Proclamation 4915—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1989,
By the President of the United States of America
Transportation is essential to the development, defense, and enjoyment of our country. Pacing the evolution of our nation, transportation keeps America moving, producing, and growing.
Our earliest settlements flourished on the banks of our river systems—our first avenues of transportation that serve us still. Following trails blazed by the pioneers traveling west, the Interstate Highways remind us of the great strides we have taken in transportation.
Completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 ushered in a new era of transportation. Steel tracks stretched across the country to open the west, link our seacoasts, and strengthen American commerce.
From its humble beginnings at Kitty Hawk, the U.S. aviation industry has grown to include a vast network of airports and commercial and private aircraft that fly millions of people and an ever-increasing amount of cargo.
As our cities grew, transit systems developed to provide people with affordable and convenient transportation. This century brought the automobile, truck, intercity bus, and an expanded road system that includes thousands of miles of Interstate Highways.
The American maritime industry connects the inland and coastal ports of the United States with port cities around the globe and transports U.S. agricultural, mining, and industrial products to foreign shores.
Each of these elements of our transportation system also contributes to a vital concern-our national defense. The great capacity of our system to move supplies and to transport men and equipment in times of emergency is a cornerstone of our defense. It allows our nation to respond rapidly and in force to threats to our security anywhere in the world.
To recognize the critical importance of our transportation system and to honor the millions of Americans who build, operate, maintain, and safeguard this vital network, we designate one week each year as National Transportation Week.
By joint resolution, the Congress on May 16, 1957, requested the President to proclaim the third Friday in each May as National Defense Transportation Day, and by joint resolution of May 14, 1962, requested the President to designate the week in which that Friday falls as National Transportation Week.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Friday, May 21, 1982, as National Defense Transportation Day, and the week beginning May 16, 1982, as National Transportation Week.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 25th day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 26.
Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 4915—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1989, Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/245989