Proclamation 5493—Hands Across America Day, 1986
By the President of the United States of America
Time and again in American history the people of this great Nation have joined together in demonstrations of concern for the plight of their fellowman. Throughout the world, the people of the United States are known for their tradition of generosity and voluntary service to others. The strength of this tradition, which has been revitalized in the 1980s, lies in a key insight: The wellbeing of each and every individual in our society is a matter not only of public interest, but of personal responsibility as well. No form of charitable endeavor can truly succeed if it is not grounded in the recognition that the benefits it confers are as important to the giver as they are to the recipient.
On May 25, 1986, millions of Americans will participate in "Hands Across America," a visible symbol of the determination that unites Americans in the fight against hunger and homelessness. By joining together in this way, in cities and towns, along the back roads and mountain highways, from sea to shining sea, the people of this blessed land are reaffirming their willingness to sacrifice so that adequate food and shelter are available to all. This occasion represents an opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the root causes of these persistent problems, and to rededicate ourselves to finding lasting solutions that will allow everyone to live, eat, and work in circumstances befitting their dignity as human beings.
On this day, then, let us join not only our hands but our hearts and our prayers in efforts to ensure that America's God-given abundance is shared with those in need.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 246, has designated May 25, 1986, as "Hands Across America Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 25, 1986, as Hands Across America Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 23rd 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 5493—Hands Across America Day, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/258029