President Carter Swears In Mary King
President Carter’s remarks at the Swearing In of the Chairman of the Council on Environmental
Quality, the Deputy Director of ACTION, and the Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency. March 11, 1977
. . . . Among my closest friends in the world are two people who mean a lot to me, and I think in
the past and in the future will mean a lot to our country. One of them is Dr. Peter Bourne, who
helped me in Georgia to set up one of the finest drug treatment programs in the Nation. He’s
recognized as the foremost expert on alcoholism, drugs, their impact, and the way to control them
properly. His wife, Mary King, is also one who has been very close to me. When I was
campaigning for President, whenever I came to Washington, not having enough support or
finances to afford a hotel room, I always slept on their folding bed and they always took me in.
And I’m very excited to know that Mary King, who is an expert on health care in all its forms, on
the proper utilization of volunteer Americans, who has a sensitivity and a courage that’s absolutely
superlative, is willing to serve in an agency that will spread this kind of knowledge throughout the
The ACTION program is one that’s involved with the Peace Corps, with VISTA, and with the
recruitment and use of Americans—sometimes outside Government itself—who are willing to
serve this country and other nations who are friends of ours.
I’m very grateful that Mary King is going to be the Deputy Director of ACTION. And when I
asked her to serve, she said that she would do it if I would be present at her swearing-in
ceremony. Nothing could have kept me away. Mary, I’m very proud of you. And I know this is
going to be a great experience for you and for me both. . . .
This is going to be a competent, dedicated, courageous, tough partnership. And I believe that the
people of our country can rest assured that in the years to come, that our quality of life will never
be abridged nor will it deteriorate. And I hope that we can set a standard in this country that will
be emulated by other nations around the world as we deal with kind of an unexplored opportunity
to protect the things that are precious to us.
So, I am thankful to all of you for being willing to serve with us.
[At this point, Chief Judge David Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit,
administered the oath of office. The President then resumed speaking as follows:]
Judge, thank you very much.
This is my first experience in the Rose Garden, and I’m glad to be here where my predecessor
enjoyed so many favorable press conferences.
NOTE: The President spoke at 2:24 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.