many islands, doing their tasks far from home for the peace and well-being of all of us at home.

All are united in the renewed hope which we feel at Christmas time, that the world will somehow be a better place for all of us.

In the days just preceding our Holiday Season, I had the opportunity to work closely with the leaders of our NATO allies. Later this evening, the Secretary of State and I shall report to America on that meeting. But here let me say that, in dedication to peace, in our determination and readiness collectively to sustain that peace, we are firmly joined with our NATO partners–as indeed we are with other friendly nations around the world.

And, across national boundaries, and the mountains and oceans of the earth, hundreds of millions more are one with us. They speak in many tongues. They walk by many paths. They worship through many rites and, in some lands, observe different Holy Days. But by the good cheer they spread, the fellowship they express, the prayers that each makes to his own Heaven-they are all akin and like to us.

The spirit of Christmas helps bridge any differences among us. Faith and hope and charity are its universal countersigns. Peace and good will are its universal message. But these noble words will be words only, hollow and empty, unless we confirm them:

In sweat and toil that translate good intentions into fruitful action;

In courage that does not hesitate because the risk is great or the odds immeasurable;

In patience that does not quit because the road is hard or the goal far off;

In self-sacrifice that does not dodge a heavy duty because the cost is high or the reward unsure.

And so we confirm our faith that men may walk one day unafraid under the Christmas light, at peace with themselves and their fellows.

To all peoples who prize liberty, who seek justice and peace for their fellowmen, even to those who in the climate of this era may fear or suspect us, I speak for all Americans in a heartfelt message that happiness may belong to all men at this Christmastide.

Now, as I turn on the lights of our National Christmas Tree, Mrs. Eisenhower joins me in the wish to all of you, our fellow countrymen, that God will keep you and bless you and give you a Merry Christmas.

Ike Christmas 1958

December 18, 1958

The first transmitted message from space to Earth was a Christmas message via short wave frequency from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower through an on-board tape recorder.

“This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you via a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one: Through this unique means I convey to you and all mankind, America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere.”

Remarks at the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies.
December 23, 1958

My fellow Americans:

Tonight I would like to speak not only to you, but for you, to the peoples of the world.
This is the time of year when Christians celebrate the birth of the founder of their faith. It is also the time when all peoples, regardless of religious belief, look forward with hope to the coming of another year. It is quite appropriate, therefore, to speak tonight of Christmas and of the New Year, for both can bring a new anticipation of a better, a more peaceful, world to the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere, of all creeds, of all ideologies, of all nations.

The Christmas Message of “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men” is not alone an ideal of Christianity. It is a basic aspiration of Christian, Jew, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist alike–of every person in the world who has faith in an Almighty God.

It is not limited to us as Americans or even to people of the free world. It is matched in yearning in the innermost thoughts of all peoples. It is a universal, divine spark that lights the soul of mankind.

As we near Christmas and the New Year I again give my solemn word on behalf of the American people to all the peoples of the world: that the people of the United States and their Government do not want war. They want to work steadfastly to make “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men” a reality for all humankind.

The people of the United States do not wish to enslave or control any other nation or any other people. They seek only to enjoy with their fellowmen peace–a peace of honor and justice. They respect the rights of all people to do the same.

The United States is strong, and will remain strong, because that is the only way in today’s world that the peace can be protected–but the United States will never use its strength to break the peace.

Though the United States will never retreat in the face of force, or the threat of force, it will always welcome and accept serious and honest proposals to negotiate international differences.

The United States has pledged its national honor to work for peace. for us, this pledge is no less than a sacred obligation. It is freely, but not lightly, given to the nations of the world.

As I press this button and the darkness surrounding the National Christmas Tree is illuminated by light, I hope that this ceremony has greater significance to all Americans and to the world than just the lighting of a tree. I pray that the darkness, which at times has encompassed the world, may be illuminated by the light of understanding and cooperation of all the nations that earnestly seek peace in the year ahead.

To the men, women and children of America and to all peoples throughout the world–A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good night, and Peace be with you !

Radio and Television Remarks on the Good Will Tour Delivered at the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies.
December 23, 1959

Fellow Americans, at home and overseas: Friends of America; workers for a just peace wherever you may be in the world, whatever your race or flag or tongue or creed:

Once again I have the privilege of lighting the Pageant of Peace Tree on the eve of the Christmas season. This is the season when men and women of all faiths, pausing to listen, gain new heart from the message that filled the heavens over Bethlehem two thousand years ago–

Peace on earth–good will to men.

