By the President of the United States Of America
Striking young and old indiscriminately, arthritis today afflicts more than 18 million Americans. In its most crippling form, rheumatoid arthritis, it affects some 5 million people, 250,000 of whom are children.
Arthritic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, each year cause unemployment equal to full-time idleness for about a quarter of a million persons. The total cost to individuals and the Nation is estimated at $4 billion annually, but the sum total of human suffering is beyond calculation.
Too few persons realize that arthritis is among America's most crippling diseases.
Each year, as medical science advances through private and governmental medical research and education, thousands of people receive improved treatment and live more comfortable, more productive, and more satisfying lives. Other thousands, however, remain sentenced to lives of continuing pain and disability from arthritis.
In recognition of the need to alleviate, through research and treatment, the human suffering as well as the economic toll caused by arthritis, the Congress, in House Joint Resolution 1029, requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the month of May of 1972 as National Arthritis Month.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of May 1972 as National Arthritis Month. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to issue similar proclamations.
Further, I urge medical professionals, citizens groups, and the American people to unite during the month of May in public affirmation of this Nation's efforts to control arthritic diseases.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of May, 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.