Proclamation 5480—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1986
By the President of the United States of America
Our Nation was founded on beliefs in basic human freedoms. Among these cherished freedoms is free movement of people and ideas. In exercising that freedom, Americans have developed the greatest transportation system the world has ever known. We can travel where and when we want, either by air, water, or land. We can move goods by airplane, railroad, ship, barge, and truck. This ability to travel and to ship goods is as important to our Nation's strength today as it was vital for the pioneers who settled this great Republic.
The first Federal highway built with national funds, the Cumberland Road, was begun in 1811. A century later, when the Lincoln Highway opened to traffic in 1913, we had our first paved coast-to-coast road. Between now and 1990, we will complete funding for our greatest highway project yet, the Interstate Highway System. Great progress has already been made, and when it is finished, the Nation will be linked together with 42,500 miles of unbroken, limited-access roadway. This is the equivalent of circling the world almost twice without hitting a traffic light—an achievement that benefits not only business and pleasure travel, but greatly strengthens our national defense as well.
In a few months, we will be celebrating the 100th birthday of our great symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty. This magnificent lady watched as millions of people streamed across the Atlantic to our shores in pursuit of a dream—a land of opportunity, a country where people were free to go as far as their abilities could take them. Many of these immigrants became involved in designing and building our highways, bridges, railways, and airports. Their sons and daughters are working on new challenges, high-speed railways, hypersonic flight, and new technologies to make all travel safer. What the future will bring we can only guess, but improvement in the swiftness, safety, dependability, and economy of transportation will be an integral part of even greater prosperity and human fulfillment.
In recognition of the importance of transportation, and to honor the millions of Americans who serve and supply our transportation needs, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957 (36 U.S.C. 160), has requested that the third Friday in May of each year be designated as National Defense Transportation Day; and by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962 (36 U.S.C. 166), that the week in which that Friday falls be proclaimed National Transportation Week.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Friday, May 16, 1986, as National Defense Transportation Day and the week beginning May 11, 1986, through May 17, 1986, as National Transportation Week. I urge the people of the United States to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies that will give full recognition to the importance of our transportation system to this country.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.
Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5480—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/259177