Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3748—Columbus Day, 1966

September 22, 1966

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

There is something of Christopher Columbus in every American. Secure and prosperous as the nation is, it nevertheless retains something of the adventurous spirit which inspired the great mariner to explore the mystery of unknown seas.

We no longer brave the sea in frail wooden ships. We no longer face the hostility of superstitious men convinced the world is flat. Yet not all our frontiers are conquered. The American adventure is not over.

New shores of promise await those who, like Columbus, push on undaunted by the failures of the past or fear of the uncharted future.

Columbus's vision and daring, and that of the courageous men who followed him, brought European civilization to the New World. His conquest of the Atlantic—the "outer space" of the fifteenth century—is as meaningful to Americans of the space age as it was to our forefathers who pushed across the vast expanses of this continent.

Thus we honor Columbus not only as a voyager but also as a symbol of the long tradition of Italian enlightenment. From Galileo to Enrico Fermi, Italians have been in the vanguard of those dedicated to expanding man's knowledge of his universe.

Millions of Americans are bound to Italy by ties of blood, and all Americans are the spiritual heirs of the Italian genius which has enriched the quality of our national life.

As we honor the first Italian-American, we honor all the others who came after.

In recognition of our debt to Columbus, the Congress of the United States, by a joint resolution approved April 30, 1934, requested the President to proclaim October 12 of each year as Columbus Day for the observance of the anniversary of the discovery of America:

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Wednesday, October 12, 1966 as Columbus Day; and I invite the people of this Nation to observe that day in schools, churches, and other suitable places with appropriate ceremonies in honor of this great explorer.

I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in memory of Christopher Columbus.

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 twenty-second day of September in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-first.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


By the President:

Secretary of State

NOTE: Proclamation 3748 was not filed with the Office of the Federal Register before the cutoff time of this issue. As printed, it follows the text of a copy made available by the White House.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3748—Columbus Day, 1966 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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