November 28, 1984
Conferral of Honorary Citizenship of the United States Upon William Penn and Hannah Callowhill Penn
By the President of the United States of America
In the history of this Nation, there has been a small number of men and women whose contributions to its traditions of freedom, justice, and individual rights have accorded them a special place of honor in our hearts and minds, and to whom all Americans owe a lasting debt. Among them are the men and women who founded the thirteen colonies that became the United States of America.
William Penn, as a British citizen, founded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to carry out an experiment based upon representative government; public education without regard to race, creed, sex, or ability to pay; and the substitution of workhouses for prisons. He had a Quaker's deep faith in divine guidance, and as the leader of the new colony, he worked to protect rights of personal conscience and freedom of religion. The principles of religious freedom he espoused helped to lay the groundwork for the First Amendment of our Constitution.
As a man of peace, William Penn was conscientiously opposed to war as a means of settling international disputes and worked toward its elimination by proposing the establishment of a Parliament of Nations, not unlike the present-day United Nations.
Hannah Callowhill Penn, William Penn's wife, effectively administered the Province of Pennsylvania for six years and, like her husband, devoted her life to the pursuit of peace and justice.
To commemorate these lasting contributions of William Penn and Hannah Callowhill Penn to the founding of our Nation and the development of its principles, the Congress of the United States, by Senate Joint Resolution 80, approved October 19, 1984, authorized and requested the President to declare these persons honorary citizens of the United States of America.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim William Penn and Hannah Callowhill Penn to be honorary citizens of the United States of America.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 28th day of Nov., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:28 a.m., November 29, 1984]