Democratic Party Platform of 1968


The People

We emphasize that the coldly stated statistics of gains made in the war on poverty must be translated to mean people, in all their yearnings for personal fulfillment. That is true as well of all other things in the great outpouring of constructive legislation that surpassed even the landmark years of the early New Deal.

Education is one example. From the beginning of our Party history, Democrats argued that liberty and learning must find in each other the surest ground for mutual support. The inherited conviction provided the motive force behind the educational legislation of the 1960’s that we enacted:

Because of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, local education has been enriched to the benefit of over 13 million young Americans;

Because of the Higher Education Act of 1965, new college classrooms, laboratories and libraries have been built to assure that higher education will not be the monopoly of the few but the right of the many;

Because of federal assistance to students, the doors to college have been opened for over a million young men and women coming from families with modest means—so that about one out of every five college students is now pursuing his higher education with some kind of federal help;

Because Democrats are convinced that the best of all investments is in the human resources represented by the youth of America, we brought about a four-fold increase in the federal investment in education since 1960. The level now approaches $12 billion annually.

As it promoted better education, so did Democratic leadership promote better health for all.

The program of mercy and justice known as health care for the aged, which President Truman originally proposed and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson fought for, finally became law in the summer of 1965. Because of it, more than seven million older citizens each year are now receiving modern medical care in dignity—no longer forced to depend on charity, no longer a burden on relatives, no longer in physical pain because they cannot afford to pay for the healing power of modern medicine. Virtually all older Americans, the well and the sick alike, are now protected, their lives more secure, their afflictions eased.

To deal with other aspects of the nation’s health needs, measures were enacted in the Democratic years representing an almost fourfold increase in the government’s investment in health. Programs were enacted to cope with the killing diseases of heart, cancer and stroke; to combat mental retardation and mental illness; to increase the manpower supply of trained medical technicians; to speed the construction of new hospitals.

Democrats in the Presidency and in the Congress have led the fight to erase the stain of racial discrimination that tarnished America’s proudly announced proposition that all men are created equal.

We knew that racial discrimination was present in every section of the country. We knew that the enforcement of civil rights and general laws is indivisible. In this conviction, Democrats took the initiative to guarantee the right to safety and security of the person, the right to all the privileges of citizenship, the right to equality of opportunity in employment, and the right to public services and accommodations and housing. For example:

Because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all men born equal in the eyes of their Creator are by law declared to be equal when they apply for a job, or seek a night’s lodging or a good meal;

Because of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the right to the ballot box—the right on which all other rights depend—has been reinforced by law;

Because of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, all families will have an equal right to live where they wish.


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Chicago: "The People," Democratic Party Platform of 1968 in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.720 Original Sources, accessed December 7, 2022,

MLA: . "The People." Democratic Party Platform of 1968, in Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.720, Original Sources. 7 Dec. 2022.

Harvard: , 'The People' in Democratic Party Platform of 1968. cited in , Donald B. Johnson, Ed. National Party Platforms, 1840–1976. Supplement 1980. (Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois), P.720. Original Sources, retrieved 7 December 2022, from