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Proclamation 6195—Columbus Day, 1990

October 04, 1990

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Christopher Columbus' epic voyage nearly half a millennium ago marked more than the triumph of a daring and determined navigator over skeptics and naysayers. It also marked a turning point in human history.

In 1492, when the crews of the Nin56a, Pinta, and Santa Maria raised sail and set out toward the western horizon, few of their fellow Europeans saw anything but folly in the plans of Columbus. Still fewer could have envisioned the magnificent New World that he would soon discover across the vast, uncharted waters of the Atlantic. Seizing an opportunity to prsue his dreams and theories and to expand the realm of the known, Christopher Columbus not only introduced European culture and technology to the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere but also obtained for his countrymen an alluring glimpse of their rich lands and exotic customs. In so doing, he began a long, fruitful exchange of knowledge, resources, and traditions between the Old World and the New. Through his difficult yet fateful journey across the Atlantic, the bold Admiral of the Ocean Seas also demonstrted for all posterity the power of faith, courage, and individual initiative.

The annual observance of Columbus Day is a time of celebration for all those who treasure the spirit of learning and discovery. However, this occasion holds special meaning for Americans of Italian and Spanish descent. Christopher Columbus was the first of many Italians to chart a course for the New World and to exchange wiht its peoples a wealth of skills and experience. As we commemorate the seminal journey of this brave son of Genoa, a journey made possible by the generous support of the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand V and Isabella I, we are also mindful of the many contributions that men and women of Spanish descent have made to the social, cultural, and economic development of the Americas.

In just 2 years we will mark the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World. Members of the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission -- a body established by the congress in 1984 and assisted by representatives form Spain, Italy, and many nations of this hemisphere -- are planning an exciting series of educational and commemorative events to celebrate this milestone. These events, to be held throughout the United States and around the world, will enable participants to learn more about the master mariner who defed the odds and opened a new chapter in the history of mankind. On this Columbus Day, as we look forward to the Quincentenary Jubilee, let us also celebrate the timeless spirit of learning, exploration, and discovery that has so enriched us all.

In tribute to Christopher Columbus, the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution of 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, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 8, 1990, as Columbus Day. I call upon the people of the Untied States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. 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 fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the INdependence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6195—Columbus Day, 1990 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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