Proclamation 4961 -- Leif Erikson Day, 1982

September 8, 1982

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Leif Erikson was the son of Greenland's first colonizer, and he continued the tradition of the Nordic seafarers. Charged by King Olaf I to spread religion among the Greenland settlers, he helped expand mankind's knowledge of previously uncharted territory. In carrying European culture to the new world, he enhanced that culture when his adventures gave rise to the great medieval sagas, some of the finest literature of their period.

Americans will have the rare privilege of seeing the original saga manuscripts this year as part of an extraordinary program of Nordic culture. With the opening of Scandinavia Today on September 8, our country will pay special tribute to the people and accomplishments of the Nordic countries, and the legacy of Leif Erikson will be shared by our countrymen in exhibits and programs throughout the United States.

As a mark of respect to the courage of Leif Erikson and his Norse followers, the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution approved September 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 849, 36 U.S.C. 169c) authorized the President to proclaim October 9 in each year as Leif Erikson Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Saturday, October 9, 1982, as Leif Erikson Day and I direct the appropriate Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings that day.

I also invite the people of the United States to honor the memory of Leif Erikson on that day by holding appropriate exercises and ceremonies in suitable places throughout the land.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 8th. day of Sept., 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 seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:53 a.m., September 9, 1982]