In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson first launched Head Start. Intended to be a cornerstone program of his War on Poverty, Johnson said, "Five- and 6-year-old children are inheritors of poverty's curse, and not its creators. Unless we act, these children will pass it on to the next generation, like a family birthmark. I believe that this is one of the constructive, and one of the most sensible, and also one of the most exciting programs that this nation has ever undertaken."
In the ensuing 50 years, more than 32 million children have benefited from Head Start.