Warren G. Harding photo

Proclamation—Fire Prevention Day

September 27, 1921

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas, the United States suffers through destruction by fire an annual loss of life estimated at 15,000 human beings, most of them women and children, and

Whereas, in the face of the world's dire need for American products our fire losses increased during 1920 to over $500,000,000, and during the previous five-year period totaled over $1,416,375,000—buildings, foodstuffs and other created wealth needlessly wiped out of existence—and

Whereas, in addition to the above, forest fires, during the five years ended with 1920, further reduced our diminishing timber resources by a total of over $85,000,000, also threatening with aridity over 56,000,000 acres of hitherto productive woodland, and

Whereas, most of our fire losses are due to carelessness and ignorance and may be easily prevented by increased care and education on the part of citizens:

Therefore, I, Warren G. Harding, President of the United States, do urge upon the Governors of the various States to designate and set apart October 10th, 1921—anniversary of the Chicago fire—as Fire Prevention Day, with these principal objects in view, to wit:

To request the citizens of their States to plan for that day and period, through pulpit, through open forum and through the schools, such instructive and educational exercises as shall impress the public mind with the calamitous effects and threatened economic disaster of such unnecessary fire waste;

To urge, as an everyday duty of citizenship, individual and collective efforts in conserving our country's natural and created resources, and

To promote systematic instruction in fire prevention in our schools, constant observance of the ordinary precautions that safeguard us from fires, and orderliness in home and community, that we may overcome this lurking peril.

Fire is a danger that never sleeps.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done in the City of Washington this twenty-seventh day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States, the one hundred and forty-sixth.


By the President:
CHARLES E. HUGHES, Secretary of State.

Warren G. Harding, Proclamation—Fire Prevention Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/329229

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