October the people of the United States celebrate the day
nearly 500 autumns ago when Christopher Columbus and the crews of the Nina, the
Pinta, and the Santa Maria found a New World. That world is our Western Hemisphere, and we in the United States trace the history and
development of our country and our culture back to Columbus and his daring exploration,
his initiative, his faith, and his courage.
Columbus continues to inspire
the United States and the rest of the
world for almost half a thousand years because of his great understanding and
vision and because of his single-minded determination to let no disappointment,
ridicule, or risk keep him from a goal he knew to be
sensible, feasible, and of great promise. He viewed the unknown as an
opportunity, not as a danger.
Admiral of the OceanSeas is remembered as well
for challenging the horizons of his time and place, for his spirit of reaching
beyond the obvious, for defying the pessimists and expanding the frontiers of
knowledge. That spirit animated those who followed him to the New World through the centuries
and brought untold energy, boldness, and ingenuity with them. We Americans are
risk-takers; like Columbus, we have a vision of
the world as it can be, and of the future as an opportunity and a challenge.
Americans have special reason to celebrate Columbus Day with great pride. Columbus was the first of many
Italian travelers who have made contributions to the New World. Columbus is one of many links
binding the United States and Italy in a special
tribute also has special meaning for Americans of Spanish descent. Without
Spanish support, Columbus's voyage of discovery
would not have been possible. Spain's contribution to the New World and to its cultural and
economic heritage went on to be even larger, as the recent visit by Their
Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain to the American
Southwest reminded us.
year 1992 will be the 500th anniversary of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. The Christopher
Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission, a
distinguished group of Americans aided by representatives from Spain and Italy,
prepared a report that I transmitted to the Congress in September of this year,
making recommendations for our Nation's observance of the Quincentenary,
including themes that embody the broad significance of this anniversary and
suggestions for Quincentenary programs that will
extend to communities, organizations, and institutions around the United
tribute to Christopher Columbus, the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution
approved April 30, 1934 (48 Stat. 657), as
modified by the Act of June 28, 1968 (82 Stat. 250), has
requested the President to proclaim the second Monday in October of each year
as ``Columbus Day.''
Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of
America, do hereby proclaim Monday,
October 12, 1987, as Columbus Day. I invite the people of this Nation to
observe that day with appropriate ceremonies in honor of this great explorer. I
also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all
public buildings on the appointed day in honor of Christopher Columbus.
Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the
year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of
America the two hundred and twelfth.
[Filed with the Office
of the Federal Register, , October 2, 1987]
Note: The proclamation
was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 2.