By the President of the United States of America
Trade and commerce, which helped to stimulate our Nation's economic growth, continue to be vital to the welfare of all Americans.
The American merchant marine is now being assisted by the largest peacetime shipbuilding program ever undertaken in this country. This will enable America's imports and exports to be moved efficiently over the world's trade routes.
The ships of highly advanced designs coming down the ways will greatly improve the competitiveness and capabilities of our merchant fleet. They will restore the United States to the rank of a first-class maritime power.
To promote public recognition of the importance of the American merchant marine, the Congress in 1933 designated the anniversary of the beginning of the first transatlantic voyage by a steamship, The SAVANNAH, on May 22, 1819, as National Maritime Day, and requested the President to issue a proclamation annually in observance of that day (48 Stat. 73, 36 U.S.C. 145).
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to honor our American merchant marine on May 22, 1975, by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and other suitable places, and I request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-ninth.
GERALD R. FORD