Franklin D. Roosevelt

Proclamation 2613—National Maritime Day, 1944

April 25, 1944

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas the Congress by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933 (48 Stat. 73), designated May 22 of each year as National Maritime Day, in commemoration of the sailing from Savannah, Georgia, on May 22, 1819, of The Savannah, the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe that day; and

Whereas the Congress, in the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, approved June 29, 1936 (49 Stat. 1985), has declared it to be the policy of the United States to foster and encourage the development and maintenance of a merchant marine "(a) sufficient to carry its domestic water-borne commerce and a substantial portion of the water-borne export and import foreign commerce of the United States and to provide shipping service on all routes essential for maintaining the flow of such domestic and foreign water-borne commerce at all times, (b) capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency, (c) owned and operated under the United States flag by citizens of the United States insofar as may be practicable, and (d) composed of the best-equipped, safest, and most suitable types of vessels, constructed in the United States and manned with a trained and efficient citizen personnel"; and

Whereas many thousands of American men and women have toiled through long hours in shipyards and factories in order to construct in the shortest possible time the fleet of vessels needed to carry out not only the long-range program envisioned in the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 but also the emergency program necessitated by the global war in which we are involved; and

Whereas many men have already given their lives, and thousands of others are daily risking their lives, on our ships traversing dangerous seas to carry men and materials to the far-flung battlefields; and

Whereas it is fitting that the patriotism, courage, sacrifice, and labor of these men and women, ashore and afloat, be publicly recognized:

Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of the United States to observe May 22, 1944, as National Maritime Day by displaying the flag at their homes or other suitable places, and I direct that the flag be displayed on all Government buildings on that day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 25th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-eighth.

Signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By the President:
Secretary of State.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Proclamation 2613—National Maritime Day, 1944 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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