Proclamations, May 30, 1986

Proclamation 5496 -- National Neighborhood Housing Services Week, 1986

May 30, 1986

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

America's neighborhoods are made up of families representing a great variety of ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. From this rich mix of cultures and experiences, a strong sense of cooperation and commitment has emerged that enhances our sense of the Nation as a larger family of people caring for one another. As we complete our preparations for the national celebration of the centennial of the Statue of Liberty this July 4, we are made even more aware of the special blessings, the strengths, and the virtues that flow from our long heritage of welcoming and drawing on the experiences of people from diverse backgrounds to make our free society ever more dynamic, cohesive, and productive.

When any neighborhood suffers from decline due to loss of business or other factors, all of its residents feel the pinch, but the elderly and the poor suffer most. Homes decline in value, economic growth stops, businesses relocate, and residents face real hardships. The Nation as a whole suffers, since thriving neighborhoods are the living cells of our national life. That is why it is so important to arrest the deterioration and revive the strength and vigor of America's neighborhoods.

Traditionally, Americans have recognized such problems and have worked together to develop practical solutions at the grass-roots level. Neighborhood Housing Services programs, which are partnerships made up of local residents, business leaders, and government officials, reflect this spirit and give scope to the ingenuity of the American people. Throughout the United States, Neighborhood Housing Services programs are working to revitalize more than 200 neighborhoods. Already, they have generated more than three billion dollars in reinvestment funds. Rather than looking to the Federal government for assistance, these programs have relied primarily on local and private resources and the help of hundreds of volunteers. These volunteers have contributed countless hours of work to help rebuild and revitalize neighborhoods.

The efforts and accomplishments of Neighborhood Housing Services programs have earned the respect and gratitude of all who recognize that local initiatives and self-reliance will always be the major factor in solving local problems. It is fitting and appropriate that their efforts be recognized by all Americans.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 492, has designated the week beginning June 1, 1986, as ``National Neighborhood Housing Services 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 beginning June 1, 1986, as National Neighborhood Housing Services Week. I call upon local and State jurisdictions, appropriate Federal agencies, and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of May, 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 tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:09 a.m., June 2, 1986]

Proclamation 5497 -- National Theatre Week, 1986

May 30, 1986

By the President of the United

of America

A Proclamation

Theatre is an ancient and honored art form with a recorded history spanning 2,500 years. Some have speculated that its roots go so deep in human nature and human experience that it may well be the wellspring of all the arts. We do know that poetry, story-telling, dance, music, masks, costumes, and sets all have a place in what we have come to call ``theatre.'' These elements can be found in the performances of primitive tribes and the most sophisticated modern productions. In fact we see the impulse to theatre in every child who has ever played ``let's pretend'' or ``make believe.''

Theatre lets us stand apart from the flow of life: to feel pity and understanding and empathy; to smile at human foibles and to weep at human tragedies. Theatre is an art form for all seasons and all moods. It can refresh our spirits with comic hijinks, dazzle us with the splendor of pageantry, and impart rich insights into human relationships. It can convulse us into gales of laughter, wring our hearts with pathos, and dramatize eternal moral truths. In the works of such giants as Shakespeare, Goethe, Moliere, and O'Neill it can do all these things.

In one respect theatre is an art of the present moment -- once performed it is gone, save in the memory of the audience. Yet new productions and performances give it a kind of ever-renewed immortality. It can put us in touch with the culture, conditions, and viewpoints of many civilizations. Indeed, theatre is at once a reminder and an affirmation of the continuity of civilization and the fundamental unity of all mankind.

That continuity is manifested not only in performances of plays of the past, but also in the attempts of modern artists to give voice to the conditions and experiences of our own time. These efforts, in turn, will enrich the legacy we will leave to future generations.

Today, theatre exists not only in the traditional cultural centers of our country but all across the land. Theatre at all levels -- professional, community, and school -- has sprung up in every region of our country. There is no greater testimony to mankind's need for theatre than this. Today we are experiencing a renaissance of the living theatre, with great gains in artistic excellence, in aesthetic variety and diversity of cultural voices -- and in growing and loyal audiences throughout America.

In recognition of the importance of theatre in the lives of all Americans, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 247, has authorized the President to proclaim the week of June 1 through June 7, 1986, as ``National Theatre Week.''

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning June 1, 1986, as National Theatre Week. I encourage the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, performances, programs, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of May, 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 tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:10 a.m., June 2, 1986]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 31.