Every Christmas through the long march of centuries since then, the message has been echoed in the hopes and prayers of humanity.

This Christmas, for me at least those words have clearer meaning, sharper significance, more urgent counsel.

Last night I came home from a trip that carded me to three continents, Africa and Asia and Europe. I visited eleven countries whose populations total a quarter of all mankind.

I wish that every American–certainly every American recognized by his fellows as a leader in any field, and every leader in the countries of the West–could see and hear what I have seen and what I have heard. The mutual understanding thereby created could in itself do much to dissolve the issues that plague the world.

My trip was not undertaken as a feature of normal diplomatic procedures. It was not my purpose either to seek specific agreements or to urge new treaty relationships. My purpose was to improve the climate in which diplomacy might work more successfully; a diplomacy that seeks, as its basic objective, peace with justice for all men.

In the crowds that welcomed my party and me, I saw at close hand the faces of millions–many, indeed most, were poor, weary, worn by toil; but others were young, energetic, eager; the children, as always, bright and excited.

The clothes of a few were as modern as today’s Paris and New York; of others, as ancient as the garb of Abraham, often soiled and tattered, although sometimes colorful and romantic to the American eye.

They were Buddhist and Moslem and Hindu and Christian.

But seeing them massed along country roads and city streets from the Eastern shore of the Atlantic to Karachi and Delhi, three things–it seemed to me–united them into one family.

The first–their friendship for America and Americans.

The second–their fervent hope–too long frustrated–for betterment of themselves and of their children.

And third–their deep-seated hunger for peace in freedom.

Of this last, permit me to speak first. It must come first. The assurance of peace in freedom is the key to betterment of peoples everywhere; and in a just peace friendship between all peoples will flourish.

I assure you that all the people I saw and visited want peace-nothing in human affairs can be more certain than that.

I talked with Kings and Presidents, Prime Ministers and humble men and women in cottages and in mud huts. Their common denominator was their faith that America will help lead the way toward a just peace.

They believe that we look and work toward the day when the use of force to achieve political or commercial objectives will disappear–when each country can freely draw on the culture, wisdom, experience of other countries and adapt to its own needs and aspirations what it deems is best and most suitable.

They understand that we look and work toward the day when there can be open and peaceful partnership–communication–interchange of goods and ideas between all peoples; toward the day when each people will make its maximum contribution toward the progress and prosperity of the world.

Such is the world condition which we and all the peoples I visited hope–and pray–to see.

Our concept of the good life for humanity does not require an inevitable conflict between peoples and systems–in which one must triumph over the other. Nor does it offer merely a bare coexistence as a satisfactory state for mankind.

After all, an uneasy coexistence could be as barren and sterile, joyless and stale a life for human beings as the coexistence of cellmates in a penitentiary or a labor camp.

We believe that history, the record of human living, is a great and broad stream into which should pour the richness and diversity of many cultures; from which emerge ideas and practices, ideals and purposes, valid for all.

We believe each people of the human family–even the least in number and the most primitive–can contribute something to a developing world embracing all peoples, enhancing the good of all peoples.

But we recognize–we must recognize–that in the often fierce and even vicious battle for survival–against weather and disease and poverty-some peoples need help. Denied it, they could well become so desperate as to create a world catastrophe.

Now in the ultimate sense, a nation must achieve for itself, by its heart and by its will, the standard of living and the strength needed to progress toward peace with justice and freedom. But where necessary resources and technological skills are lacking, people must be assisted-or all the world will suffer.

In the past, America has been generous. Our generosity has been greeted with gratitude and friendship. On my trip, many millions cried and shouted their testimony to that fact.

No country I visited is short on the greatest of all resources–people of good heart and stout will. And this is especially true of the young. Almost every country is, however, short on the technical knowledge, the skills, the machines, the techniques–and the money–needed to enable their people fully to exploit the natural resources of their lands.

Of course, money alone cannot bring about this progress.

Yet America’s own best interests–our own hopes for peace–require that we continue our financial investment and aid; and persuade all other free nations to join us–to the limit of their ability–in a long-term program, dependable in its terms and in its duration.

