Proclamation 4916 -- National Maritime Day, 1982

April 1, 1982

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Since the inception of our great Nation the American merchant marine has contributed to its security and economic growth.

It is a vital lifeline linking the United States with its trading partners. In times of war it serves as our ``fourth arm of defense'' providing logistic support to our Armed Forces.

For too long, our shipping industry has been in a state of decline, and its ability to meet the Nation's economic and defense needs has eroded. My Administration is firmly committed to the rejuvenation of the American merchant marine.

In recognition of the importance of the American merchant marine, the Congress, by joint resolution of May 20, 1933, designated May 22 as National Maritime Day and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance. The date was chosen to commemorate the same date in 1819 when the SS Savannah departed Savannah, Georgia, on the first transatlantic steamship voyage.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to honor our American Merchant Marine on May 22, 1982, the fiftieth observance of National Maritime Day, by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and other suitable places, and I request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 1st day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:23 a.m., April 2, 1982]