Act to Support the National Endowment for the Humanities


The 1964 Report of the Commission on the Humanities argued that the humanities should have a place in federal efforts to provide for the common good. That report led to the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) a year later. The Commission’s formulation of the public purpose of the humanities was repeated in the legislation creating NEH: “Democracy demands wisdom.” And further: “This Commission conceives of the humanities, not merely as academic disciplines confined to schools and colleges, but as functioning components of society which affect the lives and well-being of all the population.”

ACLS is proud to have co-sponsored the Commission along with the Council of Graduate Schools, and the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa in the United States. Over 50 years later, when the existence of the NEH is in jeopardy, we reaffirm the need for strong federal funding to assure that the knowledge and understanding borne by the humanities are a common heritage and not reserved for a narrow elite. The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) helps ACLS, our member societies, and the whole humanities community make the case for continued federal support. Please visit Act Now to Support NEH! on the NHA's website to learn how your voice can be heard.