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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Athens, Greece)
For Immediate Release                                  November 19, 1999




Families are the foundation of our individual lives and the life of our Nation. We turn to our families for the nurturing, guidance, and unconditional love that sustain us; from them we learn the values and convictions that sustain our society.

I am proud of my Administration's commitment to providing families with the resources they need to flourish. We have strengthened family incomes through the Child Tax Credit and by increasing the minimum wage and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and today the yearly income of a typical American family is higher than it has ever been in our Nation's history. We have opened the doors of higher education by making student loans less expensive and easier to repay and by providing new tax credits and larger Pell Grant scholarships. We are also working to ensure that parents have access to quality and affordable child care for their children. These and other family-friendly policies, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act I signed into law in 1993, have helped parents to balance the demands of work and family and have brought increased financial security, expanded opportunity, and renewed hope for the future to families across America.

As we look to that future, we must not forget our rich history. We are fast approaching the dawn of a new millennium, and my Administration is marking this historic milestone with family-oriented programs that honor the past and imagine the future. Through "My History is America's History," a project sponsored by the White House Millennium Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are encouraging our Nation's families to rediscover America's history by recording and preserving their own stories and passing them on to the next generation. Through remembered conversations, restored photographs, treasured letters, diaries, or other keepsakes, each family can recognize and preserve its part in America's rich and complex story and give a priceless gift to the future.

As we gather in our homes once again at this time of thanksgiving, let us recognize that the family members who surround us are among the most precious blessings in our lives, and let us pledge to keep their stories alive for the benefit of generations to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 21 through November 27, 1999, as National Family Week. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to honor American families with appropriate programs and activities, and I urge all the people of the United States to reaffirm their family ties and to share their family histories.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.


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