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Proclamation 5097—Leif Erikson Day, 1983

September 15, 1983

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

In the grand tradition of the Nordic seafarers, Leif Erikson's courageous adventures in the North Atlantic represent an enduring symbol of man's resourceful response to the challenge of exploration and discovery. Medieval sagas describe supplies of timber and wild grapes which he brought back to Greenland from North America. His exploits offer inspiration for our continuing efforts to conquer fear of the unknown and explore new worlds.

Erikson, who was charged by King Olaf I to spread religion among settlers in Greenland, also embodies the tradition of Nordic enrichment of the wider western world. That tradition has been memorably dramatized for Americans during the past year by the Scandinavia Today program across this country. This splendid program has given people in all parts of the United States an admiring new appreciation of the rich cultural and intellectual heritage brought to this country by Nordic immigrants and the vitality of contemporary life in the Nordic countries.

As a mark of respect for the courage of Leif Erikson and the valuable continuing contribution which the Nordic people have made to life in the United States, the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution approved September 2, 1964 (78 Stat. 849, 36 U.S.C. 169c), 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 proclaim Sunday, October 9, 1983 as Leif Erikson Day. 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 15th day of Sept., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eightythree, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 16.

Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5097—Leif Erikson Day, 1983 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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