On September 29, 1965, Poetry Consultant Stephen Spender was invited to be present when President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities Act. President Johnson gave Spender one of the ballpoint pens he had used to sign the act, stamped with the presidential autograph.
Johnson remarked, “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves, and to others, the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”