Proclamation 5179—National Maritime Day, 1984
By the President of the United States of America
On March 20, 1984, I signed into law the Shipping Act of 1984. This important legislation removed several burdensome and unnecessary Government regulations restricting both United States-flag and foreign-flag ocean common carriers operating in the foreign commerce of the United States. This is the most significant ocean regulatory legislation since the enactment of the Shipping Act in 1916.
The United States is the greatest trading nation in the world, and this landmark legislation will provide for more flexible and responsive ocean transportation services, including intermodal service, that will benefit both our exporters and importers. United States flag-ocean carriers will benefit by being assured evenhanded regulatory treatment with foreign competitors. The Shipping Act of 1984 represents but one part of my Administration's commitment to foster and maintain the United States-flag merchant marine required by this great Nation for our national security and economic benefit.
In recognition of the importance of the American merchant marine, the Congress, by joint resolution of May 20, 1933, designated May 22 as National Maritime Day and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance. This date was chosen to commemorate the day in 1819 when the SS SAVANNAH departed Savannah, Georgia, on the first transatlantic steamship voyage.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 1984, as National Maritime Day, and I urge the people of the United States to observe this day by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and other suitable places, and I request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 13th day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eightyfour, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5179—National Maritime Day, 1984 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/261433