President John F. Kennedy on the President's Panel on Mental Retardation.
I sent to the Congress today a series of proposals to help fight mental illness and mental retardation. These two afflictions have been long neglected. They occur more frequently, affect more people, require more prolonged treatment, cause more individual and family suffering than other condition in American life. It has been tolerated too long. It has troubled our national conscience, but only as a problem unpleasant to mention, easy to postpone and despairing of solution. The time has come for a great national effort.