Proclamation 5588 -- Wright Brothers Day, 1986

 

December 8, 1986

 

By the President of the United States of America

 

A Proclamation

 

If any event ever altered the future of mankind radically and irrevocably, it was the manned, engine-powered airplane flight of Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903.

 

Before that day, people could but dream of flight or imitate it by floating in balloons. But forever after, thanks to Orville and Wilbur Wright, man could travel the skies as he had the continents, rivers, and seas throughout the ages.

 

The benefits of manned flight have been incalculable. Today, our world is linked by a global air transportation system that enables us to travel safely and efficiently virtually anywhere in a matter of hours. Aviation technology has built on the foundations of manned airplane flight to provide advances in science, medicine, and many other fields. And mankind has ventured beyond the skies into space.

 

Just as the principles of flight that the Wright Brothers harnessed still apply, so too their spirit -- invention, exploration, originality, innovation -- continues to motivate all those who would expand knowledge for the good of man. We owe the Wright Brothers a debt of gratitude for their invention of engine-powered flight but also for their immortal lesson of independence and determination.

 

The Congress, by joint resolution of December 17, 1963 (77 Stat. 402; 36 U.S.C. 169), has designated the seventeenth day of December of each year as Wright Brothers Day and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation inviting the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

 

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 17, 1986, as Wright Brothers Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, both to recall the accomplishments of the Wright Brothers and to provide a stimulus to aviation in this country and throughout the world.

 

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:32 p.m., December 9, 1986]

 

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 9.