Statement by President John F. Kennedy, May 1, 1962, upon signing the Educational Television Facilities Act, Public Law 87-447 (76 Stat. 64), which provided subsidies for educational broadcasting facilities. This marks a new chapter in the expression of federal interest in education. One hundred years ago, with the enactment of the Morrill Land Grant College Act, higher education was made a matter of national concern while, at the same time, state operation and control were retained. Today, we take a similar action.
With this law, signed by President Kennedy on May 1, 1962, Congress gave the first major federal aid to public broadcasting. The grants for new and replacement facilities and equipment were overseen by the Office of Education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The successor Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) was operated by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the Department of Commerce until 2011, when budget cutbacks ended PTFP appropriations (Current, April 18, 2001). The act became Part IV of the Public Broadcasting Act:
PART IV — GRANTS FOR EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION BROADCASTING FACILITIES
Declaration of Purpose