President Nixon addresses football players and students of the University of Nebraska at the university’s Coliseum in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 14, 1971.
On January 14, 1971, President Nixon made an appearance at the University of Nebraska to present its football team with a presidential plaque recognizing them as undisputed national champions. The 1970 Nebraska Cornhuskers compiled an impressive record of 11-0-1, and capped off their national championship season with a gritting 17-12 victory over Louisiana State University in the Orange Bowl on January 1.
“This year of football, a year of many great teams, a year in which many can perhaps rightfully claim to be number one, to come to Nebraska, a great university clearly apart from its great records in the field of athletics, to come here to the only major college team that was undefeated, and to make an award is something that I am very proud to do, proud to recognize this university, to recognize its coach, to recognize its co-captains, to recognize its fine members of the team, and in so doing to present the plaque from the President of the United States.”
In his capacity as President of the United States, RN used this ceremonial occasion to expound upon the common problems faced by young and old people of the time. With the student body of the University of Nebraska in mind, the President consoled a generation weary from the burdens of war, and offered inspiration for what was expected to be the foundation for a generation of peace.
“I want yours to be the first generation in this century to enjoy a full generation of peace,” President Nixon emphasized.
To accomplish this would in no way be an easy task. For a nation that had seen all generations of the 20th century at war, the challenges with sustaining peace were just as great as the challenges of war. President Nixon understood this and afforded a solution to this tremendous endeavor.
“There needs to be something more than the mere absence of war in life. Young people need something positive to respond to, some high enterprise in which they can test themselves, fulfill themselves. We must have great goals–goals that are worthy of us, worthy of our resources, our capacities, worthy of the courage and the wisdom and the will of our people. And we do have such great goals at home in America.”
The great goals at home lay in the principal problems America faced domestically. From problems of the environment to the conditions of America’s cities, there were plenty of pressing national issues that required national attention and participation.
“We must face them together. There can be no generation gap in America,” the President The destiny of this Nation is not divided into yours and ours. It is one destiny. We share it together. We are responsible for it together. And in the way we respond, history will judge us together.”