By the President of the United States of America
One of the greatest strengths of our Nation is its rich mixture of people from various cultural backgrounds. Americans of Hispanic heritage have made an immense and unique contribution. In thousands of communities across the land, Hispanics are a vital element in fostering America's achievements in fields as diverse as the arts and industry, agriculture and education, religion and business, science and politics.
People from Spain were among the first explorers and settlers in the New World, long before the United States became an independent Nation. They came in search of a better life for themselves and their children, and they have helped to create a richer life for all of us.
In our international relations, Hispanic Americans also contribute to our Nation's identity—our own perception of who we are and our role in the world. The strong family and cultural ties which bind Hispanics in the United States with our nearest neighbors are an important element of strength, unity, and understanding in the Western Hemisphere. The freedom of our neighbors is our freedom. Their security is our security. We Americans seek justice, economic progress, the spirit of good neighborliness throughout the hemisphere, and we count on Americans of Hispanic heritage for special insight and leadership as we work together toward these goals.
In recognition of the many achievements of the Hispanic American community, the Congress, by Joint Resolution approved September 17, 1968 (Public Law 90—498), has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating the week which includes September 15 and 16 as "National Hispanic Heritage Week."
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning September 15, 1985, as National Hispanic Heritage Week, in recognition of the Hispanic individuals, families, and communities that enrich our national life. I call upon the people of the United States, especially the educational community, to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.