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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 22, 1998


Warm greetings to everyone observing Kwanzaa.

In millions of homes across America and around the world, the holiday of Kwanzaa is both a solemn and a joyous occasion. It is a time to honor God and to reaffirm a commitment to the values of love, community, and responsibility. It is a celebration of the diverse cultures within the African diaspora and a time to give thanks for the blessings of family and friendship. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the lessons and legacy of the past so that we might build a better future.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith -- echo many of the same ideals that inspired our country's founders and shaped our nation's character. Crossing lines of religion, culture, and background, these common values help us to forge stronger families and communities and compel us to achieve our highest goals.

As families across our nation gather to celebrate this festive holiday, Hillary and I extend warmest wishes for a joyous Kwanzaa and a new year of peace and happiness.