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michael jackson

AP PHoto / Aaron Lambert

When Michael Jackson died, he left behind an unparalleled musical legacy.

But the pop icon, who died three years ago, was also known—for better or for worse—for his dedication to children's causes. And it turns out he envisioned the whole country setting aside a day to honor young people, just as they do mothers, fathers, veterans, momentous dates in history, etc.

In a recording exclusively obtained by E! News, Jackson can be heard discussing his wish for a national children's day with confidante Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who is now running for congress in New Jersey on a platform that includes a proposal that, in his view, could help keep his late friend's dream alive.

"If there was a children's day when I was little...do you know what that would have meant for me?" Jackson told Boteach. "That would have meant so much to me, Shmuley."

"You would have said, 'Daddy, today's Children's Day, what are we doing for it?'" Boteach agreed.

Jackson envisioned children paying the kindnesses they received forward when grew up. "They complete the circle and take care of their father and their mother because [of] how they were treated when they were young," he mused. "Come on, what's more beautiful than that? I think that's beautiful. We need to bring back family."