Proclamation 5326 -- National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1985

April 23, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Our Nation's history can be traced through the development and growth of transportation in America. Our country has grown as transportation has given us access to new geographic, economic, and technical frontiers.

During colonial days, Americans were dependent on the river systems and ocean ports still used in commerce today. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to explore the West through our rivers, providing new opportunities for trade and commerce. In 1825, the Erie Canal, connecting Buffalo to New York, opened the Great Lakes for settlement and industry.

Pioneers broke new ground to the West by way of the Cumberland Road in 1811. Other highways were soon developed to move people and goods across the wilderness. Completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 joined East to West, ushering in a new era of transportation, strengthening American commerce.

Aviation history was made at Kitty Hawk in 1903, launching an aviation system now serving over 300 million passengers a year. Today, we are witnessing the beginning of a new era in space transportation with the development of commercial space vehicles.

As our cities grew, transit systems evolved to provide affordable, convenient urban transportation. The 20th Century brought the automobile, truck, intercity bus, rapid rail systems, and an expanded road system that now includes thousands of miles of interstate highways.

As has been true throughout our history, transportation today is critical to our economy and necessary to our defense. America's transportation systems have made our society the most mobile on earth. A diverse transportation network has assured the rapid, safe, and dependable movement of people and goods throughout the country and around the world.

In recognition of transportation's importance, and to honor the millions of Americans who serve and supply our transportation needs, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957, has requested that the third Friday in May of each year be designated as National Defense Transportation Day; and by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962, that the week in which that Friday falls be proclaimed National Transportation Week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Friday, May 17, 1985, as National Defense Transportation Day and the week beginning May 12, 1985, through May 18, 1985, as National Transportation Week. I urge the people of the United States to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies that will give full recognition to the importance of our transportation system to this country.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of April, 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, 11:33 a.m., April 24, 1985]