Proclamations, January 29, 1985

Proclamation 5295 -- American Heart Month, 1985

January 29, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Despite progress in many areas, cardiovascular disease remains this Nation's number one cause of death. The sad fact is that more than 40 million Americans have one or more forms of heart or blood vessel disease. Strokes afflict almost two million people annually. As many as 1.5 million persons will have a heart attack this year, and approximately 550,000 of them will die. In all, diseases of the heart and blood vessels will take the lives of almost one million of our fellow citizens -- some of whom may be our family members, our friends and our co-workers.

Almost as many people will die from cardiovascular disease during 1985 as from cancer, accidents, and all other causes combined. Economic losses will also run high. This Nation will spend an estimated $72 billion in 1985 for medical treatment, lost salaries, rehiring and training, and insurance and disability claims resulting from heart and blood vessel disease.

The American Heart Association, a not-for-profit volunteer health agency, and the Federal government, primarily through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, are providing hope. In 1948, those two organizations joined forces to seek ways to reduce early death and disability from heart disease, stroke, and related disorders. Since then, much has been accomplished through research, professional and public education, and community service programs.

We have learned, for example, that maintaining proper nutrition, not smoking, and controlling high blood pressure can make a significant difference in the rate of incidence of these diseases. As a result, the death rates for heart attacks and strokes are much lower today than they were in 1948.

Even more progress should result from efforts by the Federal government and the American Heart Association to make everyone more aware of the dangers of smoking. Tougher labeling laws for cigarette packaging and advertising enacted last year by Congress will help. Research projects, such as the Coronary Primary Prevention Trials concluded in 1984, have given new impetus to the American Heart Association's long-standing finding that control of blood cholesterol decreases risk for heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association has taken major steps to inform the public about the significance of those test results, to influence Americans to adopt a prudent diet, and to encourage the efforts of scientists who are unlocking the mysteries of heart and blood vessel diseases.

Recognizing the need for all Americans to help in the continuing battle against cardiovascular disease, the Congress, by joint resolution approved December 30, 1963 (77 Stat. 843; 36 U.S.C. 169b), has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of February 1985 as American Heart Month. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in reaffirming our commitment to the resolution of the nationwide problem of cardiovascular disease.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of January, 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 ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:16 p.m., January 30, 1985]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 30.

Proclamation 5296 -- National Day of Prayer, 1985

January 29, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The history of the American Nation is one of conviction in the face of tyranny, courage in the midst of turmoil and faith despite the roils of doubt and defeatism. Throughout our 208 years of freedom, the people of the United States have drawn upon the lessons learned at the dawn of our liberty by acting ``with a firm reliance on Divine Providence'' and expressing gratitude for the many blessings a loving God has showered upon us.

These lessons have not been learned and honored without difficulty. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed a National Day of Prayer each year for eight years, a practice that ended with the winning of the peace in 1783. Decades later, while the Civil War raged, this observance was renewed by Abraham Lincoln. Responding to a Senate Resolution requesting the President to designate and set apart a day for prayer and humiliation, Lincoln said that ``intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.'' He then called the Nation to prayer.

Our very existence as a free Nation, then, has provided potent witness to the efficacy of prayer. Grover Cleveland, in his First Inaugural Address, said, ``Above all, I know that there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid.'' Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his Fourth Inaugural Address, expressed the same thought, ``The Almighty God has blessed our land in many ways . . . So we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly -- to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men -- to the achievement of His will, to peace on earth.''

Today our Nation is at peace and is enjoying prosperity, but our need for prayer is even greater. We can give thanks to God for the ever-increasing abundance He has bestowed on us, and we can remember all those in our society who are in need of help, whether it be material assistance in the form of charity or simply a friendly word of encouragement. We are all God's handiwork, and it is appropriate for us as individuals and as a Nation to call to Him in prayer.

By joint resolution of the Congress approved April 17, 1952, the recognition of a particular day set aside each year as a National Day of Prayer has become a cherished national tradition. Since that time, every President has proclaimed an annual National Day of Prayer, resuming the tradition begun by the Continental Congress.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 2, 1985, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of this great Nation to gather together on that day in homes and places of worship to pray, each after his or her own manner, for unity of the hearts of all mankind.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of January, 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 ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:17 p.m., January 30, 1985]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 30.