By the President of the United States of America
Literacy is not only necessary for making one's way in our complex society but also a necessary skill for citizens who wish to participate fully in our democratic society. A recent study indicates that as many as one in every eight American adults may be "functionally illiterate." In light of the billions of dollars spent on private and public education, this is a disturbing fact.
Shortly after taking office, I created the Adult Literacy Initiative to address the growing urgency of this issue. Since then, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the American people. The number of volunteer literacy tutors has increased dramatically, more public-private partnerships are being forged, and illiteracy has become a key concern at all levels of State and local government. Still, many people who need help in developing literacy skills are unaware of the services available to them. National Literacy Day provides an opportunity to alert every American to this problem and to the resources available to the dedicated men and women who so selflessly devote their energies to helping other people improve their reading and writing skills.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 429, has designated July 2, 1986, as "National Literacy Day," and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 2, 1986, as National Literacy Day. I invite the Governors of every State, local officials, and all Americans to observe this day with appropriate activities that show our support for efforts to help make new opportunities available to people who wish to improve their proficiency in reading and writing the English language.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.