Proclamation 5035 -- National Maritime Day, 1983

March 24, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The restructuring of longstanding Federal maritime policies constitutes a high priority of my Administration.

Considerable progress has been made in removing unnecessary regulatory constraints which contribute to inefficiency and increased costs of our shipping and shipbuilding. These efforts will continue and will greatly enhance our maritime posture. Over the next few years, new generations of efficient and productive merchant ships will improve the competitiveness of our fleet.

These and other announced policy initiatives are part of my firm commitment to provide the foundation upon which to build and maintain the strong merchant marine needed to serve the Nation's waterborne commerce and national defense requirements.

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. This date was chosen to commemorate the day 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 designate May 22, 1983, as the fifty-first observance of National Maritime Day. I urge the people of the United States to honor our American merchant marine on that 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 24th day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, 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, 2:45 p.m., March 25, 1983]

Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 25.