Proclamations, November 15, 1985

Proclamation 5411 -- National Adoption Week, 1985

November 15, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The basic unit of our society is the family. Families transmit the values and traditions of the past. They are the primary civilizing agent, preparing the young for good citizenship. It is, therefore, fitting that we give special recognition to those generous families that encourage and take part in adoption.

Children who live in a permanent home with caring adoptive parents are far less likely to develop emotional and psychological problems. We must encourage the effort to promote the adoption of all children without families -- with particular emphasis on those who are older, handicapped, or members of minority groups. Whenever possible, the adoption process should work to keep siblings together as they are placed in new families.

Through promotional efforts in the workplace and through inclusion of adoption benefits in employee benefit plans, the American corporate sector has been supporting the adoption of children with special needs. Furthermore, through the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, many children with special needs have been adopted who otherwise might not have been.

National Adoption Week should remind us that no woman need fear that the child she carries is unwanted. It is a sad paradox that while thousands of American couples desperately desire to adopt a baby, many women who undergo abortions every year in the United States are unaware of all the couples eager to share their home with a newborn and to give that child all the love and care they would give if they had been its natural parents. Adoption is an alternative that provides family life for children who cannot live with their biological parents, and it is especially fitting that at Thanksgiving time we emphasize the importance of family life through the observance of National Adoption Week.

This week provides an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to give every child waiting to be adopted the chance to become part of a family. During this holiday season, let us work to encourage community acceptance and support for adoption, and take time to recognize the efforts of adoptive parent groups, companies, organizations, and agencies that assure adoptive placements for waiting children. We also pay tribute to those magnanimous people who have opened their homes and hearts to children, forming the bonds of love that we call the family.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 51, has designated the week of November 24 through November 30, 1985, as ``National Adoption Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 24 through November 30, 1985, as National Adoption Week, and I call on all Americans and governmental and private agencies to observe the week with appropriate activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, 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, 10:41 a.m., November 18, 1985]

Proclamation 5412 -- Thanksgiving Day, 1985

November 15, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Although the time and date of the first American thanksgiving observance may be uncertain, there is no question but that this treasured custom derives from our Judeo-Christian heritage. ``Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks,'' the Psalmist sang, praising God not only for the ``wondrous works'' of His creation, but for loving guidance and deliverance from dangers.

A band of settlers arriving in Maine in 1607 held a service of thanks for their safe journey, and twelve years later settlers in Virginia set aside a day of thanksgiving for their survival. In 1621 Governor William Bradford created the most famous of all such observances at Plymouth Colony when a bounteous harvest prompted him to proclaim a special day ``to render thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.'' The Spaniards in California and the Dutch in New Amsterdam also held services to give public thanks to God.

In 1777, during our War of Independence, the Continental Congress set aside a day for thanksgiving and praise for our victory at the battle of Saratoga. It was the first time all the colonies took part in such an event on the same day. The following year, upon news that France was coming to our aid, George Washington at Valley Forge prescribed a special day of thanksgiving. Later, as our first President, he responded to a Congressional petition by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving Day of the United States of America.

Although there were many state and national thanksgiving days proclaimed in the ensuing years, it was the tireless crusade of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, that finally led to the establishment of this beautiful feast as an annual nationwide observance. Her editorials so touched the heart of Abraham Lincoln that in 1863 -- even in the midst of the Civil War -- he enjoined his countrymen to be mindful of their many blessings, cautioning them not to forget ``the source from which they come,'' that they are '`the gracious gifts of the Most High God . . .'' Who ought to be thanked ``with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.''

It is in that spirit that I now invite all Americans to take part again in this beautiful tradition with its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts. We manifest our gratitude to God for the many blessings he has showered upon our land and upon its people.

In this season of Thanksgiving we are grateful for our abundant harvests and the productivity of our industries; for the discoveries of our laboratories; for the researches of our scientists and scholars; for the achievements of our artists, musicians, writers, clergy, teachers, physicians, businessmen, engineers, public servants, farmers, mechanics, artisans, and workers of every sort whose honest toil of mind and body in a free land rewards them and their families and enriches our entire Nation.

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in the spirit and tradition of the Pilgrims, the Continental Congress, and past Presidents, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 1985, as a day of national Thanksgiving. I call upon every citizen of this great Nation to gather together in homes and places of worship and offer prayers of praise and gratitude for the many blessings Almighty God has bestowed upon our beloved country.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, 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, 10:42 a.m., November 18, 1985]

Proclamation 5410 -- Eugene Ormandy Appreciation Day, 1985

November 15, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Eugene Ormandy was a consummate musician and a masterly conductor, as well as a father figure and an inspiration to generations of gifted American musicians.

As music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 44 years, he brought that ensemble to a point of such polish and perfection that many esteemed it the very greatest in the world. No one could mistake the ``Philadelphia Sound,'' a perfectly pitched and artfully blended miracle of sonorities that was at once lush and supple. Virgil Thomson, the noted critic, has described Ormandy's goal as ``beauty of sound and virtuosity of execution . . . at the service of the music in complete humility.''

Maestro Ormandy achieved that goal by dint of patience, persuasion, and example. He persuaded his musicians to do it his way without taunts or tantrums. They knew how much he loved the music, how much he loved the audiences, and how much he loved them. They could not fail him -- they did not. And he never stinted in giving his musicians the credit. ``They play,'' he said once ``as one great Stradivarius, not as individual musicians.''

It was an accurate description and a supreme tribute from a child prodigy whose musicial genius first found expression on the violin -- at the age of three! Born in Budapest on November 18, 1899, Eugene Ormandy came to the United States in 1921. His first job was as a violinist with the orchestra of the Capitol motion picture theater in New York City. Soon he became its conductor. Then, after a brief stint with the Minneapolis Symphony, Ormandy succeeded the legendary Leopold Stokowski as director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It would be his true home for the rest of his life. Under the magic of his baton, conductor and orchestra entered the musical pantheon of the United States and of the world.

Eugene Ormandy brought widespread acclaim to his adopted nation, which he loved with the passion of a patriot. He served as an ambassador of goodwill through the Philadelphia Orchestra's tours of China, the Soviet Union, South America, Europe, and Japan.

To commemorate these magnificent and enduring contributions of Eugene Ormandy to the rich cultural traditions of the United States, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 174, has authorized and requested the President to declare the anniversary of the birth of Eugene Ormandy as ``Eugene Ormandy Appreciation Day'' and called upon the American people to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby declare November 18, 1985, Eugene Ormandy Appreciation Day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, 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, 10:40 a.m., November 18, 1985]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 16.