Calvin Coolidge photo

Proclamation—National Fire Prevention Day-1923

September 17, 1923

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

With the approach of October 9th, anniversary of the great Chicago fire, it is customary for the Chief Executive to direct attention each year to the enormous fire loss of the nation and to propose the observance of that date as National Fire Prevention Day. I am informed that the national fire loss for 1922 approximated fifteen thousand lives and somewhat more than five hundred million dollars. If this is correct or even approximately correct, it indicates that the 1922 fire waste was the largest since 1906, when the fearful San Francisco conflagration brought the total to above five hundred million dollars. The fact that, with all our improvement of methods in most directions, the fire loss continues to mount upward year by year, places a striking point of interrogation opposite our claims of high national efficiency. I am informed that in 1912, which was not an exceptional year, the per capita fire loss of the country was $2.16, and that in 1922 it was $4.67. The importance of every possible measure to reduce this loss is so apparent as to require no argument. The specialists in this subject agree that probably the greater part of the loss is due to human factors, such as carelessness and moral hazards; another large portion to poor construction, inefficient enforcement of building regulations, and the like. All of these are subject to correction through proper procedures, and it is highly desirable that public attention be directed to them and every encouragement given to measures for lessening the fire menace.

In view of these facts

Now, therefore, I, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States, designate Tuesday, October 9th, as National Fire Prevention Day, and recommend that it be observed in a manner most fitting. I particularly recommend the importance of educational effort through the schools, industrial establishments, and in the homes.

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 seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States, the One Hundred and Forty-eighth.


By the President:
WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Acting Secretary of State.

Calvin Coolidge, Proclamation—National Fire Prevention Day-1923 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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