By the President of the United States Of America
In the early years of this century when Americans of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds were reaching for greater dignity and opportunity among their fellow-citizens, and when excellence in sport commanded increasing admiration across the country, one magnificent athlete from the Oklahoma frontier came to world renown as a pioneer in both of these developing trends.
His name was James Francis Thorpe; his roots were in the Potowatomi/Sac and Fox Tribe of the American Indians; and his prowess on playing fields from Carlisle Institute to the Stockholm Olympics remains legendary in this, the 85th anniversary year of his birth.
The history of college and professional football, world decathlon and pentathlon competition, and major league baseball is permanently enriched by the contributions of this noble American who has been acclaimed by some as the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century. And millions of young people who aspire to achievements transcending a disadvantaged background continue to take heart from Jim Thorpe's example.
Now, Therefore, I, Richard M. Nixon, President of the Unites States of America, in accordance with Senate Joint Resolution 73, do hereby proclaim Monday, April 16, 1973, as "Jim Thorpe Day" and call upon the people of the United States to mark this day with appropriate observances.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-seventh.