Proclamation 5875 -- National Day of Recognition for Mohandas K. Gandhi, 1988


October 1, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


The message of Mohandas Gandhi, Indian disciple of nonviolent resistance, was that no society based on the denial of basic liberties can endure. He died 4 decades ago -- but before his death and after, and across the oceans and continents, he gave enduring witness to all who seek, often in desperate and unequal contests, to secure the inherent rights that belong to every human being without exception. Today freedom and the desire for human rights and democracy are on the march everywhere, and Gandhi's example and inspiration offer us reason to observe a day of recognition for him.


The force at Gandhi's disposal was that of nonviolent persuasion. He understood the ideas of many of America's thinkers, such as Emerson and Thoreau. He demonstrated the power of those ideas and created a legacy that was to offer courage and hope to America's civil rights movement and many other Americans from that day to this.


Though today's United States differs in countless respects from the India of the 1930's and 1940's, nevertheless we continue to feel a kinship for many of the ideas Mohandas Gandhi represented, such as the reconciliation he championed in the search for freedom and justice. May our observance of this day in his honor be suffused with a like and lasting spirit.


The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 169, has designated October 2, 1988, as a ``National Day of Recognition for Mohandas K. Gandhi'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 2, 1988, as a National Day of Recognition for Mohandas K. Gandhi. I urge the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.


In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, 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.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:09 a.m., October 3, 1988]