Ronald Reagan picture

Proclamation 4871—Leif Erikson Day, 1981

October 06, 1981

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Nordic stories passed through the ages tell us of the Viking Leif Erikson and his explorations across the North Atlantic. One of the most daring of the great Norse adventurers, he may have been the first European to discover our continent. Scandinavian tales tell us of a cargo of timber and wild grapes he brought from North America to his home in Greenland more than four centuries before Columbus.

Above all, Leif Erikson was an explorer, and he has come to symbolize mankind's efforts to push back his frontiers, master the elements, and conquer his fear of the unknown.

In honoring him, and in honoring the Nordic people whose achievements have continuously enriched the Western world, we also honor the act of discovery.

As a mark of respect to the courage of Leif Erikson and his Viking followers, the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution approved September 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 849, 36 U.S.C. 169e), authorized the President to proclaim October 9 in each year as Leif Erikson Day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Friday, October 9, 1981, as Leif Erikson Day, and I direct the appropriate Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings that day.

I also invite the people of the United States to honor the memory of Leif Erikson on that day by holding appropriate exercises and ceremonies in suitable places throughout the land.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 6th day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 7.

Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 4871—Leif Erikson Day, 1981 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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