Proclamation 5722 -- Leif Erikson Day, 1987


October 5, 1987


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


Our Nation sets aside October 9 each year to honor Leif Erikson and to celebrate our country's Nordic heritage. Almost a thousand years ago this young Viking explorer set out from Norway to convert Greenlanders to Christianity. He eventually reached North America and brought back reports of places he called Helluland, Markland, and Vinland. The explorers, missionaries, settlers, and adventurers who followed him in later centuries shared his bold spirit. The memory of Leif Erikson continues to inspire all who would chart new territory for the good of mankind.


Many who settled in North America were Nordics. Like ``Leif the Lucky'' they displayed great determination and courage as they came to a new world. They and their descendants have truly contributed much to our national heritage; the strength of character and spirit of adventure they trace to their ancestors, including Leif Erikson, are traits Americans will always revere as quintessentially American.


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 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, 1987, 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 invite 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 fifth 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.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:38 p.m., October 5, 1987]