Proclamation 5541—Columbus Day, 1986
By the President of the United States of America
Each year, we are privileged to honor Christopher Columbus, whose epic voyages of discovery shaped the development of the Western Hemisphere. This great explorer won a place in history and in the hearts of all Americans because he challenged the unknown and thereby found a New World.
Columbus remains loved today. With his faith, vision, and courage, he could navigate beyond his world's horizons. He left a wide wake for all those to follow who would dream as he dreamed, who would defy the naysayers and dare to strive for new goals. Follow him they did; and may they ever do so, those who would make the New World ever new with all the ingenuity, energy, and boldness they have.
Americans of Italian descent are proud to say that Columbus, a son of Genoa, was the first of many Italians to come to America and a powerful reason the United States and Italy share the unique friendship they do. Those of Spanish descent likewise point out that Spain made Columbus's voyages possible and that he is the first link in the friendship of the United States and Spain. All Americans share in this just pride.
We are nearing the year 1992, when the world will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. The Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission, a distinguished group of Americans aided by representatives from Spain and Italy, held its initial working sessions in Chicago, Miami, and San Juan, cities that are planning major commemorative events in 1992. It also began a report to the Congress, to be delivered in September 1987, that will make recommendations about our Nation's observance of the celebration.
The passage of time—nearly half a millennium-has not dimmed the glory of the Admiral of the Ocean Seas, nor could it ever.
In tribute to Christopher Columbus, the Congress, by joint resolution approved April 30, 1934 (48 Stat. 657), as modified by the Act of June 28, 1968 (82 Stat. 250), has requested the President to proclaim the second Monday in October of each year as "Columbus Day."
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Monday, October 13, 1986, as Columbus Day. I invite the people of this Nation to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies in honor of this great explorer. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of Christopher Columbus.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of October, 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 eleventh.
Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5541—Columbus Day, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/255616