Proclamation 5714—National Medical Research Day, 1987
By the President of the United States of America
Once, childhood diseases such as diphtheria, polio, and tetanus claimed the lives of thousands of American youngsters each year. Now, vaccines developed through biomedical research have virtually eliminated these killers from the United States. In addition to their contributions to the creation of these and many other vaccines, U.S. medical researchers have designed new drugs and surgical techniques and identified environmental and life-style factors that lead to illness. All of these advances have helped to bring America's death rate to an all-time low and its life expectancy rates to all-time highs.
America is an acknowledged world leader in promoting health and preventing disease and disability. Research conducted in this country has contributed enormously to the worldwide control of epidemic diseases such as cholera, smallpox, yellow fever, and bubonic plague. The common goal of better health for all has helped to foster a productive research partnership among government, academia, industry, and voluntary organizations.
America's preeminence in biomedical and behavioral medical research is greatly encouraged by more than a century of continuing commitment by the Government of the United States. For example, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health, our Nation's largest biomedical research agency. The returns from the cooperative efforts of the Federal government and the private sector in medical research—in terms of reduced illness and improved individual productivity for many Americans—are immense. More than 90 Americans have been rewarded with international recognition in the form of the award of Nobel Prizes for work in physiology, medicine, and chemistry.
Today, America's medical researchers are studying the basic workings of cells and organisms in ever finer detail. Someday, these inquiries into the fundamental aspects of life may unravel the mysteries of cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, heart and lung diseases, mental illnesses, and many other diseases that claim or severely impair the lives of Americans. To fulfill the promise of current investigations and to ensure that the caliber of American medical research remains high, it is imperative that the United States continue to foster the training of the scientists of the future.
We all acknowledge with pride the accomplishments of America's medical researchers and look to them for continued progress in relieving human suffering. In recognition of the many successes of the American medical research enterprise, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 142, has designated October 1, 1987, as "National Medical Research Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 1, 1987, as National Medical Research Day, and I call upon the people of the United States and all Federal, State, and local government officials to observe the day with appropriate events and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.
Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 2.
Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5714—National Medical Research Day, 1987 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/251606