February 26, 1982

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

American women of every race, creed and ethnic background helped found and build our Nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways. As pioneers, teachers, mothers, homemakers, soldiers, nurses and laborers, women played and continue to play a vital role in American economic, cultural and social life. In science, business, medicine, law, the arts and the home, women have made significant contributions to the growth and development of our land. Their diverse service is among America's most precious gifts.

As leaders in public affairs, American women not only worked to secure their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity but also were principal advocates in the abolitionist, temperance, mental health reform, industrial labor and social reform movements, as well as the modern civil rights movement. Their dedication and commitment heightened awareness of our society's needs and accelerated our common efforts to meet those needs.

As volunteers, women have provided invaluable service and leadership in American charitable, philanthropic and cultural endeavors. And, as mothers and homemakers, they remain instrumental in preserving the cornerstone of our Nation's strength -- the family.

In 1981, the Congress by joint resolution (P.L. 97-28, August 4, 1981) designated the week beginning March 7, 1982, as ``Women's History Week'' and asked the President to issue a proclamation to commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. In formally acknowledging the achievements of women, we honor a vital part of our common heritage.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as Women's History Week. Recognizing that the many contributions of American women have at times been overlooked in the annals of American history, I encourage all citizens to observe this important week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and activities planned by individuals, governmental agencies, and private institutions and associations throughout the country.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 26th. day of Feb in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:21 a.m., March 1, 1982]

Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 1.