Return of the Buffalo: The Story behind America's Indian Gaming Explosion

By Ambrose I. Lane | Go to book overview

1
Prologue to Rebirth
In a speech on May 22, 1964, at the University of Michigan, President Lyndon B. Johnson challenged his listeners to "help build a society where the demands of morality and the needs of the spirit can be realized in the life of the nation." He called it the Great Society.The Great Society, said the President, "is not a safe harbor, a resting place. ... It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor. . . . It rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice of which we are totally committed in our time." He urged the students and their parents and teachers to join his efforts to begin the creation of such a society, "to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit."Three months later, on August 20, 1964, the cornerstone of his plan was laid in the enactment of the Economic Opportunity Act -- a movement that became popularly known as the War on Poverty. In the Findings and Declaration of Purpose section of that Act there appeared these words:

It is, therefore, the policy of the United States to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in this Nation by opening to everyone the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity. (Emphasis added.)

That Act was the most unique law ever passed by a parliamentary body in any industrialized nation in the world, and among its claims to uniqueness were:
1. No other nation in the recorded history of humanity ever declared an

-1-

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