By the President of the United States of America
Between 1880 and 1914, nearly four million people left the familiar comfort and sweep of Italy to make a new life for themselves and their families in the unknown land of America. Young and old, rich and poor, Italian immigrants saw in the shores of the United States a symbol of hope and opportunity. Many came with little money and few possessions. Many carried only a love of freedom, a belief in hard work, and an abiding faith in the importance of family.
Bound together by a shared heritage and by a common experience as newcomers in a new culture, the Italian-American community drew its strength from within. During work days that often began before dawn and ended well after dusk, Italian Americans relied on the knowledge and determination that continue to drive our economy today. Working side by side when times were tight, family members depended on one another to survive and, ultimately, to prosper. And their success was apparent in the bright faces of the countless sons and daughters who followed their example and went on to raise families of their own. Today, third and fourth generations of Italian Americans maintain that tradition of community, looking back on the courage of their ancestors with heartfelt gratitude and unparalleled pride.
Italian Americans have indeed worked hard to build upon their rich heritage over the last century, and the fruits of their labors are evident in every aspect of our national life. From politics to business to academia, their diverse talents and skills have sustained our society and enriched our daily lives. This month, we pause to recognize their many extraordinary accomplishments. More than that, we reflect on the unique cultural heritage that, a hundred years ago, helped to turn the dream of a distant land into the reality of an American home.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 175 (Public Law No. 103–309), has designated October 1994, as "Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October 1994 as Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this occasion with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
William Jefferson Clinton