A commitment to hope: Richard Nixon and the National Cancer Act

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Spotlight article 

On Dec.  23, 1971, in the East Room of the White House, describing it as something akin to  a Christmas gift to the American people,  President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971.

“We are here today for the purpose of signing the Cancer Act of 1971,” President Nixon said in his remarks before signing the act. “And I hope that in the years ahead, that we may look back on this day and this action as being the most significant action taken during this administration,” he added.

To honor and celebrate the milestone 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Cancer Act, the Richard Nixon Foundation has gathered Nobel Prize laureates and America’s top cancer doctors for the inaugural Nixon National Cancer Conference.

The conference opened at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California on Dec. 1, and included an in-depth and fascinating look back at the history of the National Cancer Act as well as the official opening of a new special exhibit at the Nixon Library entitled, “A Commitment to Hope: Richard Nixon and the National Cancer Act.”


Quote of the week

I hope that in the years ahead, that we may look back on this day and this action as being the most significant action taken during this administration.

Richard Nixon

Recent contributions


This column features the latest posts to the Cancer History Project by our growing list of contributors

The Cancer History Project is a free, web-based, collaborative resource intended to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act and designed to continue in perpetuity. The objective is to assemble a robust collection of historical documents and make them freely available. 

Access to the Cancer History Project is open to the public at CancerHistoryProject.com. You can also follow us on Twitter at @CancerHistProj.

Is your institution a contributor to the Cancer History Project? Eligible institutions include cancer centers, advocacy groups, professional societies, pharmaceutical companies, and key organizations in oncology. 

To apply to become a contributor, please contact admin@cancerhistoryproject.com.

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