By the President of the United States
For more than two centuries, the United States has relied on the Merchant Marine for trade and defense. The Merchant Marine has contributed to our economic growth and military strength.
The men and women of our Merchant Marine have worked hard to export our .products to foreign markets, and import foreign goods for our use and pleasure.
Those who serve in the Merchant Marine have the spirit, the character, and devotion to duty that have made our nation strong, free, and prosperous.
In recognition of the importance of the American Merchant Marine, the Congress, by joint resolution of May 20, 1933 (48 Stat. 73, 36 U.S.C. 145) designated May 22 of each year as National Maritime Day in commemoration of the departure from Savannah, .Georgia, on that date in 1819 of the SS SAVANNAH on the first transatlantic voyage by any steamship, and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.
Because May 22 falls on Sunday this year, and in keeping with custom, it is appropriate to observe National Maritime Day on the following Monday.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to honor our American Merchant Marine on May 23, 1977, by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and other suitable places, and I request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and first.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:55 p.m., April 15, 1977]