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Proclamation 5846—National Civil Rights Day, 1988

August 19, 1988

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The people of the United States owe much to our courageous countrymen over the years who have dedicated their lives to the achievement of equal rights, equal opportunity, equal protection of the law, and mutual respect and reconciliation. These Americans have reminded us that the promise of the Declaration of Independence is a universal and eternal one—that God has granted everyone alike "certain unalienable Rights,... among these ... Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" and that our duty and privilege as Americans is to guard and guarantee this promise always.

The protection of our rights requires champions in every generation. Twenty-five years ago this month, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., led the March on Washington in the cause of civil rights and helped awaken among his fellow Americans a strong and true sense that justice, if it is to be genuine, must ever be color-blind. The anniversary of this event is a fitting time for all Americans to reflect on our achievements in this regard and to recall the need for continual vigilance and constant effort in behalf of the promise of equality for all.

One element of ensuring the promise of equality is effective enforcement of our civil rights laws. Discrimination and prejudice have no place in American life. The more we continue to eliminate all traces of injustice from our land and to foster brotherhood, the more we can truly sing, "from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 140, has designated August 12, 1988, as "National Civil Rights Day" and 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 August 12, 1988, as National Civil Rights Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, including a pause at noon for a moment of silence in tribute to those who have given their lives to secure civil rights for all Americans.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5846—National Civil Rights Day, 1988 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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