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  Presidential Proclamations

  Washington - Obama

The Power to Proclaim ... by Brandon Rottinghaus, University of Houston
Brandon RottinghausA presidential proclamation is “an instrument that states a condition, declares a law and requires obedience, recognizes an event or triggers the implementation of a law (by recognizing that the circumstances in law have been realized)” (Cooper 2002, 116). In short, presidents “define” situations or conditions on situations that become legal or economic truth. These orders carry the same force of law as executive orders – the difference between the two is that executive orders are aimed at those inside government while proclamations are aimed at those outside government. The administrative weight of these proclamations is upheld because they are often specifically authorized by congressional statute, making them “delegated unilateral powers.” Presidential proclamations are often dismissed as a practical presidential tool for policy making because of the perception of proclamations as largely ceremonial or symbolic in nature. However, the legal weight of presidential proclamations suggests their importance to presidential governance. - click to continue reading this research note
Select
Year  
President Date Title
Harry S. Truman January 25, 1949 Proclamation 2824 - National Freedom Day
Harry S. Truman February 9, 1949 Proclamation 2825 - Enlarging the Channel Islands National Monument, California
Harry S. Truman February 10, 1949 Proclamation 2826 - "I Am an American Day," 1949
Harry S. Truman February 12, 1949 Proclamation 2827 - Red Cross Month, 1949
Harry S. Truman February 24, 1949 Proclamation 2828 - Army Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman March 8, 1949 Proclamation 2829 - Supplementing Proclamations of December 16, 1947 and January 1, 1948, Carrying Out General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and Exclusive Trade Agreement with Cuba, Respectively
Harry S. Truman March 10, 1949 Proclamation 2830 - Cancer Control Month, 1949
Harry S. Truman March 12, 1949 Proclamation 2831 - Further Postponing the Effective Date of Proclamation No. 2775 of March 26, 1948, Prescribing Changes in Panama Canal Toll Rates
Harry S. Truman March 28, 1949 Proclamation 2832 - Pan American Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman March 28, 1949 Proclamation 2833 - National Farm Safety Week, 1949
Harry S. Truman April 5, 1949 Proclamation 2834 - World Trade Week, 1949
Harry S. Truman April 16, 1949 Proclamation 2835 - Child Health Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman May 7, 1949 Proclamation 2837 - National Maritime Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman May 19, 1949 Proclamation 2838 - Union of South Africa: Suspension of Tonnage Duties
Harry S. Truman May 19, 1949 Proclamation 2839 - Israel: Suspension of Tonnage Duties
Harry S. Truman May 22, 1949 Proclamation 2840 - Death of James Forrestal
Harry S. Truman May 24, 1949 Proclamation 2841 - Flag Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman May 26, 1949 Proclamation 2842 - Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman May 31, 1949 Proclamation 2843 - Supplementing Proclamations of November 10, 1942, and December 3, 1942, Proclaiming the Trade Agreement With Uruguay and Proclamations of October 31, 1941, and December 11, 1942, Proclaiming the Trade Agreement with Argentina
Harry S. Truman June 8, 1949 Proclamation 2844 - Patrick Henry Week, 1949
Harry S. Truman June 15, 1949 Proclamation 2845 - Designating the Columbia National Forest as the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Harry S. Truman July 27, 1949 Proclamation 2846 - Immigration Quotas
Harry S. Truman July 27, 1949 Proclamation 2847 - Termination of the Suspension of Additional Processing Tax on Certain Coconut Oil
Harry S. Truman July 29, 1949 Proclamation 2848 - Amendments of Regulations Relating to Migratory Birds and Game Mammals
Harry S. Truman August 2, 1949 Proclamation 2849 - Fire Prevention Week, 1949
Harry S. Truman August 17, 1949 Proclamation 2850 - Amendment of Proclamation No. 2523 Prescribing Regulations Relating to the Control of Persons Entering or Leaving the United States
Harry S. Truman August 24, 1949 Proclamation 2851 - Determining Bemidone and Six Other Drugs to Be Opiates
Harry S. Truman August 25, 1949 Proclamation 2852 - Further Postponing the Effective Date of Proclamation No. 2775 of March 26, 1948, Prescribing Changes in Panama Canal Toll Rates
Harry S. Truman August 25, 1949 Proclamation 2853 - United Nations Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman August 26, 1949 Proclamation 2854 - Amendments of Regulations Relating to Migratory Birds and Game Mammals
Harry S. Truman August 30, 1949 Proclamation 2855 - National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, 1949
Harry S. Truman September 22, 1949 Proclamation 2857 - Columbus Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman October 5, 1949 Proclamation 2858 - General Pulaski's Memorial Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman October 20, 1949 Proclamation 2859 - Closed Area Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Oregon
Harry S. Truman October 25, 1949 Proclamation 2860 - Establishing the Effigy Mounds National Monument
Harry S. Truman October 26, 1949 Proclamation 2861 - Pakistan: Suspension of Tonnage Duties
Harry S. Truman October 29, 1949 Proclamation 2862 - Armistice Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman November 5, 1949 Proclamation 2863 - Termination of Colombian Trade Agreement Proclamation
Harry S. Truman November 10, 1949 Proclamation 2864 - Thanksgiving Day, 1949
Harry S. Truman November 30, 1949 Proclamation 2865 - Supplementing the Proclamations of December 16, 1947, and January 1, 1948, Carrying Out the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Exclusive Trade Agreement with Cuba, Respectively, and Terminating in Part the Proclamation of January 30, 1948
Harry S. Truman December 6, 1949 Proclamation 2866 - United Nations Human Rights Day
Harry S. Truman December 22, 1949 Proclamation 2867 - Carrying Out the Annecy Protocol of Terms of Accession to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Dated October 10, 1949, and Supplementing the Proclamations of December 16, 1947, and January 1, 1948
Harry S. Truman December 29, 1949 Proclamation 2868 - Copyright Extension: Australia

Presidential proclamations do have important political and historical consequences in the development of the United States, including President Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793 and President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

Other more recent policy-based proclamations have also made a substantial impact on economic and domestic policy, including President Clinton’s declaration of federal lands for national monuments and President Bush’s declaration of the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina as disaster areas.

Proclamations are also used, often contentiously, to grant presidential pardons, particularly important for President Ford who pardoned President Richard Nixon and President Carter draft evaders in Vietnam..

Although less significant in terms of public policy, proclamations are also used ceremonially by presidents to honor a group or situation or to call attention to certain issues or events. For instance, President George H.W. Bush issued a proclamation to honor veterans of World War II and President Reagan called attention to the health of the nation’s eyes by proclaiming a “Save Your Vision Week”.

Brandon Rottinghaus
University of Houston

References
Cooper, Phillip J. 2002. By Order of the President: The Use and Abuse of Executive Direct Action. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.


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