A Common Thread of Service . Secretary Celebrezze


On July 31, 1962, Anthony J. Celebrezze, who had served as mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1953 to 1962, was sworn in as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare replacing Abraham Ribicoff.

The Public Welfare Amendments of 1962 enabled sweeping changes in the delivery of public assistance including a family-centered approach to welfare problems.

A major milestone was reached in the Department's vocational rehabilitation program in FY 1962, the first year that more than 100,000 disabled persons-actually 102,377-were rehabilitated successfully to productive employment.

Additional organizational changes in the Public Health Service during 1962 broadened and strengthened the Agency's mission to enhance the health status of the Nation. A new Division of Community Health Services was established to help local communities in their planning and coordination of vital public and private health and medical services. On October 17, P.L. 87-838 established the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development within NIH to provide a central facility for research on unsolved problems relating to child health, prenatal development, and aging. At the same time, the Division of General Medical Sciences was elevated to Institute status, giving added recognition to a Federal program which supports research in sciences basic to medicine and biology. These changes took effect January 30, 1963.


On January 25, the Secretary ordered a reorganization of the Department to emphasize changing priorities and better align related functions. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation was renamed the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration. The Welfare Administration was established to administer the Department's public assistance programs. Accordingly, three units were transferred to the Welfare Administration from the Social Security Administrationthe Cuban Refugee Program, the Bureau of Family Services, and the Children's Bureau-and two units, the Office of Aging and the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development, were transferred from the Office of the Secretary.

On April 11, 1963, the Department marked its 10th anniversary. During that period, the Department's budget had nearly tripled, from $7 billion, including $1.9 billion in general funds, to $20.1 billion, of which $5.1 billion represented general funds. Paid employees had increased from 35,408 to 81,062.

On June 9, 1963, the Secretary announced appointment of a 13-member advisory council to review the status of social security trust funds and equity of benefits. Payments under OASDI during FY 1963 totaled $15 billion. At the end of June 1963, 18.6 million persons were receiving benefits, 14.4 of whom were aged 62 and over. The average retired worker was receiving $73 a month, while the average retired couple was receiving $128.70.

At the end of fiscal year 1963, about 6.8 million needy men, women, and children, or about 3.6 percent of the Nation's population, were being helped by the five federally supported public assistance programs. Benefits totaled $4.2 billion.

Major health legislation passed during 1963 included: the Health Professions Education Assistance Act, an important step toward meeting the Nation's critical shortage of health manpower; the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act; and the Clean Air Act, which provided increased assistance to State and local governments to meet the problems of air pollution.

In the educational field, the Higher Educational Facilities Act of 1963 authorized Federal grants and loans to assist eligible public and other nonprofit institutions of higher education in financing construction, rehabilitation, or improvement of certain academic and related facilities. Assistance was to be principally for the construction of classrooms and laboratories which would result in a substantial expansion of needed student enrollment capacity. Assistance also was authorized to improve or establish graduate schools and cooperative graduate centers to increase the nation's supply of critically needed professional personnel. The Vocational Education Act of 1963 increased and extended existing vocational education programs, teacher training, and curriculum development.

Also in 1963, the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments to the Social Security Act expanded substantially the Welfare Administration's services in behalf of children.

In December 1963, the National Library of Medicine activated its Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS), including its Index Medicus, a monthly listing of articles from the world's biomedical literature.


Early in 1964, the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service released his first report on smoking and health, which concluded that "cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action".

Several important health measures were enacted in 1964. The Nurse Training Act provided for the construction of new schools of nursing and expansion of existing schools, loans for nursing students, and funds for curriculum development. The Hill-Burton hospital construction program was extended under P.L. 88-443 for 5 years and the professional public health traineeship program was extended by P.L. 88-497 .

The Library Services and Construction Act of 1964, P.L. 88-269, February 11, 1964, amended the Library Services Act of 1956 to improve and develop public library services and facilities in areas without such services or with inadequate services. It extended services to urban areas and provided Federal assistances to the States for the construction of public library buildings.

During fiscal year 1964, Section 102(b)(6), of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, P.L. 87-256, known as the Fulbright-Hays Act, went into effect. It provided for modern foreign language training and area studies in United States schools, colleges and universities, visits and study in foreign countries by teachers and prospective teachers to improve their language and area culture knowledge, including summer seminars abroad, and for visits by foreign specialists to the United States.

Under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed on July 2, 1964, the Commissioner of Education was directed to survey and report to the President and the Congress on the extent to which discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin limited equal educational opportunities in public educational institutions in the United States. The Act also authorized grants, training institutes, and technical assistance to overcome problems of desegregation.

Title VI of the Act stated: "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance".

Within a week after enactment of the law, teams of HEW officials were touring the South and meeting with superintendents of schools to discuss voluntary compliance with the new law. Thus began the Department's civil rights compliance program that was to embrace school districts, hospitals, nursing homes and welfare agencies. Civil rights enforcement eventually was moved to the Office of the Secretary so that the law could be more effectively enforced.

The Economic Opportunity Act, approved August 20, 1964, created a host of new resources for helping families escape the cycle of poverty, including several new programs for the Department. Title V of the Act created the Work Experience and Training Program for jobless needy people which became the responsibility of the Welfare Administration. Title I-C created a Work-Study program for needy college students and Title II-B authorized Federal grants for adult basic education. Both programs were delegated to the Office of Education. Joint planning by OEO and OE was required to implement the Head Start and Upward Bound programs.

The Food and Drug Administration in 1964 accelerated its efforts to crack down on health food rackets, which it conservatively estimated cost 10 million Americans more than $500 million a year.


Two major organizational changes took place in 1965. The Older Americans Act, signed by the President July 14, 1965, established the Administration on Aging, elevating the Welfare Administration's Office of Aging to agency status, beginning in fiscal year 1966. The Water Quality Act, October 2, 1965, established the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, elevating a Public Health Service division to agency level. Also during 1965, the Secretary ordered internal reorganizations of the Social Security Administration and the Office of Education to improve their administration of programs.

The White House Conference on Education met in Washington July 20-21, 1965, with 600 leaders in education, industry, labor, and government attending.