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Proclamation 4982—Dr. Robert H. Goddard Day

October 05, 1982

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Robert H. Goddard, born one hundred years ago, is the father of the Space Age. Due to his pioneering vision of space travel and his tireless research efforts in developing the world's first liquid-fuel rocket, the United States has achieved a preeminent position in space. Dr. Goddard was a trailblazer to the stars.

Dr. Goddard was born on October 5, 1882, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was a student and later a member of the faculty at Clark University for 29 years. The Smithsonian Institution first gave him a small grant to assist his research, and the Guggenheim family and Foundation subsequently became his strong financial backers. Dr. Goddard was the first to explore the practicality of using rocket power to reach high altitudes.

During his lifetime, Dr. Goddard was often ignored or ridiculed for his imagination, including the concept of a rocket going to the moon. Yet he was not deterred. And today, he is universally recognized as the world's foremost pioneer in space rocketry and in predicting man's role in space.

Rewards and recognition came posthumously to Dr. Goddard. On September 16, 1959, Congress authorized a gold medal in his honor. A major space science laboratory, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, was also established in 1959. One hundred years after his birth, it is appropriate to commemorate, with gratitude, Dr. Robert Goddard's brilliant contributions in laying the foundation for America's entry into the Space Age.

As a mark of respect to this great Space Pioneer, the father of modern rocketry, the Congress of the United States by House Joint Resolution 568 has proclaimed October 5, 1982, as "Dr. Robert H. Goddard Day."

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim that Tuesday, October 5, 1982, is Dr. Robert H. Goddard 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 Dr. Goddard 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 5th. day of Oct, 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 seventh.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 4982—Dr. Robert H. Goddard Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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