By the President of the United States Of America
April of this year marks the 100th anniversary of Arbor Day, an observance that holds as much significance for the future as it does for the past.
On a monument erected in Nebraska City to commemorate the founding father of this celebration, J. Sterling Morton, there is this inscription: "Other Holidays Repose Upon The Past; Arbor Day Proposes For The Future." So it does, for the planting of trees is an action that yields a long-range benefit on generations to come. Arbor Day uniquely symbolizes the truth that the earth belongs to every generation, not just to ours.
Einstein is believed to have said that a person should put back into this world at least as much as he takes out of it. The best available evidence suggests that an individual American, in his lifetime, uses the wood produced by some 200 mature trees. It is probably too much to expect that each American plant that many trees, but it is not too much to ask that each American assume a large, personal responsibility for renewing and preserving our environmental heritage.
On this centennial National Arbor Day, it is altogether fitting that we regenerate within ourselves a fresh awareness of the fundamental role that trees play in man's daily existence. To underline the importance of this natural resource to our well-being, the Congress has requested, by Joint Resolution, that the President designate the last Friday of April, 1972 as National Arbor Day.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 28, 1972 as National Arbor Day. I call upon the Governors of the States, appropriate officials, organizations and individuals who are particularly dedicated to the preservation and replenishment of our trees, and all Americans to conduct observances and programs designed to inform the public of the necessity and value of this elemental natural resource.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of April, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred seventy-two and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.