August 4, 1987

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Throughout our history, an American saga of optimism, hard work, quiet heroism, and steady expansion, the contributions of women have been indispensable to this Nation's progress. From Plymouth and Jamestown to the Oregon Trail and the Great Plains, women of strength and determination helped fashion a new life and a new nation from the raw materials of the American wilderness. Their faith in God, their trust in the promise of the New World, and their love for their families steeled them against the rigors of daily living in a harsh and untamed land. Without their commitment, America would never have yielded up the bounty that was the first hallmark of its greatness.

In recognition of these immeasurable contributions and to redress the injustice of denying American women the right to vote, the Nineteenth Amendment was adopted in 1920 to guarantee political equality, the very bedrock of all rights and liberties, to American women. On this August 26, we celebrate the 67th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment as Women's Equality Day, and we celebrate as well the role that women have won for themselves in our country's democratic process. Political equality has meant a growing panoply of opportunity for women and accelerating economic growth for America. It has reaffirmed the core ideals of the political compacts that built our Nation and sustain it now -- the endowment of unalienable rights and unique abilities that each of us possesses from our Creator. It has opened the horizons of achievement and widened the paths of prosperity and personal fulfillment.

On this occasion, then, we must rededicate ourselves to policies and strategies that safeguard equality of opportunity and that help us secure the goals that equality serves: healthy families, good neighborhoods, productive work, true peace, and genuine freedom. America today honors women for all they have done, as pioneers, patriots, parents and partners, to build happy homes and a strong society.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 26, 1987, as Women's Equality Day. I call upon all Americans to mark this occasion with appropriate observances.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of August, 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.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:19 p.m., August 5, 1987]