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Archives for January 1997

Miller Williams’ Inaugural Poem – 1997

This is the poem written and read by Miller Williams at President Bill Clinton’s Second Inauguration.

The poem was titled: Of History and Hope.

Miller Williams’ Inaugural Poem.

Miller Williams

Of History and Hope

We have memorized America,

how it was born and who we have been and where.

In ceremonies and silence we say the words,

telling the stories, singing the old songs.

We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.

The great and all the anonymous dead are there.

We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.

The rich taste of it is on our tongues.

But where are we going to be, and why, and who?

The disenfranchised dead want to know.

We mean to be the people we meant to be,

to keep on going where we meant to go.

But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how

except in the minds of those who will call it Now?

The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?

With waving hands — oh, rarely in a row —

and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.

Who were many people coming together

cannot become one people falling apart.

Who dreamed for every child an even chance

cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.

Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head

cannot let chaos make its way to the heart.

Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child

cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.

We know what we have done and what we have said,

and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,

believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become —

just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.

All this in the hands of children, eyes already set

on a land we never can visit — it isn’t there yet —

but looking through their eyes, we can see

what our long gift to them may come to be.

If we can truly remember, they will not forget.


Second Inaugural Address: President Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was inaugurated for a second term on January 20, 1997, after winning the 1996 election.

Clinton, a Democrat, won re-election in the face of fierce opposition from his Republican Party opponents, which included a government shutdown. The opposition was to continue and result in Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.

President Bill Clinton’s Second Inaugural Address.

My fellow citizens:

At this last presidential inauguration of the 20th century, let us lift our eyes toward the challenges that await us in the next century. It is our great good fortune that time and chance have put us not only on the edge of a new century, in a new millennium, but on the edge of a bright new prospect in human affairs. A moment that will define our course, and our character for decades to come. We must keep our old democracy forever young. Guided by the ancient vision of a promised land, let us set our sights upon a land of New Promise. [Read more…]

Kernot: The Leadership Test – Australia In The Next 20 Years

This is the text of Senator Cheryl Kernot’s Address to the Australian Democrats National Conference.

The Leadership Test: Australia In The Next 20 Years

Cheryl KernotThis 20th anniversary conference represents a remarkable achievement in Australians politics. It represents the survival, growth, determination and commitment of the Australian Democrats.

While this conference celebrates that achievement and looks back on our record over the past 20 years, I want to look forward. I want to look forward to where Australia is heading over the next 20 years. I want to raise questions about what sort of leadership is required to see Australia through those 20 years and I want to ask whether our major parties have the courage and the vision to build a fair, equitable and successful Australia in the face of the massive changes brought about by the new era of globalisation.

A few weeks back – in his self-congratulatory summing up of his first nine months in office – John Howard said he was glad to see Australia was ‘still an egalitarian society’. The questions he didn’t address were: for how long is it going to stay that way and what is a Howard Government going to do to maintain and enhance that egalitarianism? [Read more…]

US Senators 1997 – Full List

This is the full list of United States senators following the November 1996 elections.

There are 100 senators in total. Each state has two senators.

Senators chosen at the elections took their seats in January. Senators serve six-year terms, with one-third facing the electorate every two years. [Read more…]