Proclamation 5374 -- Leif Erikson Day, 1985

October 3, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Sent by King Olav in the year 1000 to bring Christianity to the Nordic settlers in Greenland, Leif Erikson set out on a daring and danger-filled voyage that began a centuries-long relationship between the Nordic peoples and the lands of North America. ``Leif the Lucky,'' as his contemporaries knew him, sailed well beyond the tip of Greenland to the shores of the North American mainland. His enthusiastic account of his voyage describes a fertile land abounding in fruit, grain, and timber.

Hundreds of years later, millions of Nordics followed in the wake of Leif Erikson, crossing the Atlantic to make their homes in this land of opportunity. Pressing westward, they settled across the continent, making important contributions to American agriculture and industry. Prizing personal freedom, hard work, and family values, these hardy God-fearing pioneers played a key role in shaping the American character. Today, cultural exchanges, commercial ties, and cordial diplomatic relations with the countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden continue to enrich the lives of all Americans.

To commemorate the courage of Leif Erikson and in recognition of our long and fruitful relationship with the peoples of northern Europe, the Congress of the United States, by a joint resolution approved on September 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 849, 36 U.S.C. 169c), has authorized and requested the President to proclaim October 9 of each year as Leif Erikson Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 1985, as Leif Erikson Day, 1985, 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 Leif Erikson and our Nordic-American heritage by holding appropriate exercises and ceremonies in suitable places throughout the land.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:31 a.m., October 4, 1985]