September 28, 1988
By the President of the United States of America
On his 11th-century voyage to "Helluland, Markland, and Vinland,'' Leif Erikson exemplified virtues universally admired throughout world history. This explorer with a missionary spirit challenged the unknown with courage and faith. He triumphed, and his example has inspired many another to do the same. On Leif Erikson Day, 1988, we recall and revere the achievements of this man and of the Nordic people who have followed him to North America through the centuries.
On Leif Erikson Day we also salute all Americans who have left their homes abroad, arrived on our shores after much struggle, and built a new life in this land of freedom and opportunity. Like Leif Erikson, none of them could be sure of success; but, like him, they were willing to take on and conquer adversity. Through the generations they and their descendants have helped America meet many challenges -- the cultivation of the land and the construction of cities, the winning of our liberty and independence, and the defense of our country's cause.
This year's 350th anniversary of the first permanent settlement of Swedes and Finns in North America has given us a special opportunity to celebrate the excellent relations between the United States and these two countries. On Leif Erikson Day this year, we celebrate, too, the friendship between the people of the United States and those of all the Nordic countries. Let us also remind ourselves that a treasured part of our heritage as Americans is the longing to seek the horizon and to cross every frontier with daring and determination like those of "Leif the Lucky.''
In honor of Leif Erikson and our Nordic American heritage, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on September 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 849, 36 U.S.C. 169c), has authorized and requested the President to proclaim October 9 of each year as "Leif Erikson Day.''
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 1988, as Leif Erikson Day, and I direct the appropriate Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on that day. I also urge the people of the United States to honor Leif Erikson and our Nordic American heritage by holding appropriate exercises and ceremonies in suitable places throughout our land.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:21 p.m., September 29, 1988]