George Bush photo

Proclamation 5999—Space Exploration Day, 1989

July 20, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Twenty years ago, on July 20, 1969, American astronauts landed on the Moon, changing forever our perception of the universe and our relation to it. That "giant leap for mankind," a quarter of a million miles from Earth, was more than a triumph of human ingenuity, skill, and courage -- it was a tribute to the indomitable American spirit.

The lunar landing would not have been possible without the vision, determination, and technological genius that Americans, working together, have demonstrated throughout our Nation's history. Like the Viking and Voyager missions, the space shuttle, and other programs that have since followed, the lunar landing gave compelling testimony to the faith and tenacity of the American people. It also reflected the extraordainry talent and dedication of men and women throughout the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Armed Forces, the American aerospace industry, and educational institutions across the country. Those are qualities of which we are still very proud today.

Three decades into our great adventure into space, we have learned more about our planet, the solar system, and the universe than was once imaginable. We have entered space for peaceful and scientific purposes; and, in the process, we have demonstrated what Americans can do when we put our will and our resources to work in pursuit of a worthy national goal.

As a Nation, we have traveled hundreds of millions of miles in space, but we have only begun our journey. In the coming decades, we will continue to forge ahead, transforming dreams into reality. By the end of the century, Space Station Freedom -- which we are developing in cooperation with our friends and allies -- will create new opportunities for commerce and discovery and provide a base for further exploration of the infinite frontier of space.

Two decades ago, the men of Apollo 11 began our journey into the universe, taking with them our heartfelt prayers and our highest hopes. They opened a door that can never be closed and, in so doing, changed forever the course of human history. As we continue to follow the steps of those brave pioneers, wherever we travel, we will, like them, have come in peace for all mankind.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 20, 1989, as Space Exploration Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 5999—Space Exploration Day, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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