By the President of the United States of America
Before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Abigail Adams, wife of one President and mother of another, wrote a prophetic letter to a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Its recipient was her husband, whom she admonished: "... in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors . . . if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion. . .
However, until well into the second century after that letter was written, barriers existed for women in educational, business, and professional opportunities as well as in the law.
Today, American women of every ethnic origin, creed, and race play a vital role in our cultural, military, economic, social and political life. A woman serves as a Supreme Court Justice; there are women serving as university presidents, members of Congress, doctors, lawyers, astronauts, coal miners, corporate executives, members of the President's Cabinet, ranking military officers and leaders in civil rights, the diplomatic corps, cultural endeavors, private sector initiatives, truck drivers, and, very importantly, mothers and homemakers who continually strengthen the foundation of our country's greatness, the family.
During the past two hundred years, women have fought for the causes of abolition, health reform, elimination of child labor, temperance, voting rights, and improvement of industrial labor conditions. Their energy, persistence, and dedication to these causes have enlightened our Nation as to the needs of our society and frequently quickened our country's effort to effect positive change.
This memorable role of women in our Nation's history has been recorded in the written word and has been told as well in music, on canvas, in stone, and through poetry, novels, and the dance. In recognizing the outstanding achievements of America's women, we pay homage to an essential part of our Nation's heritage.
By Senate Joint Resolution 37, the Congress of the United States has authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week which includes March 8, 1983, as "Women's History Week."
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning March 6, 1983, as "Women's History Week." Recognizing that the many contributions of American women have at times been overlooked in the annals of American history, I encourage all citizens to observe this important week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and activities planned by individuals, governmental agencies, and private institutions and associations throughout the country.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 8th day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.