But more importantly–in the spirit of the Christmas season, that there may be peace on earth, and good will among men–we must as individuals, as corporations, labor unions, professional societies, as communities, multiply our interest, our concern in these peoples. They are now our warm friends. They will be our stout and strong partners for peace and friendship in freedom–if they are given the right sort of help in the right sort of spirit.

The American Government and our allies provide the defensive strength against aggression that permits men of good will to work together for peace. Such strength is an absolute requirement until controlled and safeguarded disarmament allows its reduction, step by step.

Protected by our defensive strength against violent disruption of our peaceful efforts, we are trying to produce a workable, practical program that will make each succeeding Christmas a little closer in spirit and reality to the message of the first Christmas long ago.

This is not a matter of charity for the poverty-stricken nor of easing our own consciences through doles for the distressed. The help we give to our friends is help and strength for the cause of freedom–American freedom–as well as freedom throughout the world.

In giving it, we must be hardheaded but understanding; enlightened in our own interest but sympathetic and generous in the interest of our friends.

Together we should consider all the ways and the forms such help might take. I fervently hope that in this Christmas Season each of you who is listening will give thought to what you can do for another human, identical with you in his divine origin and destiny–however distant in miles or poor in worldly estate.

With that hope, with that prayer, I wish you all happiness and peace in this season, as I light the Nation’s Christmas Tree for the Pageant of Peace.

Merry Christmas!

The Eisenhowers holding Christmas dinner in 1960
The Eisenhowers holding Christmas dinner in 1960

Remarks at the Pageant of Peace Ceremonies.
December 23, 1960

THROUGH THE AGES men have felt the uplift of the spirit of Christmas. We commemorate the birth of the Christ Child by the giving of gifts, by joining in carols of celebration, by giving expression to our gratitude for the great things that His coming has brought about in the world. Such words as faith and hope and charity and compassion come naturally and gladly to our lips at this wondrous time of the year.

And Christmas inspires in us feelings even deeper than those of rejoicing. It impels us to test the sincerity of our own dedication to the ideals so beautifully expressed in the Christian ethic. We are led to self-examination.

We are grateful for all the material comforts with which we have been blessed. We take great pride in our country’s pre-eminent position in the family of nations.

Yet, as we look into the mirror of conscience, we see blots and blemishes that mar the picture of a nation of people who devoutly believe that they were created in the image of their Maker.

Too often we discern an apathy toward violations of law and standards of public and private integrity. When, through bitter prejudice and because of differences in skin pigmentation, individuals cannot enjoy equality of political and economic opportunity, we see another of these imperfections, one that is equally plain to those living beyond our borders. Whenever there is denied the right of anyone, because he dares to live by the moral code, to earn for himself and his family a living, this failure, too, is a blot on the brightness of America’s image.

But one of America’s imperishable virtues is her pride in the national ideals proclaimed at her birth. When danger to them threatens, America will fight for her spiritual heritage to the expenditure of the last atom of her material wealth; she will put justice above life itself. America will never cease in her striving to remove the blemishes on her own reflection.

Though we boast that ours is a government of laws, completeness in this work cannot be achieved by laws alone, necessary though these be. Law, to be truly effective, must command the respect and earnest support of public opinion, both generally and locally. And each of us helps form public opinion.

Before us, then, is a task that each must himself define and himself perform. Good it is that Christmas helps to make us aware of our imperfections. Better it is that we rededicate ourselves to the work of their eradication.

A year ago last night I returned from a trip that took me to the other side of the world, to eleven nations of wide variations in race, color, religion, and outlook. That homecoming had added meaning for me because I came back at this time of year, when we are unfailingly reminded that, under God, we are all brothers in one world.

In this season next year a new President will address you as I address you now. Each succeeding Christmas will, we pray, see ever greater striving by each of us to rekindle in our hearts and minds zeal for America’s progress in fulfilling her own high purposes. In doing so, our veneration of Christmas and its meaning will be better understood throughout the world and we shall be true to ourselves, to our Nation, and to the Man whose birth, 2,000 years ago, we now celebrate.

And now, I ask Mrs. Eisenhower to join me. It is our privilege to turn on the lights of our National Christmas Tree.



Presidential Christmas Messages

Presidential Christmas Messages 4




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